Dan Kahan graciously responded to my post about Hindu doctors who believe in astrology (of which there are many I assure you!):
The Pakistani Dr leaves nonacceptance “at home”; that is, he *uses* knowledge of evolutionary science to achieve the ends that are most effectively promoted by that knowledge, and uses nonacceptance for the ends that are part of his religious identity and that in fact are not practically in conflict w/ anything he does as a professional.
If Indian Drs believe in astrology at home, that’s fine (although they might end missing out on a great used-car deal, no?).
But if there are Indian Drs who make medical decisions based on astrology, that would not be analogous to what the Pakinstani Dr (and Kentucky Farmer) are up to.
Is that what Smith has in mind when she says “it could also be maintained that … [scholars and scientists] are obliged to act in accord with the knowledge they have of the positive value of religious ideas and practices…”? I’m guessing not. But if so, then not only is it very different from cognitive dualism”; it is also something that is very much more open to moral criticism.
As I suggested in my response, I would question what it means to ‘use’ evolution or Newtownian Mechanics. I’m skeptical doctors ‘use’ either topic. But nonetheless, I get what Dan is saying, and I greatly appreciate his response. As I’ve said before, these distinctions matter greatly. How the Pakistanic doctor ‘uses’ evolution should affect how we think about him. Ditto for how the Hindu doctor ‘uses’ Hindu astrology.
So the larger question: Is it important for people ‘think scientifically’ all the time? Why not think scientifically when it matters (e.g. practicing medicine) and think the way you want in your personal life (e.g. Hindu astrology)? What’s the harm in that approach/