Originally Answered: Does being devoutly religious show a lack of critical thought, or does just show a stronger capacity for faith
I think it can be either. To a sane competent person with a firm grasp or reality, and a healthy understanding of science, religion can bolster a person's life. it gives you a sense of community. Lets be honest here- there’s no way of knowing for certain what happens after we die, we can only put forth what we believe. Thats as true for the most devout catholic as it is for the most die hard atheist. There's no proof one way or the other, so we can only hold to what we believe, logical or not, and continue our lives. I admire greatly those few but wonderful Christians out there who hold their beliefs dear to them, but are able to do so without tearing down the beliefs of another.
On the converse side, we live in a greedy, and imperfect world. A world where if you are not right, you are wrong, and thus less of a person. We are a fearful lot. Many people feel threatened by the beliefs of others. This causes them to cling more tightly to their own faith, and lash out at others. To someone who's believed all their life there is NOTHING scarier than standing over the abyss of disbelief. Coming to the realization that what they hold isn’t fact but hypothesis. that they may in fact be alone, and even more terribly, that someday they will die, and just cease to be. That everything they've ever loved in essence means and is nothing. So they shy away from it. Fill their heads SO full of religious fervor that no doubt can creep in. This makes them terribly intolerant, and more than a little dangerous. We feel the need to fight for our beliefs whatever there may be. If there were absolute religious tolerance, what would we kill each other over?