10. The apologist projects qualities that apply to them onto you in hopes that it will equate all parties involved. They figure that they can’t lose the argument they are in fact losing because every one is relying on, say, faith. This ultimately ends the argument in a tie...if it were true, which it’s not.
9. Questions are worded as double or triple negatives in hopes that you agree to something that could easily be misread to mean the opposite. If you discover that you’ve made an error and correct it, the apologist labels you an inconsistent flip-flopper for the rest of your debate and/or life.
8. The apologist ignores common meanings of words and applies definitions that only other apologists accept as valid. They do this without telling you what their unorthodox definitions are until pressured. This method allows them to think atheists don’t know what we are talking about because, well, we don’t know what we are talking about. It's a breach of common vernacular in favor of coded, theological jargon.
7. The Gish Gallop tactic is used in which the apologist throws out as many different lines of argument or crack-pot studies as possible. This is an admission that they are unable to rationally discuss any one topic. It’s especially apparent after you ask them to contain the conversation to a particular set of ideas and they refuse.
6. The apologist, fully aware that you don’t believe in their holy book, quotes passages from their holy book.
5. When arguing in a public forum, the apologist responds to other people’s points but ignores yours. Chances are, this is because your points are the most difficult to address and therefore those with the least flaws to exploit.
4. The apologist plays dumb about the topic of debate when you explain how it might help your argument then suddenly becomes an expert when the same topic can possibly help their argument.
3. Instead of hashing out their own ideas and beliefs, they send links in the hopes that freshly Googled internet content can do the debating for them. (Protip: if an apologist hits you with a particularly well-worded argument, search a couple sentences in Google using quotation marks. I’ve found theists copy and pasting other people’s barely relevant arguments as their own. Talk about debating by syndication.)
2. The apologist gets defensive, flustered or angry. When ad hominems start flying from someone who normally preaches “turn the other cheek” you know that you’ve struck upon something unsettling to the apologist. Cognitive dissonance can be very frustrating.
1. You’re debating from a position founded on reality against someone who relies on assumptions of magic, the supernatural, and the divine.