"The fifth way is taken from the governance of things. We see that things which lack knowledge, such as
natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain
the best result. Hence it is plain that they achieve their end not by chance, but by design. Now whatever lacks knowledge
cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence, as the arrow is directed
by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are ordered to their end; and this being
we call God." (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part, Q. 2, Article 3).
Living creatures are so constructed as to be competent to
continue their existence; their construction is fitted to their
needs. But widen the focus to the whole: if natural constants were set slightly off their present values, life would not be possible. The universe
is a vast machine for producing life; life is good, yet the universe, being unthinking, cannot know that life is good. Thus it
works to achieve an end of which it can have no cognizance. Some mind, capable of apprehending the good, must therefore have moved it so.
"The numerical values that nature has assigned to the fundamental constants, such as the charge on the electron,
the mass of the proton, and the Newtonian gravitational constant, may be mysterious, but they are crucially relevant to the structure
of the universe that we perceive...Had nature opted for a slightly different set of numbers, the world would be a very different
place...More intriguing still, certain crucial structures, such as solar-type stars, depend for their characteristic features
on wildly improbable numerical accidents...And when one goes on to study cosmology -- the overall structure and evolution of the
universe -- incredulity mounts." (The Accidental Universe, P.C.W. Davies, p. vii.)
Both the 'pencilled-in' constants and the basic laws of nature
are suited to make the universe a home for living things, as are
also the starting conditions: "This delicate balance of initial
conditions has come to be known as the 'fine-tuning' of the universe
for life. We've come to discover that the universe is fine-tuned for
the existence of intelligent life with a complexity and delicacy
that literally defy human comprehension." (William Lane Craig, Does
God Exist? Kindle location 503). If the universe were intentionally
designed of a set purpose, it would not look any different from the
way it does look.
"Should a man see a house carefully constructed with a gateway, colonnades, men's quarters, women's quarters,
and the other buildings, he will get an idea of the artificier, for he will be of opinion that the house never reached that completeness
without the skill of the craftsman; and in like manner in the case of a city and a ship and every smaller or greater construction.
Just so anyone entering this world, as it were some vast house or city, and beholding the sky circling round and embracing
within it all things, and planets and fixed stars without any variation moving in rhythmical harmony and with advantage to the
whole, and earth with the central space assigned to it, water and air flowing in set order as its boundary, and over and above
these, living creatures, mortal and immortal beings, plants and fruits in great variety, he will surely argue that these have
not been wrought without consummate art, but that the Maker of this whole universe was and is God. Those, who thus base
their reasoning on what is before their eyes, apprehend God by means of a shadow cast, discerning the Artificier by means of
His works." (Philo Judaeus, Allegorical Interpretation, III, XXXII, 98-102).
Is it begging the question to define 'God' prior to investigating His existence...or lack thereof? It's never been
so held with other non-existent things, like phlogiston or the lumeniferous aether. How can one investigate whether a thing
exists in the world, without knowing what the thing sought is? How to differentiate it from whatever other things might be brought
in by our drag-net, so as to say, 'No, that's not it'?
When physicists go looking in the world for 'dark matter' or 'black holes', they must first define what they understand
these looked-for things to be. How else to know what is looked for? Definitions of words need not be understood so as
to imply existence; for instance, 'A griffin' is an animal represented in ancient art with the fore part of an eagle and the hinder parts
of a lion. Anyone who knows what a griffin in, out for a stroll spotting one, could instantaneously say, 'that's a griffin!'
-- its definition is every bit as solid and clear as a rufous-headed towhee. Yet no one expects to see one.
So when the physicists define 'dark matter' without having yet found it, their definition should not be understood
to imply, 'Dark matter exists, and has the following characteristics'; but rather, 'If dark matter exists, it has the following distinct
characteristics.' How else could one know what to look for, or whether it had been found? Likewise we understand that, if God
exists, He is omniscient, omnipotent, exists necessarily, is omnipresent, etc.; it's not begging the question to
define what you're looking for, before going out in the world to see whether it's there!
Is the beauty of the world evidence of its nature and origin? “Philo presents the argument in its simplest syllogistic form.
'No work of art is self-made. The world is the most perfect work of
art. Therefore, the world was made by a good and most perfect
Author. Thus we have the knowledge of the existence of God.' [De
Monarchia, i. §4]”
(Hodge, Charles (2015-02-13). Systematic
Theology: The Complete Three Volumes (Kindle Locations 4379-4380).
GLH Publishing. Kindle Edition.)