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Dimulai oleh The Houw Liong, November 27, 2017, 05:59:36 AM

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The Houw Liong

Teleology merupakan pandangan untuk menjelaskan nalar atau penjelasan Penciptaan alam semesta apakah mempunyai tujuan ?

Teleology or finality[1][2] is a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose or goal.[3] It is derived from two Greek words: telos (end, goal, purpose) and logos (reason, explanation). A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic.[4] Natural teleology, common in classical philosophy but controversial today,[5] contends that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, irrespective of human use or opinion. For instance, Aristotle claimed that an acorn's intrinsic telos is to become a fully grown oak tree.[6]

Though ancient atomists rejected the notion of natural teleology, teleological accounts of non-personal or non-human nature were explored and often endorsed in ancient and medieval philosophies, but fell into disfavor during the modern era (1600–1900). In the late 18th century, Immanuel Kant used the concept of telos as a regulative principle in his Critique of Judgment. Teleology was also fundamental to the speculative philosophy of Georg Hegel.

Contemporary philosophers and scientists are still discussing whether teleological talk is useful or accurate in doing modern philosophy and science. For instance, in 2012, Thomas Nagel proposed a non-Darwinian account of evolution that incorporates impersonal, natural teleological laws to explain the existence of life, consciousness, rationality, and objective value.[7]

[pranala luar disembunyikan, sila masuk atau daftar.]


The Houw Liong


The Houw Liong

Christianity and Science – The Universe and Design
Science is re-learning an old lesson: the more we uncover details about the universe and living organisms, the more we discover design. Many notable scientists inadvertently support Paley's arguments as they describe the design in nature revealed to them through science. Physicist Paul Davies, who does not profess to be a Christian, supports teleology—and ultimately creationism—when he says, "Every advance in fundamental physics seems to reveal yet another facet of order."4 Albert Einstein said, "The harmony of natural law . . . reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection."5 And Robert Jastrow, an agnostic, shook up his fellow scientists when he said, "The Anthropic principle is the most interesting development next to the proof of the creation, and it is even more interesting because it seems to say that science itself has proven, as a hard fact, that this universe was made, was designed, for man to live in. It is a very theistic result."6

Evolution assumes that the universe came into existence and continues to run by chance rather than laws designed by a Law-maker. When world-class non-Christian scientists like these declare that the universe cannot be viewed as a product of chance, they strike a severe blow to materialistic evolutionary theory.

The Houw Liong

Michael Behe details in his book, Darwin's Black Box, a number of molecular "machines" (such as the bacterial flagellum) and chemical pathways (such as the process for blood clotting) that are essential components for particular organisms. He coined the phrase "irreducible complexity" to highlight the fact that these features cannot be reduced to simpler parts and still perform their required function. The theory of irreducible complexity thus eliminates the possibility of these features arising through a gradual evolutionary process.

When we truly understand the ordered complexity of life,7 it is hard to imagine chance producing even bacterial cells, the simplest living systems. Denton explains, "Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10(-12) gms, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world."8

As Paley pointed out almost two centuries ago, this kind of complexity requires an intelligent mind—chance processes cannot produce such intricate order. Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek make the same argument in I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.9 And while David Berlinski's article "On the Origins of Life" does not argue for an intelligent mind, it does describe the complexity of life in great detail.

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The Teleology of Creation
   The English word "teleology" is derived from two Greek words: telos meaning "end," and logos meaning "word," but linguistically extended to mean "logical considerations of." Teleology therefore pertains to the "logical considerations of the end" of creation. By "end" we do not mean the "termination", "elimination" or "cessation" of creation, although the Greek word telos could have such a meaning, but we are using it in the other sense in which the word was used, to refer to the end-purpose, the end-objective, the end-goal. We are referring to the logical-end rather than the chronological-end.

   Back in the fifth century, Augustine (354-430 AD) proposed to prove God's existence. One of his logical "proofs" was the "teleological argument" for the existence of God, by which he argued that the design of the universe implies a purpose or direction behind it. The universe does not exhibit random chaos and purposelessness. The design of the universe demands a Designer. Despite the fact that it is not possible to "prove God" logically, and the "natural theology" based on such logic and observation does not bring one to a personal knowledge of God, there is still an element of truth in what Augustine presented about the teleology of creation.

   Popular cosmological considerations today often lack any concept of teleology. Consider these adaptations of a verse of Scripture which will demonstrate the illogic of two philosophical systems, naturalism and nihilism, and their absence of teleology.


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Naturalism might explain that "from nature and through nature and unto nature are all things. To nature be the glory forever."

