$5 Million Grant Awarded for Study of Immortality

Via UCR Today:

UC Riverside philosopher John Berkley has been awarded a $5 million grant by a private foundation to study immortality, near-death experiences and other related issues:

Anecdotal reports of glimpses of an afterlife abound, but there has been no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences, or of how belief in immortality influences human behavior. That will change with the award of a three-year, $5 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. It is the largest grant ever awarded to a humanities professor at UC Riverside, and one of the largest given to an individual at the university.

“People have been thinking about immortality throughout history. We have a deep human need to figure out what happens to us after death,” said Fischer, the principal investigator of The Immortality Project. “Much of the discussion has been in literature, especially in fantasy and science fiction, and in theology in the context of an afterlife, heaven, hell, purgatory and karma. No one has taken a comprehensive and sustained look at immortality that brings together the science, theology and philosophy.”

Read more at UCR Today.

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  • http://twitter.com/majnunB B€

    no such thing as immortality in a finite body…everybody dies…now go from there. 

  • MadHierophant

    The only immortality is being a story. All you have to do is be so famous or infamous that people will talk about you forever. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

      That’s funny, I was thinking about that a couple of days ago. It’s almost like… what kind of immortality would you like? Having a child or continuing on bloodlines is one way, creating art another, scientific discoveries yet again. Each has a different flavour.

      There was a wonderful scene about that in Ghost in the Shell II, where Batou and Togusa have a conversation with the lady running the analysis on the “robot” involved in the crime at the beginning of the film.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Could I get a few million to study mortality, please4?
    I promise to give a full report before I go .

  • Harryheck

    as much as it totally sucks, death is the completion of “being.”  death is what makes us human.  remove death from the equation, and we’re something else entirely.  negate death and our culture and moral imperatives (not religion, per se) drastically changes–perhaps for the worse.

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