Humanism and the moral law: Law does not need God!

The latest “Unbelievable” programme is entitled “Does humanism need God? Angus Ritchie vs Stephen Law.”

Here is some information on the programme provided by the presenters:

“The term ‘Humanism’ is often seen as synonymous with atheism. But a recent Theos report titled: ‘The case for Christian Humanism: why Christians should be Humanists and Humanists should be Christians’ claims to show that atheism is ill-equipped to support the fundamental tenets of Humanism. Report author Angus Ritchie debates with atheist philosopher Stephen Law on whether atheistic humanism can account for the human dignity, morality and reason it espouses.”

Atheistic Humanists, in general, believe that morality has an objective existence, that is, morality is independent of the random processes of Darwinian evolution. When Ritchie told Law about an atheist who became a theist because he saw that without God there was no way to explain objective morality, Law said that although he could not explain objective morality, he did not think it necessary to posit God as the morality giver.

At the end of the show, the presenter, Justin Brierley, a Christian, said  “We had a lot of fun.” That remark, though, might merely have been Brierley being nice. Could he have been thinking of Romans 9? I know I was:

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is moulded say to its moulder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump done vessel for honourable use and another for dishonourable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory…

You have broken God’s Law, Stephen. You can only be reconciled to God – theism is not enough – by Christ; if he chooses to have mercy on you. “It’s not fair”  Shoosh.

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