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.

12 thoughts on “Humanism and the moral law: Law does not need God!

  1. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. ‘But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?’ And I say unto you: ‘And who are you, O man, to claim to know God?’

      • I was using archaic-style English, the way those phrases were translated into English. It was meant as a joke. My question to you is the serious part!

          • So those who are born again can claim to know God? Really? And how do you know that you are born again? In other words, how do you know that you are saved? In this present life, you don’t , do you? So, while you are still physically alive you cannot claim to know God, because you cannot claim to be born again.

              • I have just read John 3. ‘ . . . Our future glory is not yet manifest. Even we ourselves cannot understand it. But we know. One glorious revelation has been made. At the coming of Christ we shall be like him. . . . We shall also be found morally in his image. For we shall see him as he is. . . . To have a hope of being like Christ leads us to try to be like Christ; hence, to be pure as he is pure.’

                My question remains: ‘ . . . how do you know that you are saved? . . . So, while you are still physically alive you cannot claim to know God . . . ‘
                And here is our (yours and mine) issue: you believe that the Bible was written by God and I believe that the Bible–both New and Old Testaments–was written by ordinary men (and possibly women, but I doubt that women’s opinions were taken seriously in those days).

                Do you think that there are countless other worlds, possibly peopled like ours with less or more intelligence, out there in space? If so, do you believe that Jesus Christ, born only 2,000 years ago, died so that all the inhabitants of these countless worlds–some of them perhaps billions of years older than Earth–could be saved?

                Tell me.

                • Karen

                  You, like all human flesh, is guilty before God and deserves condemnation. God is free to have mercy on anyone he wills. The evidence of this mercy will be when John 3 ceases to be words but an experience of God’s saving grace and power.

                  1 Thessalonians 1
                  “2. We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

                  If you say, “well then I am just a robot, and can’t choose God even if I wanted to,” then I shall say more, if you want.

                  • But I do NOT say that I am a robot. I can THINK. I choose to think and not to take for granted what others have written simply because they say they are right. I choose not to submit to dictatorship–neither political (we left South Africa in 1962 for a reason), nor philosophical nor traditional nor religious. I can think and I will continue to think as long as I am able.
                    In any case, I do not believe that I ‘can’t choose God even if I wanted to.’ I choose not to believe in the Christian or Jewish God or any other God created by humans.
                    Call me proud if you wish. I call YOU proud.
                    See my email for the last sentence.

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