   "From nature," out of nature, ex natura, would be to imply that the derivative source and origin of all things is "nature." That requires "nature" to be before all things, and requires "nature" to be infinite and eternal, to have always existed, to be self-existent. Such a thesis deifies "nature" with a capital "N," usually personifying "Nature" as "Mother Nature."

   "Through nature" might imply that all things became what they are through nature. They evolved into their present forms through natural processes alone. The personified and deified "Nature" made the selections of "natural selection" to allow the fittest and highest forms to survive. "Nature" is thus presented as self-generative and self-actualizing. Such an idea is inherent in the evolutionism that is part of the naturalistic scientism advocated by many today.

   "Unto nature" implies that everything is proceeding toward a continued natural state. Everything recycles. Everything reincarnates. What goes around, comes around. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." The direction and destination of everything is "back to nature."

   "To nature be the glory forever." Having deified "nature" in this ideological system of exclusive naturalism, "nature" is considered as infinite and eternal, forever. The natural product worships its natural source. Nature worship.

   Consider this point. The "unto" is determined by the "out of." The significance is determined by the source. The operation and objective is determined by the origin. The direction and destination is determined by the derivation. If everything starts with an infinite, eternal "nature" operating by natural processes, then it all ends up "back to nature." What is the purpose? What is the objective? Where is the meaning? Exclusive naturalism lacks a telos, an end-goal. Everything just goes around and around monotonously but naturally.

   Consider another adaptation of the Biblical verse, the thesis of nihilism: "From nothing and through nothing and unto nothing are all things. To nothing be the glory forever."

   "From nothing," out of nothing, ex nihilo. This has been the traditional explanation of creative commencement by dualistic theology through the centuries. Since both the Greek preposition ek and the Latin preposition ex have a root meaning of "out of, from within," implying derivative source and origin, this explanation becomes illogical. You do not get something, or anything, or "all things" from nothing. To make sense of the "out of nothing" doctrine, men's thought processes have made the "nothing" into "something" called "nothing." It is still illogical for the derivative source of all things to be "nothing."

   "Through nothing" implies an operational process utilizing nothing. This would be a totally random process of chance circumstances.

   "Unto nothing." Is there no purpose and objective to all things? Is everything purposeless, meaningless, hopeless? Such is the basis of the philosophy of nihilism, which asserts that existence is senseless and useless. It is going nowhere. This is Buddhist ateleology. The ultimate objective in Buddhism is "nothingness," nirvana, the extinguishing of existence in oblivion, the negation of existence.

   "To nothing be the glory forever." Nihilism indicates that there is nothing glorious about this existence. "Stop the reincarnation wheel." "Stop the world; I want to get off!" There is no purpose to continue to exist.

   Notice again, that the source determines the significance, the origin determines the objective, the derivation determines the direction and destiny. If all things are "out of nothing" and "though nothing," then it all ends up meaning nothing, "unto nothing." Nihilism lacks a telos. It is ateleological or antiteleological.


The Houw Liong

Now we shall consider the verse as Paul wrote it in Romans 11:36, the creative thesis of Christianity. "For from Him (God) and through Him (God) and unto Him (God) are all things. To Him (God) be the glory forever."

   "From Him," out of God, ek theos, implies that the derivative source and origin of all things is God. The invariant, immutable God, who is self-existent, self-generative, self-sustaining, eternal, infinite, autonomous, independent and non-contingent is the source and origin of all things. The greater can create the lesser. Therefore the Living God could create all lesser forms of living things (Neh. 9:6). The Infinite could create the finite. The Supernatural could create the natural. The Spiritual could create the physical. The invisible Existent One, God, could create visible, as well as invisible, existence lesser than Himself.

   "Through Him," by means of His omnipotence and sovereignty, all the created order is sustained, held together (Col. 1:17). "Though Him" the operational processes of the universe function as constant and dependable order. God is the faithful invariant that allows science to see the dependable design and function of the cosmos, which they call the "laws of nature." Through God, the divine and personal "selector," the natural world has unrolled, evolved, in accord with His purposes. God is the agent through Whom all has developed as it has developed in the universe.

   "Unto Him," implies that the end-objective toward which all things are directed is God. The telos is theos! This is not to say that everything "becomes God." Everything does not turn "into" God, but is directed "unto" God, in terms of its purpose and goal. The teleology of creation, the objective and purpose of creation, is to glorify God. "To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

   Notice again that the beginning determines the end. Etiology determines teleology. Derivation determines direction and destiny. Origin determines operation and objective. Source determines sustenance and significance. What the universe is derived "out of" determines the purpose that it proceeds "unto." The ek determines the eis. If you know where it comes from, you can know where its going.

