I have gotten into a number of debates with “New Atheists” over the years on the internet. Some of them (A surprising number of Swedes) have been fruitful, many of them (mostly with Americans) have not. This seldom has to do with the result of the debate. It’s apparent at the outset of these debates that its very very unlikely either one of us will change our basic opinion. Dialogue and debate are their own rewards - done well, they build understanding and respect between people with differing views. As Parker Palmer writes, “In the company of strangers, we can speak our minds aloud and listen as others speak theirs; in dialogue we may discover a common good in the midst of our diversity; and we have a chance to raise our voices to a level of audibility that none of us could achieve alone.”  However, a number of these dialogues have “gone south.” The reasons for this are so common, I have created this document as a reference for use in further debates.