“I Feel God in this Chili’s Tonight”; Or, Why We Should be Skeptical of Religious Experience

The Non-Alchemist

Religious experience is an important aspect in the life of faith for many people. Individuals from every religion make claims regarding what they take “to involve an encounter with a transcendent divine reality”, and it often fills adherents with confidence that the contents of their beliefs are true [1]. There are two questions that arise from this state of affairs:

  1. Can such experiences ground a person’s religious convictions with incorrigible certainty?
  2. If they can’t establish this level of certainty, how much weight should a person grant them?

I will be limiting my post to a discussion of why the answer to question one is no, though there are other resources available if one wanted to know how I think we should answer question two [2]. Taking the opposite position, many believers indicate that the answer to question one is yes. Consider the following statement from one Christian apologist:

The way…

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