Suppose you’re an atheist by nature, liking facts, science, things having explanations that making sense, occam’s razor, all that. And further suppose that your mother (or other close relative or friend) has the properties of 1) being severely religious, to the degree that she can (calmly) cite personal experience on the order of dreams, feeling presences, hearing voices, having visions, etc, and 2) being otherwise quite normal-seeming, practical, and rational.
It seems to me that you’ve got two choices:
- decide that dear mummy is a certifiable loon, or
- contemplate the thermostat settings for your anticipated afterlife.
If you don’t have the natural inclination or historical record to think your theistic relative is unbalanced, what then? And please, let’s stick with the atheist approach here. I’m not looking to be told I’m a recalcitrant twit who should just cave in and have faith.