I was reading some comments on an article, and I finally realized where the flaw in my debate is.
Believers roll out Stalin and Pol Pot.
My response would be that atheism did not drive their ideology. There is no reason to kill for atheism.
That's the flaw. It's pretty much a value-free description. Atheism is only the disbelief in gods.
So I will now always focus on arguing for secular humanism to make the values clear.
As I said in my own comment, secular humanism takes all of the good things from religions (which are only good because humans are capable of good and they made the religions) and leaves the bullshit behind. Sure, we can do good with religion. We're human after all, but we can do better without it because we won't be tribal and hateful about it, and we can use our resources and energy only on the things that actually work instead of diluting them with bead counting and preaching. And our goals can be more pure with the understanding that this is our shot, instead of draining our urgency with false stories that if we don't get it right, maybe we will have a better chance elsewhere.
Yeah--that's my plan moving forward.
That is all.