These are the things that people often attribute to the supernatural, and it can be hard to convince them otherwise. But there are perfectly reasonable explanations to people seeing things when they die, and ‘feeling God’s presence’ when praying.
To start with I’ll discuss near death experiences, when people die and say that they’ve been to Heaven. They often say that they’ve seen dead relatives, white lights and/or religious figures. This does not mean that there is a God. One of the reasons why is because everyone sees something slightly different, a Muslim would see Allah, a Christian would see Jesus, and some people see nothing at all. How can one religion be right if everyone is having different visions? Perhaps the answer is very simple; they’re all wrong. Or at least these visions are pointless. The brain is very active in death, the circulation of oxygen stops and carbon dioxide fills the bloodstream, which provokes these visions, feelings and vivid dreams often experienced. Whenever a religious person brings up near death experiences in a debate I often counter it by saying something along the lines of ‘if a Muslim told you that they had died and seen Allah, would you believe them? if not, why do you expect me to believe the stories of Christians dying and seeing God?’
The next thing I want to discuss is personal experiences. Most commonly in the form of meditation or prayer. When people meditate or pray they often report either a feeling of being one with the universe, or the feeling of the presence of a supernatural being. This can also be explained with science. During these activities you often undergo a period of time when there is either an increase or decrease in activity in the frontal lobe area of the brain. If there is an increase you will experience the presence of another being, whereas if there is a decrease then you will experience a feeling of peacefulness.
Of course not every personal experience is testable, observable or even explainable. We have good ideas about hallucinations, visions and brain activity, but it is not always possible to answer every question. But just because you think you saw a floating guy with wings does not mean that the Bible is true and accurate. That would be jumping to conclusions a bit, don’t you think? For all you know you could have suffered temporal lobe epilepsy, which is a possible cause of extreme hallucination.
Be sure to follow my blog to keep updated on new posts, and check out my website, I have lots of posts on topics such as the meaning of life, pascals wager, prophecies, fallacies and more.