I'm just wondering in which way you are considering them to aid in "helping to not be so easily led".
Do you mean they act as mere mirror, that something you know they are wrong about and unwilling to change/adapt because they refuse to be wrong, are essentially misleading themselves, keeping themselves trapped in a box or an illusion. Or do you mean their refusal to budge acts as reality check regarding your own beliefs or position about being easily led ?
The other issue I feel is being around people too much who can't admit when they are wrong, are actually somewhat stunted in their growth. The clinging onto what they know and navigating life from that one stance comes from the ego. Being around this kind of trait to much would have a negative and limiting impact rather than aid a service to humanity. Although in saying that I see why you said that, because they do aid in a strange kind of way to help realise the limitations of ego and rigid belief structures.
At the end of the day it's as the old saying goes, everything in moderation is good for us, the extremes are what rob or limit us.
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I think they can be an aid to society in that they can make one question your own beliefs. Such as like you say, people trapped in a box, or being lead down a dangerous path such as people involved in dodgy cults.. In that respect, people who are challenging that path or belief would be a value to society by making that person reflect upon their own belief. I suppose in a way, we all get these little beliefs like programming over the years, which can cause us to get stuck in a box. But people change, society changes, every now and then people need to have their beliefs challenged so that we question these beliefs and break free from that programming. If people don't break that programming they end up running in circles all their life and get nowhere.
But like you say, moderation is key.. I havn't really made 3am phone calls btw, lol.