Why you shouldn’t argue with idiots


Kevin Mangelschots

“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

This famous quote by Mark Twain sets the mood and serves as inspiration for this post today.

It conveys that you should never argue with stupid people, since they will not debate with facts and logic, but rather with emotions and illogical, and irrelevant information. Since most folks aren’t used to that, they will beat you through stupidity, which they are experienced in.

Let me explain as well as I can why I think you shouldn’t argue with certain people.

Image of someone's hand holding a post-it note with the word “advice” written on it.

  • Unable to comprehend opinions other than their own

    Idiots are … Well, not that smart. This makes them unable to grasp opinions other than their own.

    They often believe that their opinion is the only possible truth out there. Living life through this very narrow and unjust point of view makes for a very unjust sense of realism.

  • Unwilling to try to comprehend other people’s opinions

    Some people are intolerant of other people’s opinions just because of the very reason that they are different from their own.

    These are the worst kind of people, and it’s meaningless to argue with them because they are frequently ill-willed and are simply unwilling to try to comprehend different opinions and different points of view.

  • Unable to grasp different points of view.

    Picture showing a woman saying 6 and a man saying 9.

    Smart people can grasp that each individual is unique and, thus, will have different thoughts and ideas.

    They realize that different points of view are necessary to improve and live a balanced life. They try to and are regularly able to see life through multiple different lenses, through different points of view if you will.

    Idiots and ideologically possessed people do not possess these traits. Thus, they are unable to grasp different points of view. This leads to a very narrow and often unjust vision. With very little openness towards different ideas and experiences. Thus, they develop a rigid way of thinking, unable to change their ways.

  • Overconfident and too assured of their own opinion

    You should never try to argue with an idiot when they’re overconfident and arrogant.

    Smart people know how much they don’t know. Dumb people believe, against better judgment, that they know everything. This phenomenon is also commonly referred to as the Dunning-Kruger effect in psychology.

    The loudest person in the room isn’t always the most confident person in the room, either. It can be a symptom of masking insecurity, or of being too self-assured.

    No matter how intelligent and competent one might be, being overconfident is never a good thing. It’s always beneficial and even advised to have a healthy amount of self-skepticism and introspection to keep both feet firmly on the ground.

  • Parroting someone else’s ideas and thoughts

    Idiots, and especially ideologically possessed people, typically parrot someone else’s ideas and thoughts without understanding them properly or even thinking carefully and critically for themselves.

    This means that their thoughts and ideas are not even their own. And that those ideas and thoughts that they deem their own are nothing more than simple copies of the ideas of the person or instance that put them there.

  • They won’t change

    No matter how much you argue with them, they won’t change. They won’t change the way they think or act, even when objectively proven wrong.

    Changing your own behavior and thinking habits requires reflection and critical thought. These are higher executive functions, which the less equipped people often don’t have, or to a lesser degree.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where does the quote, “Never argue with an idiot” originate from?

Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience, was first uttered by the famous lecturer, publisher, and American writer, Mark Twain.

What does the quote, “Never argue with an idiot” mean?

It conveys that stupid people will not necessarily argue with respect or empirical evidence, nor will they reason objectively, or through logic.

Thus, they try to drag you down into an emotional fight that’s based on feelings rather than logic. And when you’re out of your element, they can beat you through experience, which they have considering they’re constantly debating with other people through their emotions instead of through thoughtful arguments.

How to deal with idiots: Why you should never argue with an idiot

Image of the quote, “sometimes you have to accept the truth and stop wasting time on the wrong people” written on a yellow background.

My advice to deal with idiots is simple. Never argue with stupid people. Simply ignore them, and if possible, avoid them.

It’s of no use. You can not and will not change them or their particular behavior.

Important to note is that if you can’t solve a problem, you should just let it be and put as little attention and energy into it as possible. In this case, the idiotic people who you can’t change with reason or facts.

This can be hard and challenging at times. Because we often like to object with facts and reason if we know that we are right. If we have critically studied the topic and thus, are competent at it. However, there are some arguments that we just can’t win, even if we are right.

I would say that there is no winning involved when dealing with idiots and ideologically possessed people. And that’s Why you should learn to shut down certain argumentative people.

Why I don’t argue with idiots personally

A person holding a question mark in front of their face.
I don’t argue with idiots, since I view it as a waste of time and energy.
Arguing should serve the purpose of solving issues, gaining more knowledge, and getting a better understanding of each other’s points of view. In short, it should have an essential function.
This conveys that the person we’re discussing with needs to aim at the truth, attempting to learn new things and gain new insightsintof the other person’s mind. All the while remaining humble enough to account for the fact that they may be wrong in their thinking.
That’s a lot to ask from the majority of people. I’m not saying that it’s not possible, but idiots do not possess those admirable traits.

This means that arguing with idiots is time and effort wasted that could be better used elsewhere. Think about it for a second. Why would you waste your valuable time on those who are unwilling and/or incapable of changing their mind? In other words, you shouldn’t.


Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not automatically make them an idiot or an ideologically possessed person. Conflict can be good, and beneficial as well.

However, some common traits of such people include failure to entertain different points of view, unwillingness to try to understand a different opinion than their own, and being intolerant of different opinions.

That’s why you should never argue with stupid people who show several of the above traits, since it’s simply a waste of time and energy!