De Moor IV:10: Arguments for the Existence of God: Nature (Part 3)

3. To the elegance of individual things is added the optimal Order and Harmony, stable Mutation, and Direction toward the same End, of all things. Contemplate here the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies, their motion, and the order, constancy, and harmony in their motion, and the coming together of all unto certain ends and effects. Similarly we discern that the earth is thus adapted in all things, that a more commodious dwelling for so many men and animals, which it is obliged to sustain, is not able to be imagined; and, lest anything should be wanting to the necessity of its inhabitants, it abounds in vast stores, which it daily brings forth unto the admiration of all. The heaven hears the earth here; and the earth hears the corn, the wine, and the oil; and they hear Jezreel, namely, because God hears the heaven, Hosea 2:21, 22. The Philosophy of the Gentiles again felt the force of this argument: so it is indeed in CICERO, book II de Natura Deorum, chapter V, “Indeed, our Cleanthes said that for four reasons notions of the gods were formed in men’s minds…. There is a fourth reason, and that even the most important, namely, the uniformity of motion, the revolutions of the heavens: the distinction, utility, beauty, and order of the sun, the moon, and all the stars: the mere appearance of which things would be a sufficient indication that they were not the result of chance. Just as a man going into a house, or gymnasium, or market, would find it impossible, when he saw the plan, manner, and arrangement of everything, to judge that these things came into being without a cause, but would understand that there was some one that superintended and was obeyed: much more in the case of such vast movements and alternations of so many things, and in the orderly succession of such, in which the immense and limitless duration has never deceived, he should conclude that it is necessary that such great operations of nature are directed by some mind.” But a Tendency in all things toward an End is noticed, whence it is wont to be said, Nature does nothing in vain; the Work of Nature is the work of intelligence. Nature’s intelligent creatures act because of an end, everything else toward an end that they do not know. But they would not tend toward an End, neither would those things that act because of an end be deprived of their own, unless there be a higher intelligence, which governs both in such a way that always in both it follows its own end. Which argumentation is no less evident than when we, seeing an arrow, which is aiming toward a target of which it is ignorant, conclude that there must be an archer that we do not see, who directs it toward its target: compare REIMARUS’ over de voornaamste Waarheden van den natuurlichen Godtsdienst, Essays III, IV, § 5-19, pages 123-195, 211-288.

5 views0 comments