Why do things act toward an end?

“At the heart of modern evolutionary theory is the so-called “struggle” for existence. And the question gradually dawns on us: Why do living things struggle to survive? Why do they struggle at all? Neither rocks nor electrons appear to struggle to stay in their current configurations, nor do carbon atoms seek any obvious goals. What does it mean to struggle if not to seek an end? And if living things seek ends, then in what respect has old Aristotle been refuted when he claims that “nature acts for an end” (Feser, Aristotle to Darwin and Back Again, forward)

Aquinas, in his fifth way, states “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.” (ST., I.2.3)

So logically, either a thing moves toward an end or it does not. If anything moves toward an end, there has to be a mover. Inanimate things cannot move toward an end without external intelligence. The evolutionist somehow has teleology introduced somewhere along the way, with inanimate things struggling toward life.

It would seem then, at a minimum, that either things are working toward an end and God exists, or things cannot work toward an end and the struggle for some pre-biotic chemistry toward survival is false. Yet today we do indeed have life striving toward survival. The first option is most reasonable.

About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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