While it’s true that most people end up dropping the grips of religion and god beliefs through skepticism and critical thinking, not all atheists are skeptics or critical thinkers. But we really do need to apply skepticism and critical thinking to all areas of life, not just religion.
As D.J. Grothe, President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, said in a talk recently, “Skepticism and critical thinking has to be the foundation of atheism, humanism, free thinking, etc.” Otherwise, we still have people in these groups falling for scams, being fooled by conspiracy theories, haunted houses, flying saucers, psychic powers, etc. Additionally, skepticism and critical thinking helps us understand science topics better, and prevent us from getting caught up in media hype.
Everyone is better off with a healthy dose of skepticism, and strong critical thinking skills. Here are some resources to help you get started:
- The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce… by Michael Shermer
- A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves by Robert Burton
- The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
- Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer and Stephen Jay Gould
Use the Contact tab if there are links to organizations, books, etc. regarding skepticism or critical thinking that you would like me to add.