Pumpkin, you haven't presented any evidence at all to back up this idea that religion promotes critical thinking, you've merely stated it. I've presented you with statistics that show the religious are not as good of critical thinkers as the non-religious, but I'll freely admit that what I've said doesn't conclusively prove anything (your argument against IQ is well-taken, but you didn't say anything to address the prominence of non-religiousness among scientists). I asked you for passages because, if religion does promote critical thinking, then it must be in the dogma somewhere.
Religion presents its followers with what it claims is absolute truth and any the only questioning they tolerate and encourage is of outsiders, other beliefs, and anything that threatens the religion. Want examples of the church silencing people, discouraging free-thought, and critical thinking to back up my thesis? Here goes:
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
-- I Corinthians 14:34-35 (NIV)
If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, and will not listen to them when they discipline him, they shall seize him and bring him before the elders. Then they shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is immoral and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be AFRAID.
— Deuteronomy 21:18-21
... all who are under the yoke of slavery ... who have believing masters ... must serve all the better since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. If any one teaches otherwise ... he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy..., which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind...
-- I Timothy 6:1-5 (RSV)
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived, it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
— 1 Timothy 2:11-14
“If you refuse to obey all the terms of this law that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the LORD your God, then the LORD will overwhelm both you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick. He will bring against you all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and they will claim you. The LORD will bring against you every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. Though you are as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the LORD your God. "Just as the LORD has found great pleasure in helping you to prosper and multiply, the LORD will find pleasure in destroying you, until you disappear from the land you are about to enter and occupy. For the LORD will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! There among those nations you will find no place of security and rest. And the LORD will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. Your lives will hang in doubt. You will live night and day in fear, with no reason to believe that you will see the morning light. In the morning you will say, 'If only it were night!' And in the evening you will say, 'If only it were morning!' You will say this because of your terror at the awesome horrors you see around you. Then the LORD will send you back to Egypt in ships, a journey I promised you would never again make. There you will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will want to buy you.”---- Deuteronomy 28:58-68 NLT
The entire bible is a book of dos and don'ts, constantly warning that the punishment for intellectual disobedience is an eternity in hell. That certainly doesn't encourage you to consider "what if I'm wrong?" It commands you to believe, stacks the odds against you if you don't, and otherwise tells you how to live your life in accordance with its message.
To be fair, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are amongst the worst religions when it comes to that. Buddhism, in its almost-philosophical form, doesn't really speak ill of critical thought (though there are denominations that do). Dogma, by its very nature, encourages thoughtlessness and blind obedience to supposed holy texts.
I'd like to repeat once more. Correlation is not causation, you've shown no evidence whatsoever that the bible encourages critical thought (and I'd argue that you haven't really established correlation either, you've given examples, not statistics). If you want to claim that religion promotes critical thinking, you need to actually back up that claim.
As Noelle stated, I'm not saying all religious people are incapable of critical thought, merely that religion does not encourage critical thought. This doesn't mean that religious people can't think critically.
Also, Kate, different kinds of proof are required for different claims. If someone claims, "religious people cannot think critically" all you have to do is show them one instance of a religious person claiming critically, and your proposition has been disproven. If you're going to claim that religion promotes critical thought, from that you can derive a testable implication that therefore on average religious people utilize critical thought more often than the non-religious (because its promoted by their religion, which the non-religious do not have). She hasn't shown a shred of evidence to back that up. She's only given a few examples of people who do think critically that are religious, that's not proof that religion promotes critical thought. I can give you a few examples of clowns that happen to be male, that doesn't mean that every clown is male.
During the ~dark ages~ the monks did ~not~ have power over the masses, it was anarchy and warlords more or less reined, fortified monasteries existed - as when people were starving or their warlords want to these places were assaulted. Being assaulted by the masses isn't having control over them, reasons - most monks group objective unlikely included being attacked.
Monks in the dark ages didn't typically seek power over others they were solitary. Medieval times onwards for papal orders - different story. The ~monasteries~ and ~nunneries~ were the only places one could become literate. Times were tough, being part of the order guaranteed a more likelihood of getting food and having an education. Many who joined would have been simply academically inclined and accepted the monastery's conditions as the price to pay to have such an option during "dark times"... and have any chance of living beyond 20 or so.
There's a reason that the dark ages are also referred to as Christendom. Religion held great power over the masses during that period of time. But you'll notice that I did not claim anywhere that the monks were the wielders of power.
If religion teaches people to cling to their beliefs, no religions would teach anything as the peoples current beliefs (whatever they were) would already perfectly suit the "religion" in question.
You have a point, I misspoke. In the case of people who have already accepted their dogma, they teach people to cling to it. In the case of people who haven't, they teach people to convert to it. But in most cases the former is what they spend most of their time doing because in most religions parents are encouraged to teach their children about the religion and instruct them in it before
the child's higher reasoning develops, so that they accept it uncritically.
Unlikely Jude. Typically People punish people, Individuals and groups subjective "causes for a religion" have been used as justifications of punishments. But Religions do not on their own. Books containing a new religion which is not read or known to people seldom manifest powers that punish people in statistically repeatable manner which someone like your self subscribes to needing for it to exist in feasibility. Treating your sentences literally implies religion even without books (perhaps a perspective one has) have supernatural powers of punishing people on their own without any other contributing natural forces - and this force is one that you beleive and others should do.
You clearly know I wasn't claiming that the religion itself, the very concept of that belief, is punishing people. I was arguing that the institutions of the religion punish people, namely the Vatican in the example I gave, for questioning. But your point is well taken. It is a good idea to separate the institutions from the texts themselves, but in making such an argument you have also nullified all of Pumpkin's examples, because she's named institutions and people, not the religion.
As for Googling and using search engines, this highlights a problem for debate. People type a word, find something that looks important and plaster it onto the message board. They do not look at the credentials of the article, do not consider the sources and don’t look at the knowledge.
Before selecting the specific source to cite I read several articles on IQ and atheism, a few of which I tossed out because I recall reading the study at the time (such as the atheism/male/liberalism study which was linked to in On Topic a few months back) and thinking that they were flawed or not particularly strong/conclusive. Not everyone throws up an article at random without verifying it.