   A brief history of how Christian theology has emphasized the teleology of creation should be beneficial. We have already noted that Augustine, in the fifth century, proposed the "teleological argument" for God's existence, explaining that "design demands a Designer." Thomas Aquinas amplified the "teleological argument" in his writings. Western schools of philosophy even established an educational discipline in the universities called "teleology," the study of the design and purpose in nature.

   Though there was a dualistic tendency inherent in such teleological arguments for God's existence, the argument of design and purpose remained as one of the major tenets of "natural theology," being the church's "stock-in-trade" explanation of cosmological considerations at least through the nineteenth century. It was in the eighteenth century that William Paley wrote his famous book on Natural Theology, using the teleological argument as a major tenet of his thesis.

   In the nineteenth century, after Charles Darwin wrote his book On The Origin of Species (1859), the major argument in response to Darwin by the theologians, was that "evolutionism" as a theory to explain all natural causes, lacked teleology. The naturalism of evolutionism does not have anything to give it purpose, to explain the direction which it is going, to provide any sense of significance and destiny.

   American theologian, Charles Hodge (1797-1878) explained that in evolutionism the selection of natural causes is "without design, being conducted by unintelligent causes."1 He concluded that "the ateleological explanation of evolution is atheistic."2 Scottish theologian, James Orr (1844-1913), likewise objected to the "antiteleological bias in Darwin's theory."3 P.T. Forsyth (1848-1921), another Scottish theologian, wrote that

"everything turns on the kind of teleology. ...There is nothing in evolution fatal to the great moral and spiritual teleology of Christianity. ...It is not in nature at all that we find nature's end. ...In Jesus Christ we have the final cause of history, and the incarnation of that kingdom which is the only teleology large enough for the whole world."4

   Christian theologians in the half century following Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species, recognized that to overstate evolution in the exclusivistic natural selection premises of evolutionism, was to deny the teleology of God's purposeful selective action. The earliest Christian protagonists against evolutionism saw that the teleological issue was the foremost issue.

   From the second decade of the twentieth century and the popularizing of fundamentalism and creationism, the arguments used by Christians to refute evolutionism have become increasingly less cogent. They have blurred the issue. Instead of using the teleology of God's purpose and design in creation, the evangelical reactions to evolutionism have evolved into a defense of the Bible, a defense of ideological epistemology, and a defense of morality.

   Whereas naturalism or evolutionism is ateleological or antiteleological (having no purpose or contrary to purpose), the popular arguments of fundamentalists and creationists are misteleological or dysteleological (mistaken and distorted as to purpose). In the writings of fundamentalistic creationists the purposes of understanding creation in accord with their interpretations are often explained as (1) the upholding of the absolute, infallibility of the Bible as the "Word of God," (2) the preserving of the Christian belief-system, and (3) the affirmation of moral absolutes of behavior. These religious tenets comprise an invalid, even idolatrous, teleological direction. The purpose of recognizing God in the origin and operation of the universe is not to assert the absoluteness of particular interpretations of the Bible, nor the absoluteness of a particular doctrinal belief-system, nor the absoluteness of a particularly defined morality. Rather, we want to recognize the exclusive absoluteness of God Himself as Creator and Sustainer, allowing no other alleged "absolutes" to be substituted and deified by the absolutism of religion in place of God. We must not allow God's divine purposes for the universe to be substituted and undermined by man's religious purposes.

   The only meaningful explanation of the teleological purpose of creation is that of historic Christianity which recognizes the contingency of creation upon the Creator, and allows for God's purposeful selective actions in the development of the cosmos and the continuing natural processes of the universe. God has acted, and is acting, in the primal origins, the procedural operations and the purposeful objective of the universe. The origin of all created things is "out of God" (ek theos). The operation of all created things is "though God" (dia theos). The objective of all created things is "unto God" (eis theos). To God be the glory forever! (Romans 11:36).


The Houw Liong

1    Hodge, Charles, What is Darwinism? New York: Scribner's. 1874.
2    Hodge, Charles, Systematic Theology. Vol. II. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons. 1874. pgs. 15-17.
3    Orr, James, God's Image in Man and its Defacement in the Light of Modern Denials. Grand Rapids:
       Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., pgs. 90-97.
4    Forsyth, P.T., "Some Christian Aspects of Evolution," The London Quarterly Review. October, 1905.
       pgs. 217-219, as quoted by Livingstone, David N., Darwin's Forgotten Defenders. Grand Rapids:
       Wm. B. Eerdmans. 1987. pg. 145.