The changing world requires the existence of a creator immutable.
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 previous argument has led us to the conclusion that the order purposeful, that we find in living things, the author postulates a transcendent and spiritual. Kant noted, however, that it, apart from other difficulties, can at best prove the existence of an "architect of the universe," but not that of a creator. We respond by noting that, first of all, already the admission of an 'architect' or an officer of the spiritual world is of great weight against materialism, and, secondly, that there is no reason to devalue the teleological argument if not Test everything.
Also we add: we are able to give demonstrations that prove the existence of a created king. Of course they are part of other gender, and develop according to a logical process a little more difficult than those encountered hitherto. The concept of creation, we are familiar with from the catechism, it has many difficulties to reason. So we have to make very clear its meaning. In ordinary life we often use the words "creative activity" or "create" (but not "create out of nothing") broadly and improper. In the proper sense of "creation" means bringing out a being "out of nothing." It is something that we have never given to meet the experience. The "create" human is only a transformation of a pre-existing matter: forge something deriving it from wood, stone, but we can not produce something together creating form and matter, that is, his whole being. God is instead "creator" in the full sense of this and this is the absolute master of the world. It is precisely what we intend to demonstrate in this thesis.
Conflicting opinions. Even the great masters of Greek philosophy, Plato and Aristotle, have come to the concept of creation. "Creating something out of nothing" was for them a concept contrary to the experience. "Nothing proceeds from nothing": this statement was valid for them indefinitely. Although come to a relatively pure conception of God, they believed obvious that there is a matter eternal, uncreated, on which the business is carried divine.
Even more distant from the doctrine of creation is pantheistic and evolutionary theories. They not only do not admit any transcendent creator the world, but also no transcendent cause the evolution and the order that we observe in the world, but pose the primary cause of evolution the world itself; the world develops spontaneously, for the forces inherent in it, towards ever higher degrees of being. Depending on how that principle inherent evolution take matter or "life" or a spiritual principle, stand in pantheism or monism materialistic, biological or idealistic. In the materialistic form is generally spoken only of "monism", that there exists a unitary conception (from the greek monos = only), and no mention of pantheism (from greek pan = all; tbeos = god), of that doctrine that sees God in total, the materialism refuses coer entemente talking about "God" or even a cause of "divine".
The doctrine of creation is originally a philosophical concept, but it is for the first time in the Old Testament religion. Hence it passed in Christianity and in Islam. But once known by the way, was not so difficult for Christian thinkers also derive it by rational principles. According to St. Augustine, the mutability of all beings in the world shows that everything, including matter, is created by God. Likewise also us, starting from this mutability, we intend to prove the contingency of the universe and therefore its dependence on a transcendent creator God.
Concepts. Change is the transition from one mode of being to another. The change requires, on the one hand, an entity which is not maintained equal, the other a way of being of this entity (a report or the like) that did not exist before. This results in an mutamen to when a body, which was previously at rest, is set in motion. What in that case 'has changed' is the existing body; the movement of the body, however, is not "changed" but "begins to be." It must be inferred from changes in the contingency (= no need, from the Latin contingere - happen) and not only the contingency of "form" that is beginning to be, in our case the movement, but also the contingency of "subject", that is, of ' institution in which the shape begins to be, in our case the body which receives the movement and then is mutated. What it means therefore "contingency"? Contingent is that which, by its nature, may be or may not be; course can not be and not be at the same time, but only at different times. Contingency is the possibility both to be both not to be. The contingency excludes the necessity of being unconditional; Ace footrace need can never not be, but remains forever, without beginning or end.
If the quota can exist only through the action of a cause, it is clear that an entity which, in all its reality, is contingent, to be caused; in other words, it must be created. Create means in fact produce something in his whole being, so not only create the shape or a manner of being, as for example the movement, the order, the life, the knowledge, but also and especially the subject of all these ways of being, the same body that moves, that is orderly, who lives, who knows. That's why creating means "producing a being from nothing," that is not a subject or pre-existing matter.
