Thanks for responding at great lengths. I appreciate it. I am open to reading and learning about this kind of stuff. Let me check out the bolded reference. We can then have a conversation. But let me make a clarification that I am going to force anyone engaging with me to logically reconcile their views of Christianity with the supposed "low hanging fruits". I don't think it is intellectually honest to escape doing this reconciliation.You guys are making the point on behalf of others and asking them to defend it. Then when it is argued it isn't the position they hold, you don't listen to the reasoning. That is essentially where much of the discussion Sam and Jordan had broke down (although, generally, still enjoyable). I get that a lot of religious people hold these views but it is really a reflection that even many religious people haven't really wrestled with religion in an intelligible way that they can defend to themselves.
Generally, the reason why religion isn't "lol sky fairy" can't be summed up in one sentence if you want to truly convince someone. You have to actually engage with people like Peterson, and many, many others (some even atheists), to appreciate what is actually being argued or shared. I made the point earlier that perspective matters so much in these debates that it is more about willingness to listen and delve deep into a discussion than about being smart. It's why Sam, who is definitely a smart man, just doesn't get it because he keeps whittling it down to absurdism. I can say it is why myself, and many people who have re-wrestled can see Sam making these mistakes even if he is a more intelligent person than us.
When you read a lot of history and religious texts - without the perspective of reducing it to absurd literalism - you will come to appreciate why the word god itself means such a great deal - it's what all these ancient people were trying to decode in their own way. These people were not some lower level of human, we have not evolved that much, we just know more about the world now, and these ideas have come down from truly brilliant sentient beings.
I'm sure you're familiar that some even define god as something akin to gravity or some other force in nature. In some ways it is an organising mechanism for values and/or of matter. It is really hard to just sum it up as a fictional being in the sky.
It all makes much more sense when you view these stories for the metaphorical lessons they really are (IMO). I used to convince myself with "religion is just the opiate for the masses", "these people just need something to believe in", "lol, they really think Muhammad talked to god and wrote the qu'aran when he was illiterate", etc. it is only now I realise much of the dogmatism of atheism is no different to the dogmatism even in religious people.
Like all ideas we use to conceptualise our world, it is hard to keep yourself accountable because you become too accustomed to the perspective you have and what works for you. I've suggested it before but I think Peterson's biblical lecture series is a good starting point. I have heard of many of these interpretations and arguments before but it wasn't until I started listening to a lot of Peterson (and I am not suggesting he is the inventor or best proponent for these arguments) that I realised there really is a parallel between the religious truths and those truths of the natural world we reveal via science.
They're both in the pursuit of truth of a different kind and it requires intellectual and moral honesty in both realms to get to transcendental truths that last. They may never be resolved like quantum physics and classical physics, much like how we don't know where consciousness comes from, but it let's you view the world from a far more accurate perspective. I know this has started to sound preachy but I am telling you, it can help a lot in your own personal life.
PS. And yes, I agree that religions have played a significant role in shaping and progressing societies in entire history of humankind. Historical relevance of religions is not the point of my contention.