Critical Thinking and Religion – Oil and Water?

Are religion and critical thinking compatible?

Critical thinking is based on the logical process of “P → Q” or “P” implies “Q.”

  • “P” is your premise or hypothesis from which you draw a conclusion, “Q.”
  • If “P” is true, then “Q” will most likely be true.
  • If “P” is not true, then “Q” will be either true or false – you can’t tell. Or, it can be anything you want it to be.

In critical thinking, “P” is based on EVIDENCE – verified evidence that is true.

In religion, “P” is based on FAITH – not verified by fact, but by hope. This may come from a holy book such as the Bible, Torah, or Koran.

Unverified information can lead to faulty conclusions. One might have strong beliefs that were gained through being taught as a child or listening so someone persuasive who causes one to believe what is said is true.

There are a lot of religions around the world, and in each one there are firm believers that what they believe is true.

But they can’t all be right . . . . if one religion is true, then others will not be true.

So it’s like oil and water – critical thinking and religion don’t seem to mix.

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