Test. 1. The starting point of this demonstration is the fact of change, we feel that in everything that exists in the world. As a show can be durable in the long run can not sottraisi to change. The bodies move from one point to another, the molecules, even in the most compact bodies, are in a state of continuous oscillation; the same atoms break down for radioactivity, or may be artificially upset and even I nime elementary particles are transformed continuously (Heisenberg). To be living the change is so essential that the cessation of certain movements it represents death. The same man's mind is not perfect from birth, but only slowly matures until reaching its completion and is subject to changes of thought and will.
2. All that changes is temporal, that is, his life consists in the succession of durations partial and fleeting. And this is true not only of the ways of being that arise and pass, but also of the subject in which these changes occur. The forms are not changing, so to speak, the atmosphere surrounding a being only from the outside, do not get involved, but the intimate determinations of being, its own ways to be changing. This assumes that the same be subject of changing ways, there is a before and after. If subject there was a before and after the extension of time, its duration would be only one present, and decisions would be made in the same changing this. But there is a contradiction here: the subject would, for example, at the same time at rest and in motion, or at the same time would be knowing and ignorant. Since this is impossible, we have to admit that the life of the subject consists of partial durations not identical, which take place over time. But this means the same subject is time.
3. What is time in this way is contingent. All moments of his life are in fact contingent. The part of the time spent, for example, the childhood of a man thirty years old now, that childhood is no longer, therefore, may not be; the instants future, such as old age of the same individual, are not yet and may therefore not es evenings; the same this soon no longer and therefore can not be.
St. Augustine expressed this in a lucid thought: "In any change of the creature against vo two times, past and future. Seeking the pre feels and do not have nothing left. That being said, already it is no longer; I will say that, not yet. The past and the future find them in every movement of things; the truth remains that I find no past or future, but only an eternal present that does not exist in creatures. Reflect on the changes of things, against the Verai "was" and "will"; think of God and find an "it", in which there can be a "was" and "will". " Now, if every moment of the life of a being are transient and therefore contingent, also its total duration, which is composed of the partial durations, is transient and contingent. This means, however: the same subject is contingent; since the duration of a subject is nothing more than his stay; but a being who does not remain necessarily is not necessary, but contingent.
You see, then, that each institution, it becomes or is convertible, it is contingent. This applies even if nothing were to change, even if being considered did not have a beginning, though, as they say, existed from eternity. We do not intend to pursue the matter if there is a possibility to be existing from eternity and at the same time shifting . However, even such a being would be contingent.
The result is a very important consequence: the material, that is changing in all its forms, it is still contingent. To see how true we do not need to fix it if it had a beginning. Even if, as materialism (without prove it), was from eternity, would still be "temporal", that is subject to succession and therefore contingent.
4. The quota is caused, that is, should its existence to, cause. This principle is called the "principle of causality" 2.
1 S. 38 on the Gospel of John, no. 10.
2 See. Thesis 2.
Be contingent means pro priamente not be by itself, for its essence, but can be as much as not being. The quota has only the opportunity to be. If there really is not there because of her very being. It can occur by itself, for its essence; to operate must already be. The quota is therefore unable at all to explain and establish its existence.
In his existence must depend on another. This one, in turn, would not be able to establish the existence of the quota if they did not exist between the two a relationship. Another will therefore be the reason, because the existence of the quota. But what justifies the existence of the quota is we call "cause". The quota thus exists for a reason. But how can it be a cause of the existence of another? Here is not enough of course to recall the intimate structural elements of contingent, because these are themselves contingent. The case must be quite out of contingent and give directly to this existence. But who from being directly to another, which leads him to exist when, that "produces", it does so through its action. The cause of being the quota is then, to be more precise, efficient cause.
It is clear therefore that the changeable being is caused by the action of another.
5. But since, as we have seen, all institutions of the world are changing, because there must be a "transcendent" of this world, distinct from it. The first cause of everything that exists in the world, not excluding the material is necessarily placed above the world.
