The hierarchical order of life proves the existence of a transcendent spirit world.

adapted from

A. A V V. Why I think? rationale and defense of faith in thirty thesis, Pauline, Rome, 1965.

Prof. Dr. Josef De Vries, SJ

The problem of the existence of God is central to our conception of the world and our outlook on life. Here and in subsequent thesis will answer the question, there are facts which prove with certainty the existence of God? These pathways to knowledge of the existence of God will help us at the same time to clarify the concept of God.

In fact there are various ways to prove the existence of God. A point common to all is the fact that from the experimental reality and conclude with a syllogism in this result: the world we experience is only possible if there is God. They are distinguished for the particular aspect of the reality of this world who take as a starting point, as well as for the use of the principle of sufficient reason. Without this principle does not get you anywhere, because the thought process is always the following: a certain reality whose existence can not be doubted, has not in itself the reason for its existence; But not being able to give an existence without a foundation, the foundation of this existence must be another. Must maintain this structure of all the evidence of God if we do not want to confuse us in their thoughts are not always easy.

A first starting point is the order of the world, especially the order of life.

The followers of materialism say that matter exists from eternity and that only it and its forces developed life in the world until the human consciousness. This would - they say - irrefutably proven scientific evidence. And so faith in God would finally dismissed as unscientific.

What can you respond to this statement? Leave aside the question of the eternity of matter and ask ourselves a decisive question: can be explained, according to the blind forces of matter, the origin of living beings with their admirable structure and their various life activities? Or if it has to assume a spiritual author? And this spiritual author is necessarily a transcendent being, is God?

Conflicting opinions.

As already said, materialism seeks to explain every nuance of order that is found in nature without resorting to a spiritual writer and then without admitting a plan conscious and intelligent. Natural events would apparently ordered, but it really would be the effect of the blind forces of nature and their random plot.

Neo-Darwinism explains the origin and evolution of living things by the higher so-called natural selection all living organisms descended from the same parents, but some for the occasional change in their embryonic structure ("mutation"), or the occasional change in the conditions of life, found themselves in advantageous position compared to other one. They survive more easily in the hard struggle for existence and for this selection most gifted individual is constantly renewed, resulted in an evolution towards better without that forces are directed specifically for this purpose.

Such an explanation was accepted even by the famous philosopher Nicholas Hartmann, which also is not materialistic. In his book Teleologisches Denken 1 he explains the origin of the purpose by the lack of purpose: according to the laws of statistics, among all the combinations that arise by chance, there are also some evenings es directed to an end. But these, once fate, continue to exist, while the other vanish. In fact, "the finality of a being in itself (for example of its parts with each other) means precisely that it has consistency, balance and stability." What chance has reached such finality is preserved and, over thousands of years, grows accounts ously; it is therefore understandable that the world's fi ne with the purchase a considerable place.

Dialectical materialism sets out to explain the natural evolution with the "dialectical motion." Everywhere in nature there is a conflict or "contradiction". The struggle between these opposites determines progress. Evolution is only the growth thereof and millennial him the same "quality" up to a summit natural. Once you reached, the "dialectical leap" you have the sudden shift to a higher quality.

Others say that the order and finality in nature can not be explained without a reason ordi grass snake, but try this reason in the world itself, or in the individual living, or in a '' superindividua the soul, "in the manner of a kind of soul of the world. These attempts to explain the natural order by reason immanent today have little credit.

Other renounce any explanation.

1 Berlin, 1951, p. 95.

So Kant, despite being full of admiration for the order and harmony of the world, denies, theoretical and epistemological grounds, that we can prove the existence of God by the order of the world.

Christian philosophy, however, since its inception, with the apologists of the second and third centuries, has always maintained that the order of the world has to go up to God as his spiritual author. The Apolo Getae in turn riannodavano to concepts that are already in Greek philosophy. Thomas Aquinas takes this test as "Fifth Street" in its of mostrazioni. More recently G. Siegmund, in his book Naturordnung als Quelle der Gotteserkennt nis 2 reworked in modern form the topic.

Concepts. In fact today we can put this evidence as persuasive only if we base carefully its individual points, having regard to the ongoing case against. It is therefore essential to a clear understanding and distinction of the concepts used.

It is first necessary to clarify the starting point. The proof is customarily referred to as "teleological argument", that is based on the doctrine (in greek logos) of the end (t elos), the purpose of nature. Ta purposes you can feel immediately, but it needs to test itself. This proof must come from the order that we find in the experience. To "order" mean in general the union of members under a single point of view, such as the list of the inhabitants of a place in the alphabetical order. In our case it is the coo-operation of many parts to a common result that, by the type of operation, is recognized as a common goal; such an order is defined as purposeful order.

