Does religion encourage people to stop questioning the world around them, thus stunting their intellectual development? Especially within Christianity, if one is led to believe that the Bible is the ultimate guide to life, how can one evolve intellectually?
No, but dogma does.
Since you are basically asking about Christianity, and Christianity is a dogmatic religion (i.e. there are required beliefs) then, yes, in some of its forms I think it can be intellectually-limiting, especially if you think that belief trumps behavior.
I'd like to point out, something that's usually lost on most English-speakers (follow this thread and you'll see), that Christianity is not synonymous with religion, and there are many religions which are not dogmatic.
If someone is convinced they have found the one and only "Truth," then of course, there is no need to look any further. This is true for all religions, but also for those without religion. We all perceive things from the perspective of our own belief system. A religious believer and a sceptic could experience the same remarkable situation, and the believer would see it as absolute proof of a miracle, whilst the sceptic will understand it to be nothing more than an understood natural phenomena, for which there are statistical formulae to explain it. The brain sets down patterns as a result of always perceiving things in the same way. It then becomes almost impossible to see things in any other way. If something is perceived, which does not fit the normal pattern the brain is used to, this is called a revelation. This can either lead to a new way of looking at things, or it may be so alien, that the brain rejects it and continues as it did before. The problem with perceiving reality through the brain, which is the only way we can perceive anything, is that it is dependant upon the faulty pattens which have been laid down.
Quantum Physics has shown that matter in its most reducible acts differently depending upon the brain which is perceiving it, almost as if there is a connection between mind and matter. This might explain why different brains only see the evidence they expect to see.
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