The John Templeton Foundation has awarded John Fischer (UCR professor of philosophy) $5 million to fund research on aspects of immortality, including near-death experiences and the impact of belief in an afterlife on human behavior. This is exciting!
Some of the questions investigated will include:
1. whether and in what form(s) persons survive or could survive bodily death
2. why and how persons are (at least pre-reflectively) disposed to believe in post-mortem survival
3. whether it is in some sense irrational to desire immortality