I’ve often contemplated how I, being an atheist, would argue my position for adopting various values/ethical positions.
Let’s start with a hypothetical argument: if you value the happiness of conscious creatures, you will accept blank. What happens if they are indifferent towards the happiness of conscious creatures though?
At this point I would ask if they valued social flourishing. If so, I would posit that the well-being of the people in a society is heavily correlated to the extent at which social flourishing occurs. But once again, what of the people that do not wish that their society flourishes?
This is why I argue that all arguments are state-of-mind dependent. The question: “How do you reason with someone who does not value reason?” comes to mind. At this point we must conclude that when it comes to questions of reason, this person’s opinions must be disregarded. Just as when confronted with questions of science, we disregard the opinions of people who do not value the scientific method.
So yes, the strength of an argument is entirely dependent on the state of the receiving party’s mind. But, it is also important to keep in mind that if said question is a question with an inherent assumption, opinions that do not conform to the assumption are irrelevant.