I get into discussions with a lot of religious believers and after a while I tend to hear the same arguments and the same “conversion” stories over and over again. This can often give the appearance that all Christians are the same. But they aren’t.
When I address an audience usually through writing, I use generalized terms. But when I get into one-on-one conversations, I actively try to understand where the person is coming from. I try to see them as individual people. Even though I hear similar stories to their story all the time, I try to treat them like I am hearing it for the first… or at least the second time.
I think nuance is important. I also think it is important to view the person I am discussing religion with as if they are being honest and genuine until evidence to the contrary surfaces. I expect them to have some respect for reasonable discourse and when they don’t, I will point out to them that they do in every other avenue of life.
But there does come a point when reasonable discourse is clearly not happening. Then I have to consider moving forward. But not before I leave them with some stuff to think about. People hate to lose the discussion, but often times if you give them the facts and some more info
space, they will change their position on their own in time.