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I am not sure when to use "look at" and when to use "look to".

Here's an example.

We looked to the early church and to the Scriptures and to the poor to find it.

They have taught us that we cannot look at the sick without looking at what is causing the sickness

Can anyone explain the difference between these two?
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Hi Solara. Welcome to English Forums.
solaraThey have taught us that we cannot look at the sick without looking at what is causing the sickness
It sounds quite right to me. "To look" collocates with "at". It means it often goes with that and it's considered normal in terms of language. I advise you check dictionary. For example:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/look

"Look to" doesn't sound good to me. Though, it's possible to use it in sentences if meaning is "to gaze at someone" and some others (meaning #30). But your part -
solarawithout looking at what is causing the sickness
makes it senseless.
I use both the phrases look at and look to. Both phrases mean to direct one's sight toward, but I reserve look to to suggest that I am seeking something by looking, such as information or someone's approval. For example, if I look at a crossing guard, I might just be staring at her or his brightly colored vest, because I'm bored and just want to people-watch. But if I look to the crossing guard, this suggest that I'm waiting for her or him to give me a signal to proceed. Look to implies a source of something (e.g. information, an encouraging simile). Look at is more general.
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Consider these:
She looks good! = She posseses attractive appearance.
He is looking at her = his attention is focused on her
He is looking to buy rent a house next the subway station. = Looking to - means planning, intent, or a desire to do something.
solaraWe looked to the early church and to the Scriptures and to the poor to find it.
You look to someone or something for guidance or advice or to have a model for how to proceed.
solaraThey have taught us that we cannot look at the sick without looking at what is causing the sickness
You look at someone or something (direct your attentive gaze upon them) in order simply to see them or examine them visually.

CJ
"Look to" means to "rely upon" - an athiest might say: "Do not look to an unseen God, believe in yourself and your abilities!"

"Look at" means both to look at an object with one's eyes, as well as to examine an idea or proposal further: "Let's look at the details more closely, before we commit to such an expensive plan."
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That 3rd example has nothing to do with this topic. In this case, it is "look + infinitive", while the question pertains to "look + preposition". Another poster got it right - "look to + noun" means to rely on that noun-thing.
They have taught us that we cannot look at the sick without looking at what is causing the sickness I would cahnge this phrase to -> They had taught us that we can't look at the sick without looking at the cause of the sickness. That makes more sense.
In the song "I Don't Know', from Ozzy Osbourne, he sings " people look to me say is the end near?" So they are looking for some response
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