Now, when most people see a psychic on television who claims to speak to that dead they regard it with at least a fair degree of skepticism.
There are many ways to reach the conclusion that it’s not real. There’s no evidence, it’s inconsistent with what we already know, or there may be outright evidence of the deception.
But the quickest way to tell that such acts are fraudulent is that people who really believe they see or hear are the dead are much more likely to be in a mental hospital on medication than on television.
Does this mean that hearing or seeing the dead is any more real? No, but there is a difference. The person who really believes they hear or see the dead is not being fraudulent, they are not carrying out a deception.
Now, this may seem like a minor distinction, if neither provides evidence to the existence of such things, but it does have implications.
The biggest of which, and perhaps more than a little disconcerting, is that it leaves no possible case whereby religious experience, isn’t either fraudulent in some capacity, or the sign or symptom of disease.
And even if there is no evidence for such things, it’s still not an easy conclusion to rest with.