2 in 1950, 2 ed.

Then this is the end in view of which something is or is done. In this sense "end" it presupposes that one breathes to propose it as such. Only a spiritual being may tend to such an end, "and the actions that lead should be selected as" resources "to achieve it. But in nature we can not directly perceive this spirit officer. That is really perceivable order founded by a spirit officer may be allowed only indirectly, that is, with a demonstration that must be perceived from certain signs. What are these signs? Consider how you act purposeful and adjusted according to a pious no well-defined, that man puts into practice in her creative activities . Although we see for the first time a machine to write, understand immediately that was built deliberately in order to write. From this fact we conclude here first of all that has been put together a quantity of individual parts to achieve a good for man, that is, a means to write and, secondly, that this goal has been pursued not only for an instant but permanently; if in fact retorting a second time the A key or some other key, the result might be a letter of quite different from that waiting for us, then we should ascribe to the case if the first time we were able to make the right word. To these signs he adds a third: a valid result for us and renewable energy can only be obtained if the individual parts of the machine are constructed and connected in a way that does not depend on the quality of his subject. - Wherever we find these signs are certainly likely to admit an order directed to an end. Now, you can not naturally think that these reflections already constitute a safe test, which could be expressed in the following scheme: in the creations of the art we find the signs described above, which, as we know from experience, are the result of purposeful human activity . Therefore if even nature has the same characters, it means that it too is the creation of a craftsman who operates finalistically. Such a conclusion would be only one conclusion analog ("similar effects have similar causes"), that not more ra some verisimilitude. To arrive at certainty, it must be shown that the signs of a certain order can only be the result of an end-tics and intelligent.

This test must simultaneously exclude other attempts at explanation, especially the one that refers to the event. To understand the case with comitanza of several lawsuits, which are not prepared neither by nature nor by a spirit officer; also the effect that results is called the event. Then we speak of a clash random, a chance meeting, and the like.

But the simple exclusion of the case again demonstrates the presence of a cause finalistically operating. There may indeed be blind "nature" operates with its "laws". When we consider a "natural law" as the cause of an even to, of course, we mean not the formula of the law, but the natural forces and not necessarily intentionally operating.

Test. 1. We start from the facts of the kingdom of life that have a purposeful order. These facts are the property of the individual organs and whole living being, the cooperation of all organs for the sake of the living, its evolution from a first vital core until full adult development, wound healing, generation of new lives, with the oration of living beings of different species for the benefit of a species or both ("finality straight nomeĽ) 3. Often these processes, such as growth, are implemented without them having any conscience, while in other cases are by instinct, like nest building by birds. In any case, however, you have many individual parts, coordinates the good of all the living, many activities aimed at a single purpose, and that not only occasionally but regularly. In this process the end result, that is, the good of the whole human being, often depends on an infinite number of details, which are not necessarily the fruit and consequence of the nature of the individual elements taken into itself; so, for example, the wonderful structure of the eye that does not necessarily depend on the particular quality of the material assigned to it. The signs perceptible under which, in the works of art, we conclude in an intelligent creator, they exist in nature and in thousands million.


Let us explain with an example. We have mentioned the structure of the eye. It consists of nu ous parts are very different: a retina sensitive to light, a crystalline lens, a vitreous body, which would place the necessary distance between lens and retina; in the retina of the eye they are linked together millions of elements and pigmented nerve of the order of magnitude of millimetres lesimi mil; the lens must have a special for but that is the only one among many possibilities; in higher animals millions of cells must have a well-defined mutual position to produce the correct curvature of the lens.

. 3 See examples A. Haas in Weltall-Wellbild-Weltanschauung, Wurzburg, 1958, p. 103-113, 122-126.

All this does not necessarily is derived from physical or chemical quality of atoms or molecules that compon which is successful eye.

2. These complex mechanisms, highly purposive, once formed, continue to operate the same way. We must therefore ask how I know no luck, what is their due.

3. The cause may not be the case. An occasional event depends on the competition and no rule of several accidental causes. No reasonable man admits that this coincidence emerges regularly single and always the same possibility of an almost infinite number of different possibilities. Nobody, for example, will believe more to the case if in a lottery comes out ten, one hundred times in a row the same number.

The numerical relationship between favorable and possible cases is then, in the natural orders considered here, still incomparably lower. The Bleuler has calculated that 4 against the possibility of the origin of a random well-functioning eye are something like 10 45 possibility of unsuitable forms or defective. And this calculation does not take into account the exact insertion of the eye in the totality of the living. But the reality does not present only a few functional eye, but it returns millions and billions of times. That for a given aggregation of atoms has arisen once a typewriter, would no doubt incomparably less far-fetched the random rise of these organs.

