When you say
"A clear argument has to lay out an inferential pathway, starting from what the audience already knows or accepts. If you don't recurse far enough, you're just talking to yourself."
this strongly reminds me of what it is like to try talking, as an atheist, with a christian about any religious issue. I have concluded years ago that I just shouldn't try anymore, that reasonable verbal exchange is not possible...
I suppose that I should recurse... but how and how far where I am not sure.