I hear this kind of thing all the time these days from people who are smart enough to know better. "What I think," they might say, "is that everyone goes to heaven, and all our pets will be there too."
"That's interesting," I respond, not a big fan of the Wishful Thinking School of Theology. "What's your source of authority?"
"Well, I don't know -- it's just what I believe."
"What is your source of authority?" is really a great question. So is "Who exactly are you trusting for the truth on this issue?"
Now that I finally do know better than to trust my own thought processes -- which, after all, operate without comprehensive knowledge of the universe we occupy -- I find it fascinating that this is the ONE area we believe we can figure out ourselves, without even a shred of outside assistance.
We can’t organize our possessions these days without calling in an expert. We can't prune a lilac or tune up a lawn mower or even properly fertilize the grass without at some point consulting someone who knows more than we do. We don’t even know what we like in terms of style without taking a look at what the authorities are pushing this year.
And yet we take the most enormous questions of all and think we can figure it out just by spending a few minutes thinking things through.
Sadly, I don't recall anyone ever challenging me on this premise. It might have forced me to question my reliance on my own brainpower. It's certainly worth a try with the skeptics in your sphere of influence.