Why Professor Schoenig Should Quit His Day Job: A Critique of the God Is Not Fair Argument
This work is meant to accomplish two things: 1: Provide a direct refutation to Dr. Schoenig’s Argument From Unfairness (AFU). 2: Expose and respond to the deep desire we all have to some degree to make God conform to our rules and our flawed reasoning of what he should be like. Dr. Schoenig is not a man that I have ever met. I have no reason to doubt that he is more than likely a very well meaning gentleman and upstanding member of society. So, I say this with all due respect to the man himself—Dr. Schoenig should quit his day job.
Now before the reader label me as some backwards, insecure, Bible-thumping fundamentalist who is afraid of new ideas, I want to make clear that I am all for academic freedom. A scholar should be able to argue whatever point he wishes to argue and criticize whatever position he wishes to criticize. I am not trying to silence the opposition. Dr. Schoenig should quit his day job because, quite frankly, his AFU is just plain terrible. I was indeed quite surprised that a trained philosopher would publish such a thing. I am by no means an expert at anything, but mastery of something is not required to see the holes in Dr. Schoenig’s argument.
I suppose one could respond by highlighting the fact that philosophers make bad arguments all the time; therefore, I ought to leave Dr. Schoenig alone. Alas, this is quite true. The vast majority of arguments put forth by philosophers are bad ones. This is partly why the discipline has made no real progress in establishing a concrete worldview universally agreed upon by those within the discipline. So, the point is a good one to make. However, my response to this is that, truthfully speaking, many philosophers ought to consider quitting their day jobs as well. I just so happen to highlight Dr. Schoenig. (We’ve got to start somewhere.)
LENGTH OF THE WORK
The portion of this book addressing Dr. Schoenig is not particularly long. In my response to Dr. Schoenig, I have strived to be brief but potent. Much more could be said about his argument, and I am quite sure those more qualified than me have, in other contexts, responded to many of the same objections raised by Dr. Schoenig and others. Dr. Schoenig is not groundbreaking in his essential objections to Christianity. And while I do believe that I provide some insight through my responses to Dr. Schoenig, neither am I ground breaking in my responses to him. In that respect we are the same. The timeless truths of God’s character have been defended by many theologians way smarter than me, living long before me. My desire is not to break any new ground, but to provide for those who read this book another faithful defense of God’s self-revelation of Himself.
A WORD CONCERNING THE APPENDIX.
Separate from my response to Schoenig is an Appendix added to the book. I wrote that work to advocate for Intelligent Design. It is a challenge to methodological naturalism—the view that holds that only natural causes can ever be considered for explaining phenomena in the natural world. Darwinism has undeniably led to the growth of atheism in our western context. Atheists, such as Richard Schoenig, can speak boldly against Christianity because they have as a central pillar of their worldview a creation myth with proceeds to “scientifically” explain our existence without the need for any divine act of creation. My desire to add this essay as an appendix is to help undercut the need for such militant adherence to Darwinism as the only possible explanation of human origins. Science must be reclaimed from those who would use it to bash Christianity. And the first thing that must happen in order for this to take place is for scientists to shed their unnecessary adherence to philosophical materialism. It is my prayer that both these works would challenge skeptics and edify Christians.
I. SCHOENIG’S UNFAIRNESS ARGUMENT
WHY THE ARGUMENT FROM UNFAIRNESS UNFAIRLY RESTRICTS GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY.
Schoenig’s analogy fails primarily because it does not properly distinguish between Creator and creature. The teacher is a being of lesser authority than God. She is a mere creature that has to follow school policy when governing her classroom. In other words, she has a code of ethic greater than herself. God is not a creature who has to submit to some code of ethic greater than Himself. God Himself is the code of ethic through which He governs the world. Therefore, the two cannot be compared. Moreover, what if the teacher created and had complete ownership of the students, the school, the rules that govern the school, the classroom, the chairs the students are sitting on in the classroom, the actual material covered in the course, etc; and that the purpose of the existence of everything and everyone in that classroom was to give the teacher glory? If so, then to the degree that giving A’s to some students without requiring anything from them fulfills the teacher’s design and purpose for those students, the teacher is completely justified in doing so.
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