Critical Thinking, Religion

Templeton Foundation to Spend $3 Million To “Understand” Why People Don’t Believe in Bronze-Age Myths

Although the title of this post is my satirical parody, this is actually a serious question being posed by The Templeton Foundation.  “Understanding Unbelief” is the name of the “study”.  Read about it here

From reading the description, it sounds like a project, the purpose of which, is to categorize unbelievers based on “psychological and sociological” phenomenon.  The Templeton Foundation wants to know how other beliefs (about religion or the existential)  inform their unbelief and how those unbeliefs vary across groups and subcultures.
Sounds a little flawed to me from the outset.  This is simply my own opinion and I welcome challenges to it, but I don’t consider any other beliefs that I have about anything else to inform my atheism or “unbelief”.  It is simply a matter of examining the texts and claims of religion and finding that they are simply unbelievable.  They are completely irrational and illogical and can’t be believed by anyone who considers them with any objectivity and common sense.  I can’t bring myself to believe in talking snakes, in people who fly around on winged horses, in people who rise from the dead, and the need to create a race (humans) sick and diseased that then require a human sacrifice to be made to cure the sickness and disease.  This stuff is preposterous.  I’m not sure exactly how this is going to require $3 million to determine why people don’t believe things like that.

The study then goes on to state that it wants to find that answer that has already been asked and answered numerous times – in it’s own words “to answer big questions about the causes of ‘unbelief’ and its effects on such outcomes as personal wellbeing and social cohesion. ”
A simple search for “Most violent Countries on Earth” leads you here and a search for most religious countries on earth leads you here
I don’t think its merely a coincidence that the most peaceful countries on earth (Canada, Australia, Japan and large parts of Scandinavia and Europe) are also the most irreligious.
You need to spend $3 million on this type of question?  I don’t think so.  A few thousand perhaps.  All the research has already been done for you.

I look forward to reading the results of this study.



3 thoughts on “Templeton Foundation to Spend $3 Million To “Understand” Why People Don’t Believe in Bronze-Age Myths

  1. It is truly remarkable how much money is spent in the quest to insert ‘sociological’ and ‘psychological’ causal content into a content-less label called ‘atheism’. When I read the kind of mental gymnastics that turns the crank of these researchers – like the scientific fraudster Elaine Ecklund – I see the same tactic: first, segregate belief in gods or a god from non belief by a series of crafted sub-categories like ‘religious and irreligious’. Then talk to a bunch of people who do not claim a specific religious identity but who may lean a bit towards a kind of universal force or mind or some other form of ‘spirituality’, and then reapply this kind of spirituality to be equivalent and synonymous as more a kind of religious sensibility than a clear cut non religious identity. Voial. Now work backwards and claim such ‘research’ is the basis for claiming that a substantial segment of the non religious are really just another kind of religious believer, and so the percentage of atheists – especially scientists who claim to be atheist – should be doubted to be some fringe minority… perhaps motivated by a deep psychological scar from being angry at a father figure.

    Oh wait… that’s what causes homosexuality.

    Anyway, there must be a root sociological force creating atheists and, with enough free money, these kind of researchers just may find it and award their discovery a New Term (because that’s what sociologists do – create terms)! It cannot possibly be that the study of god or gods is really just a subject without an object.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Perhaps this study will be as successful as their study on the effects of intercessory prayer? I mean, I know it wasn’t the conclusion that The Templeton Foundation wanted to see – which is why like any good scientist, they published the results and accepted them. Oh no wait! Sorry about that! They tried to suppress the findings and when the couldn’t do that, distanced themselves from it and declared “STEP was not the last word on the effects of intercessory prayer and that questions raised by the study will require additional answers.”
      To my knowledge, in the 10 years since this study was carried out, there have been no attempts by The Templeton Foundation to design and conduct another program to answer the questions raised by the previous study. These are some very incurious researchers I must say.
      I am really curious about this new study though. I can’t wait to find out what other beliefs people have that could influence their non-belief in religion and gods. The first sentence in their proposal suggests that that there is a difference between atheism and “other forms of unbelief”. I should very much like to see what these differences are.

      Liked by 1 person

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