Does the current debate on religion v. atheism actually have value?

My @Quora answer to Is there anything creative in the argumentation between a theist and an atheist or is it simply …

There’s not really anything new in the ages old argument between theists and atheists.

It’s all been heard before; from (in the US) Thomas Paine and his “Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.” to the modern discussion of today it’s all been said; hundreds of thousands of times over. Granted the language is a bit different and much less formal, but the ideas underneath are all repeats.

The problem here is that some folks are comfortable with not being certain, and lots of folks aren’t at all comfortable with that lack of certitude.

Here is one core change I’m seeing on Quora, and that is that the “sane” (IMO only) theists and atheists are starting to talk a bit about the fact that if We mind our OWN morals and lives instead of minding those of others; there just might be a place where there’s room for everyone.

Having dealt with zealot nut jobs quite a bit IRL as a younger man, I’m not at all sure that there is such a space to be created in our society, yet having met some truly amazing folks who happen to be theists, I truly hope there is such a space that We can create together.

The key here would be to approach each other as if we were unmet friends in simple curiosity about each other and where our beliefs coincide. The value here isn’t the source of the belief, but the similarities.
This often is not what happens today, yet I’m fairly sure it’s what Jesus was taking precise aim at with his admonition to “be as the little children are” in our lives.

Can we? I don’t know. Can we do better? Yup. Easily. Start listening to understand each other and seek (even celebrate) the common ground. (as little children do). Focus on the places where our beliefs match even though our sources for them seem polar opposites.