- We can outright deny the claim. Say the person who experienced the divine is lying or delusional. This is obviously problematic. Billions of people have claims of experiencing the divine, it seems unlikely that all are lying or deluded. Not impossible, certainly, but unlikely.
- We can change the scope of the claim. Rather than deny it or fully accept it, we can say the person misinterpreted a subjective experience. They thought they were experiencing something outside of themselves, but were really simply experiencing something that was a product of their own mind. This is still problematic because if still implies the person is, to some extent, delusional. Such a view is not conducive to dialogue for that reason.
- We can accept the claim, but deny that the experience was of something tangibly real or real outside of humanity. This is a bit complicated. What I mean to convey is that the divine may be something like love, stories, history, friendship, or ideas. These things are all real, but not tangibly so, and they have no existence apart from humanity.
- We can keep an open mind and neither accept or reject the claim, but be as utterly agnostic on the question as possible. This is not entirely intellectually satisfying. It is also very difficult to be truly agnostic on any claim; it is almost inevitable that we will either believe or not believe any claim we hear (and this is true of other claims besides those relating to the divine).
- We can accept the claim. This is the most conducive to dialogue, but harms our desire to be skeptical. It requires accepting something that seems to be impossible without any personal or objective evidence.
*There are people in the skeptic community who have experiences of the divine, I do not mean to deny their existence. I am using "skeptic" here to specifically refer to those who are skeptical about divine or supernatural matters.