But of course money-hungry scientists will just dismiss this as an irrelevant side effect: a mere peccadillo of the Foundation’s boss that doesn’t have anything to do with their science fiefdom. “Our money,” they will say, “is used just to do science, and there are no strings attached.”But no, the best response is much better than that. If I gave money to the Templeton Foundation, I'd be supporting Rick Santorum. But taking from the Foundation has the opposite effect--it surely means they have less to give to Rick Santorum and other bad causes. If you take from people who are prone to support bad causes, you actually take away from bad causes. This obvious point seems to be ignored whenever the topic of Templeton funding comes up.
Think about it. Suppose the Templeton Foundation is inclined to spend millions of dollars torturing kittens, and suddenly they decide they'll fund torturing kittens OR the study of free will, depending on who applies for grants. The kitten matter is not a good reason to avoid their money--it's just the opposite. If I get a free will grant from Templeton, it's double good--I both get to do some free will research and get to save some kittens. What a deal!
Now, you might say if I put a Templeton credit in the footnotes of my free will papers, I will thus confer credibility on the torturing of kittens, for anyone who knows what Templeton is up to. People all over the place will think the practice is not so bad after all, since it's supported by a foundation that also funds top of the line free will research. Or .... will they? I don't know that these associations are such a strong factor in influencing how people think, and besides, however harmful the associations are, it seems even worse to let the kitty torturers have all of the foundation's vast funds. If you think about this in consequentialist terms, it could even come out that philosophers have an obligation to take Templeton money!