Is Project Reason Quietly Shutting Down?

Recently, commenter Dhay noted:

I see that Project Reason has completed another two stages of shutting down completely.

Its Forum — formerly still accessible by those who knew the web address, though official links to it were removed a while back — has now been officially merged into the Sam Harris website’s Forum, says Harris website moderator Travis Smith:

Posted: 09 December 2015 04:01 PM
Hi folks.
We’ve merged the Project Reason forums with the Sam Harris forums.
If you had a Project Reason account, it was moved over. If you had accounts on both with the same email address, they were merged.
All the posts from Project Reason are now available here. …

And it’s no longer soliciting new donations and new monthly donations.

For those who bother to see what remains, it’s now but a Home page which does nothing but link to an About page comprising its charity aims, trustees and advisory board members. Presumably everything will disappear once Project Reason has wound up as a charity.

Indeed.  If you go to Project Reason, the front page tells you “We seek to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy through a variety of interrelated projects.”  You can either sign up to get on an email listing or click the “Learn More” icon.  If you do the latter, you are taken to the page where it says:

Project Reason is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. We seek to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy through a variety of interrelated projects. The foundation can convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific studies and opinion polls, hold contests, publish original research, award grants to other charitable organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world. While Project Reason is devoted to fostering critical thinking generally, we believe that religious ideas require a special focus. Both science and the arts are built upon cultures of vigorous self-criticism; religious discourse is not. As a result, religious dogmatism still reigns unchallenged in almost every society on earth—dividing humanity from itself, inflaming conflict, preventing wise public policy, and diverting scarce resources. One of the primary goals of Project Reason is to change this increasingly unhealthy status quo.

The rest of the page is a list of the trustees and advisory board members (did/do they ever meet?) that looks like a Who’s who list among the New Atheist mutual adoration society.

But where is all the evidence of conferences, films, scientific studies and opinion polls contests, original research, award grants to other charitable organizations, and  material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals? 

Google lets you find this page, but the links there all now take you back to the front page.  Even the donate button is disabled.

And if you want more evidence that Project Reason is closing up shop, visit the “About” page on Sam’s Harris’s blog. Just last September, he described himself as follows::

Harris is a cofounder and the CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Now it reads…

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

No mention of Project Reason.

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6 Responses to Is Project Reason Quietly Shutting Down?

  1. mechanar says:

    “Both science and the arts are built upon cultures of vigorous self-criticism; religious discourse is not. As a result, religious dogmatism still reigns unchallenged in almost every society on earth”

    have these people ever read a history book in their lives?

  2. TFBW says:

    … all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world …

    Shutting Project Reason down will go some small way to fulfilling its stated purpose, given how heavily it promotes anti-religious dogmatism and bigotry.

  3. Dhay says:

    Charities have to close in an orderly and legal manner, so it will be interesting to see what happens; it will be particularly interesting to see what happens to any monies — monies donated to a charity, remember — which were in the coffers at the start of the closure.

    For instance, the left-over donated money should not end up in the pocket of any private individual, even that of the charity’s founder, Sam Harris. Nor should the money be used for the purpose of merging the charity’s forum into Harris’ own, privately-owned website’s forum (which I note has coincided with a Harris website facelift); I fully expect that would legally and morally a misuse of a charity’s money donated for expressly charitable purposes.

    Harris and his website are not charities or suitable recipients of a charity’s money.

    So where will we find it has gone?

  4. Larry Olson says:

    There seems to be a lot of hate toward Sam Harris on this website… May you be reminded of what the bible says about people who hate on others..

    “Titus 3:1-15

    Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”

    You should Love and be Kind to Sam Harris if you want to find your place in heaven. That’s just a reminder. Really great trolling site though. Would be funny if a new atheist mad ea site like this sort of as an F.A.Q. mock/parody of what religious people generally troll with online. Remember when K.F.C changed it’s name and shut down their C.F.K website. Or did they just reverse it. Same difference. It’s all about hating on C.F.K. or K.F.C. and causing gossip, and FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt). Is the reason project shutting down? Is Sam Harris going bankrupt? Find more on truther dot org, a conspiracy site dedicated toward hating on Harris.

    Read your bible, bro. Regards, Kid B.

  5. Dhay says:

    “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Titus+1%3A9-11&version=ESVUK

  6. Michael says:

    There seems to be a lot of hate toward Sam Harris on this website… May you be reminded of what the bible says about people who hate on others..

    I point out the evidence that Harris’s private thinktank is closing up and Larry thinks this is hate. I think Larry is being oversensitive here.

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