I fully admit that I could have a bias in writing this particular post, as I fall in the liberal Christian/agnostic side of things, rather than the conservative/fundamentalist side, and thus I will see more things "wrong" with the conservative side than I will with the side I favor.
But I'm noticing in blogs I've peeked in on that a lot of debates tend to descend to an attack on a person's character. For instance, a fundamentalist will make a claim about God or the Bible. I'll rebut it, either using "logic" (as in, if we say that God is just, do the actions attributed to Him match the definition of justice?) or possibly a Bible verse that I feel disagrees with the position. The fundamentalist may respond in kind, but more often than not, it debate inevitably ends on the fundamentalist telling the liberal/agnostic/atheist to lose the sense of pride, of being unwilling to submit to God, of loving one's sin too much, and that is why the non-fundamentalist is not exactly like the fundamentalist.
My immediate reaction is usually one of frustration, because rather than stick to defending the claims, we go on the ad hominem route. How is the pride/love of sin at all relevant to discussing the claims made by both parties?
Second, the inability to divide the fundamentalist and God. Now, I understand that the fundamentalist feels that s/he is following the will of God. But to the other side, they are not disagreeing with God. They are disagreeing with what the fundamentalist has *claimed* about God. What comes across is disagreeing with the fundamentalist is the same as disagreeing with God, which is incredibly arrogant.
Third, the inability for the fundamentalist to put him/herself in another's shoes. I can understand someone who honestly feels that all non-Christians are misguided, blinded fools just stumbling their way to hell. I get that. But I truly don't think they can consider things from the viewpoint of another, since the points themselves aren't refuted. They never say "I can understand why you have a legitimate disagreement with this." No, it's a matter of the non-fundamentalist willfully suppressing the truth, or wanting to elevate him/herself over God, or something else like that.
How can a dialogue possibly go forward after that?