We hope to start the structured dialogue some time this week, on a new website dedicated to this project: http://atheistskepticdialogue.com
The process will be moderated by a team that includes people from both perceived ‘sides’ to keep the dialogue constructive and on-topic.
For each agenda item, we will start with two opening statements, that will be published simultaneously, one each from a person associated with either of the perceived ‘sides’.
We might also have input from a person active in atheist or skeptic advocacy who has not been involved in any of the rifts.
When these opening statements have been published, other participants will comment on them, and indicate to what extent these statements reflect their own opinions.
The people who published the opening statements will then respond both to each other and to the discussion.
We will repeat this until we have reached as close to a consensus as we can attain. This will include identifying areas where we agree to differ.
We will also learn as we go along how to fine-tune or adapt the structure for future agenda items.
Reminder of Agenda
1. How we can work together on core issues on which we broadly agree, including promoting reason, critical thinking, science, skepticism, atheism and secularism in the real world.
2. How we can balance the right to freedom of expression and robust debate about ideas and issues, with the desire to not unnecessarily hurt people who disagree with us about those ideas.
3. How and to what extent our various communities and groups should have ethical and equality and social justice issues on our internal and external agendas.
4. How we can each, as individuals, lead unilaterally by example by behaving reasonably and charitably and constructively, while others are not doing so.
5. Any other issues that people believe are important to address.
Spirit of the dialogue
Ultimately the outcomes of this dialogue cannot be enforced on anybody, so I hope that everyone who takes part will lead by example by creating a constructive dialogue that other reasonable people will want to voluntarily choose to get involved with.