4 See. E. Bleuler, Die Psychoide ah Prinzip der Organischen Entwicklting, Berlin, 1925, p. 12 ss.


Even Darwinism explains the emergence and development of new organs. According to this view the new organs arise in this way: initially mind, for some cases favorable, begin to unite some of its parts, then with each passing generation you add other parts, until you have the complete organ; the advantage that individuals derive from these subsequent improvements accidental vo is the motions of their superiority in the struggle for existence. But it is easy to see that the organs are useful only when they are complete; which can have utility, for example, a principle of wing? The "natural selection" can therefore explain, at most, the strengthening of an existing organ, but not the appearance of a new organ at all.

It should be added that Darwinism assumes and must assume that the improvements, once achieved, are then transmitted through heredity. Heredity, however, involves a regular process, while the case is in fact an irregular event. The case, even in the most favorable situation , can then explain something only if placed in relation to a law vital essential as that of heredity.

4. The natural laws, and especially the biological laws, are then in any case necessary for an explanation. But with the admission of natural laws you are not already indicated last explanation of these facts? Because you also need a transcendent creator?

For "natural laws" we intend natural forces necessarily working. But these laws are revealed, at least until it comes to biological laws, on the one hand as something that began in the time - because life is not always existed - like other forces directed only to a particular result, for example to play the life of the species.

If the biological laws have had a beginning, de Vono have had a cause. This cause must spies races with their characteristic and their direction towards a certain event and always renewed. What it means: a force is always directed to a particular end result? It means that the final result determines the very beginning the processes leading to its realization. But how can the future, which does not yet exist, really determine the previous events? He can not operate. It can influence events only if it is already mentioned as an idea in the spirit, that is, it exerts an influence on the events preceding it as a final cause.

5. But it is not attributed perhaps a intelli gence in all living things? This would follow only if this intelligence must necessarily find themselves in the very implementing the order. That proves it is not so any machine built by man. The ordering mind can therefore look for a great time in an author's life different from the living and its laws. It should of course be different from a technical human as it not only sets in motion toward a goal forces already present, but confe risce himself the living entity, as its intimate law, a force oriented in order.

That a spirit authorizing necessarily go looking outside of the living being it is also the following observations: any thought Authorising Officer of a living body depends to some extent by particularly refined organs of the central nervous system. Without such a body it can not be human thinking, because it is linked to the body. On the other hand these bodies are in turn so highly complex that, in the same way than any other organ, could not exist without a spirit authorizing officer. It follows then that this spirit can not be in turn tied to the body, but dev ' be free from it, it must be a "pure" spirit. A '' soul of the world ", linked to the body of the world as our soul is tied to our body, thus not sufficient to resolve the matter.

6. We must therefore admit that the world order has an author and spiritual transcendence. It '' God '? It is, if it is uncreated. In fact, what we all call God and that its deniers reject passionately, it is a spiritual being transcendent and uncreated. However even if the spiritual author of organic life was itself a created being - a possibility that we do not want to rule out - he would assume in turn, as its creator, a being uncreated's certainly not less perfection onto logic, and then still a transcendent spiritual being uncreated; namely, that being that everyone calls "God."

Resolution of objections. We mention brevemen you some objections. When Hartmann says that a given order born by chance, once built, can be kept precisely to its finality, it can be granted, but only in the case of entities ordered, once arisen, should only continue to exist as they are. But living beings are not beings of this type. On the contrary have to adapt continually to changing conditions of life and in each of these changes are incomparably more numerous negative possibilities that those positive behave finalistically.


Dialectical materialism explains the evolution with the "dialectical jumps." But these "jumps", these improvise extras of something higher is just what you have to explain. And if purely material forces operating blindly, as we have seen, are not sufficient to explain the origin of life and its orders, not even when it can weaken each other in mutual struggle.

Other objections stem from the fact that in nature there are many evils. But they forget to say that these evils have no influence to the connection altogether.

If the teleological proof, as we mail to us, still does not prove God as the creator of the universe infinitely perfect, but it is of paramount importance, because by giving the world a spiritual and transcendent cause, eliminates any materialist conception. Matter alone, even if it was eternal and uncreated, it is not enough to explain the world order. The spirit can not be just a product of the evolution of matter, but is, as it breathes to the divine, authorizing and animator, because of the world. The Bible has expressed an evocative image: "The spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

Summary. The order purposeful that we find in living things can not have its cause in one of the mass of haphazard mutations. The case can not explain their continued purposeful activity. The biological laws are not the ultimate explanation. Because they had a beginning, they require a cause, and since they are destined always to an even to come, it is necessary to cause a rational ordering. Therefore you must admit an author transcendent purely spiritual, because bodily organs, which determine the thought of an embodied mind, they in turn need to be explained.