The majority of conflict within any sufficiently complex debate originates from semantics related to the core terms, e.g. atheist, agnostic, liberal, conservative. The primary goal of one wishing to have a productive discussion should be to isolate this problem before beginning.
One method of doing this is to identify the loaded concepts, and to decompress them into their simple and easy to communicate ideas. During the course of the discussion, take care to substitute the fully expanded descriptions of your beliefs rather using the loaded and encapsulated terms that you think summarizes those concepts.
This way, you’re more likely to identify true disagreement, and, thus, a productive debate. ::