I ran into this article the other day on cracked.com. It’s normally a humor site, but this article by David Wong is actually extremely perceptive and intelligent about unraveling the atheist/believer conflict. I highly recommend it as required reading for anyone attempting to debate religion.
One of the greatest religious thinkers and debaters of any age was my patron Thomas Aquinas. His particular strength was his ability to put himself into the minds of his opponents. He could understand, and explain their positions even better than they could themselves.
People are much more willing to listen to someone who they believe truly understands them. On the contrary, feeling misunderstood is one of the greatest obstacles to communication – especially in a contentious situation. David shows a remarkable ability in this article to understand the mindset of both sides of the equation.
The link is here