[quote="Jmd96, post:1, topic:289391"]
Is religious experience good grounds for basing belief in a particular religion?
That depends on what you mean by the term. If you mean feelings, I'd say no because feelings can deceive us. If you mean a road to Damascus, struck blind and laying in the road experience, then perhaps yes. God gives us experiences of himself to lead us to the truth, but they aren't truth in and of themselves--at least most of the time.
I've had what could be interpreted as God speaking to me within the Christian religious tradition. But how can that form the basis of my Christian belief if people in other religions base their belief on religious experiences in those traditions? It would seem to prove that religious experience is a completely subjective phenomenon, rather than one that can be objectively trusted.
God is not bound by anything and can speak to anyone, anywhere at any time. His truth is true no matter who receives it, but all such experiences are meant to direct us to him who is the truth. It's not the religion that dictates such experiences, but rather God desiring to lead that person to seek for him. And Scripture tells us that God is the rewarder of those who seek him. He wishes everyone be part of his Church. All who truly desire him and seek for him can know him because all who are doing so are following what Christ told us to do, even if they don't understand that. Jesus' death redeemed the whole world, not just those who believe in him. Salvation, though, is only in Christ as taught by the Church:
Possible salvation of non-Christians: #s 846-848.
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338
I ask this because I've come to doubt my Christian beliefs on the basis of religious pluralism throughout the world and the fact that I was Christian mostly because it's how I was raised. If my religious views are founded on assumptions and not evidence or something objectively trustworthy, then I have some serious re-thinking to do.
The Catholic faith is not based on anyone's assumptions but on cold, hard historical facts--the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. As St. Paul put it: "If Christ be not raised from the dead our faith is in vain." We don't believe just because our parents taught us. We believe because it is the truth. Jesus Christ was God's final revelation to man. Jesus founded his Church and commissioned it to take the Gospel into all the world--a mission it has been doing since 33 AD and continues to do on every continent. Jesus promised his Church would never fail and that it would be led into all truth by the Holy Spirit. These are the reasons we believe.