Inescapably, living a human life entails membership in a variety of human groups. And such membership almost always generates sociocentric thought. This holds independently of whether we are speaking of nation, culture, profession, religion, family, or peer group. We find ourselves participating in groups before we are aware of ourselves as living beings. We find ourselves in groups in virtually every setting in which we function as persons. Sociocentric thought is the natural by-product of uncritically internalizing social concepts and values. To the extent that we remain sociocentric, we cannot become independent thinkers, nor can we develop a genuine conscience. The tools of critical thinking enable us to achieve perspective upon the social and cultural bases of our day-to-day thinking. It enables us to judge those bases with standards and criteria that free us from the intellectual confinement of one-dimensional thought. It enables us to locate concepts, standards, and values that transcend our culture and society. It enables us to develop a genuine conscience. It enables us to think within and beyond the social groups to which we belong.