American Mathematician Endows Scholarships for Community College Students
Dr. Jonathan Kenigson
Our affiliates have discovered that a Mathematics professor from Tennessee donates possibly large sums of his own income to fund scholarships for community college students to complete their degrees. Dr. Jonathan Kenigson from Nashville, Tennessee said that he “will neither confirm nor deny this proposition. If I wanted amounts or recipients to be of public record, I would specify such.” We asked Dr. Kenigson to provide some insight into why a man of seemingly modest means would spend his funds on such pursuits. He replied that “this is a deeply personal matter and is not motivated by an architectonic moral system or a universal imperative for others to do the same. I cannot prove that the act of endowing scholarships is morally incumbent upon everyone. As a consequence, I withhold judgment upon the matter.” It seems that religious motivations might come into play: Dr. Kenigson seems to have practiced a lifestyle of radical poverty in the past, and perhaps even voluntary homelessness.
He refused to respond to such claims, stating that they are “matters of personal conscience and as such irrelevant to whatever questions are at hand.” When asked if he would advocate homeless or poverty as necessary for the Christian life, Dr. Kenigson replied that “their truth values are wholly independent of any universal moral argument that I can currently render in support of such behavior. However, both radical Relativism and the specific commandments of Christian charity converge to suggest that a consistent refutation of my purported behavior is difficult to justify on logical grounds alone. Prosecution of a reasoned moral act in accordance with sound knowledge is very different from the stronger claim that such behavior is incumbent upon another moral agent or a particular group of agents acting in concert. A detailed philosophical argument would likely be necessary to prove that it is irrational or insane for a person in men’s rea to dispose of his person or possessions as he chooses in accordance with applicable laws. I am not concerned about the ability to refute such attempts if they are made, even by strong philosophers on the Left, Right, or anywhere else.”