A few days back, I got into a long, drawn out battle with a now-former Twitter follower over, of all things, aliens. It all started when I mocked that ancient aliens guy with the bad hair, and he responded. I got a torrent of hate, as is customary when celebrities publicly respond to their critics. Amongst the remarks pointing out I'm Canadian (as if that's an insult) and misspelled insults directed at my intelligence was one of my own followers. She claimed that atheism led her to believe in aliens because evolution was so unlikely. When I pointed out that there was no compelling evidence of extraterrestrial life forms existing, despite the high likelihood of there being life elsewhere in the universe. This is actually called the Fermi Paradox, and I even shared the Wikipedia link to it with her. She called it "skeptic bullshit" or something along those lines, and then said it wasn't worth it to talk to me.
The fact of the matter is, critical thinking is a much more important thing to promote than atheism. Yes, critical thinking, when applied to religion, should lead to atheism, but not all atheists come to atheism by thinking critically. In fact, far too often, those who claim to think critically are anything but critical thinkers. I've been told that, as a skeptic, I should reject the "official story" on 9/11, the Holocaust and other such things. This is, of course, because people mistake "critical thinking" with "cynicism". That is not the case by a long shot. Critical, or skeptical thinking simply means evaluating all information in a systematic, purposeful and efficient manner. It's the best way to find the truth, something you religious people should care about. After all, truth is the only god there is, the only thing worth worshiping. It's the only remedy for bullshit.
Now, not everyone who doesn't think critically will fall prey to such lunacy as conspiracy theories. What it does do is make you easy prey for scam artists. This includes religions, political parties on the left and the right, and practitioners of "alternative medicine" (who come in two flavours: the deludedwho are spreading their delusion and straight up con artists) as well as operators of pyramid schemes/multi-level marketing and other such scams. Not that anyone's perfect, of course. For example, noted skeptic Michael Shermer has fallen for the political cult known as American libertarianism, which isn't really that far from anarchism. However, it does make you more able to avoid such mental traps.
The bottom line is, if you read this blog or follow me on Twitter because of my atheism, do not be offended if I disagree with your other views. If you hold any views that cannot hold up to scrutiny, it's best to abandon them. If you're not quite sure how to properly think critically, and even if you are, you should click here to read an excellent guide to critical thinking.