The economy is in the ditch, but the Templeton Foundation keeps handing out money in units of a million to finance “research” into various wings of religion.
Millions of people fervently believe in an afterlife. John Martin Fischer, a philosopher at the University of California at Riverside, is not one of them.
But Mr. Fischer does see the subject as ripe for academic research, and on Tuesday the John Templeton Foundation awarded him a windfall to make that happen—$5-million for a multidisciplinary investigation of human immortality.
It’s a great pity that atheism has no Templeton Foundation. I wouldn’t mind being handed 5 million bucks to investigate secular ethics or the roots of sexism or where to find the best gelato.
The Immortality Project will invite research proposals from philosophers, theologians, and scientists. Stressing interdisciplinary projects, it will award grants ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. There will also be two conferences and a Web site.
Research proposals from philosophers, theologians, and scientists. Why theologians? Since when do theologians do research? I understand how historians of religion and biblical scholars can do research, but how can theologians? How do you do research into something that is spiritual, metaphysical, not there to be investigated?
Can I have a grant to look into it?