He is simply saying that you should not bring a lollipop to a knife fight. Verbal confrontation and physical confrontation are very different. Trying to educate your opponent might work in a discussion on the merits some technical issue but will only serve to further provoke that drunk guy in the bar that wants to smash your face in.
For some of us this lesson is hard to learn. But if we die because we did not learn it, it is the ultimate game over - you cant retry with a different perspective to win the argument, you lost. This changes the risk/reward scenario and being "nice" will not cut it. You will need to do everything in your power to prevent such irrevocable loss, including those things you would prefer not to do.