Originally Posted by Bear304inc
I respect the opinions of most here but have to ask" critical thinking leads to religion? " REALLY? ?
Please keep in mind this is just my greatly over simplified opinion (I know better than to even mention religion, but I just can't help myself).
Humility is the basis of most religions and religious teachings, i.e the imperfection of man and the perfection of God. To believe in most religions requires that one accept that we are not perfect. That is humility.
Humility is also the most important virtue for critical thinking. "I am certain of nothing but my own ignorance." or more commonly quoted as "I know nothing." That is also humility. It is humility that allows us to admit that we don't know. Once we admit that we don't know we are free to ask questions and then try to find answers. Which by the way is why us men won't stop and ask for directions. That requires us to admit that we don't know, and we don't like doing that.
One could argue that our ability to feel empathy would cause us to have morals without religion (and many atheists have used that argument). That maybe true, but humility is generally much harder to come by than empathy. I personally believe that religion is the primary way we learn humility? That humility then enables critical thinking.
As for critical thinking leading to religion, as already pointed out we can logically understand how beneficial religion is to society and to ourselves as individuals. Yes, religion does place limits on our behavior, or accepted behavior, but I think that having limits on our behavior is ultimately beneficial? This belief is in opposition to the notion of complete individual freedom that took over in the 60's, and which seems to still be very popular. Never the less our actions have consequences, and to exercise complete individual freedom generally has really bad consequences. It is critical thinking that allows us to realize that our actions have consequences and that we need to have limits on our behavior (ask Hendrix, Morison, and Joplin about that). Once we realize that limits on our behavior is a good thing, we can see the need for religion in society and that leads us to religion.
Critical thinking and religion do not have to be mutually exclusive.
And again that is just my opinion for whatever it is worth.