It may have all been put in my mind by a good friend's wife, who has known me for 40 years and yet announced during dinner that people who could not ''feel'' the presence of god were not as good as those who could.
is crazy talk. I’m quite creative but couldn’t conjure anything of that magnitude. Emotions are happy, sad, embarrassed, frustrated, angry, jealous, etc. Feeling (that is “experiencing”) the presence of God is an entirely different construct. I think it would be better defined as an (intangible) event with which one (as in some) has an emotion associated.
I’ve never considered atheism, but might just to spite her.