If this transcendent cause was too mu tevole, it would in turn require a cause. But it is im possible that the totality of being is caused. In fact, since nothing can cause itself, in addition to the totality of being there should be a cause of this totality; that is, the totality of the claim is not really embrace the whole being. Thus a first cause must exist uncaused cause of all being. But since all the contingent being is caused, the root cause can not be contingent itself, but it should be a need for essence, which can not not be, and therefore has never started or will never end.
Moreover, this first cause must be immutable, since all that changes is being caused, as we have seen. And since being changeable, as we have also seen, being caused, it is time, the primary cause is necessarily beyond time, that is, not only without beginning or end, but without succession of time instants, "eternal" in the full sense of the word.
Even the human spirit is changing and therefore caused. But the cause must necessarily be at least as perfect as its effect, otherwise it would cause insufficient. As a result, the primary cause is a transcendent spiritual being, and because due to a spiritual autonomy mo, must itself be a spiritual being autonomous, ie a person. The first cause, then, is not merely a "cause" concrete, but a personal author. The changing world is inconceivable without an author uncreated, necessary for essence, transcendent and personal. For this to be we give the name of God. In this way, the existence of God appears as the only possible foundation of the world.
6. When we wonder what kind is the activity of God by which he is the author of the world we must add: God is creator of the world as such. The teleological proof brought us to God as first officer, author of the world order; evidence of the contingency of the world shows us instead God as one who has produced all being in the full sense, without assuming any substrate, any pre-existing matter, independent of its activities. As it turns out, in fact, the last substrate body phenomena, the will and the spirit to know in this world are changing and therefore created in their whole being. How to be the body, so also the spiritual soul of man are produced in all their reality from God, produced from nothing, that is created.
7. This suggests another consequence: with the contingency of being does not cease once the creation took place. The remains can not be, and therefore the need for a cause that keep it in being and preserve him from falling back into nothingness. The creation should therefore not be understood as an activity of progress made once and for all and now passed, but as a continuing influence of the creator that keeps being created. In this sense the world mu tevole is continuously supported by the power of God creates trice.
Resolution of objections. Materialism objected to the test mentioned that matter is eternal, and therefore does not need a creator. The eternity of matter is supported by the law of conservation of mass, which excludes any accretion of matter. But this law is just physical, based on the observation of internal processes of nature; excludes mass increases for natural forces inherent in the world, but can not comment on the possibility or impossibility of a new creation of matter in God's work. In addition, as has already been seen, the lack of a beginning does not prove that the matter is uncreated. Even if it were shown "eternity" of the matter, we should say, is created from eternity.
Another difficulty arises regarding the application of the principle of causality in step 4. There, it is said, by the fact that the quota is not because of its existence, it concludes that surely must have another foundation of his be. In doing so, however, it assumes illegitimately the principle of sufficient reason 3, it makes that a begging the question, it is assumed that it has yet to prove. We answer that what we have to prove, in our case, is the principle of causality, which is not identical with that of sufficient reason to presume but can in some way, without any begging. Willingly grant that the expression "for the quota has not been able to give himself his own existence, it must depend on another 'contains the principle of sufficient reason. But it seems that in this proposition it is easily understandable. To whom then proceeded on the prejudice that only propositions "analytic" in the Kantian sense, ie the propositions in which the predicate is already contained in the subject, are obvious, we remember that doing so would preclude any access to the a priori metaphysical 4.
The importance of the results of our test does not need to be underlined. Proving God as creator of the world, we said at the same time its power than any intention ings and the total dependence of the world and man from him.
See 3. 2 thesis.
4 See. J. De Vries, Denken und Sein, Eriburgo, 1937, p. 100-107
These truths are of importance in recognising of religion. They explain the infinity and oneness of God. For if God's power is so great as to get the world out of nothing, this power must be an essence that possesses the fullness of being unlimited. But in turn the infinite being can only be one.
Summary. Everything that exists in this visible world is subject to change and therefore it is time. The duration of any temporal being is constituted by a succession of moments in time that pass, and then are all quotas, that is not necessary for essence; thus also the overall duration of the changing beings and their being is contingent, even in the case that there is always. The whole contingent owes its existence to the action of a cause. All that exists in the world, in all its parts and in all its reality is due to the action day a transcendent cause, that is, it is created