Debating a paradigm is pointless

When the individual scientist can take a paradigm for granted, he need no longer, in his major works, attempt to build his field anew, starting from first principles and justifying the use of each concept introduced. That can be left to the writer of textbooks. (Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions)

Much as in the sciences, when you stop wasting your time defending your paradigm, when you stop having to build your field from scratch in every debate, re-presenting its history and best practices from ground up to every interlocutor, a wellspring of time and energy opens up for you to tap into.

There isn’t much point in trying to talk somebody out of a firmly held belief. A person’s worldview isn’t up to debate. That’s what we are dealing with: paradigms, worldviews, beliefs. Faith. We aren’t talking about sports where, no matter what you think about the players, the winner is the winner and the loser is the loser. Debate the qualities of each team but, if they won, they won. You can’t talk a person out of their perspective on the world no matter how many points you score.

Scoring points just makes people more angry.

Take it from someone who has played that game for too long: sometimes you just have to preach to the choir. Don’t evangelise; the choir has heard it all already. Don’t preach; the believers don’t need converting.

The only constructive thing to do is to focus on the practice—the work. Try and figure out better ways to make and create. Let the work itself do the preaching and evangelising.

Stop wasting your time debating people who are never going to agree with you. The energy you free up can be spent on better things. But even if you can spare the time and energy, the risks and price of sparring with ideologues is often higher than you think.

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