Atheists and the Constitution
Sir, – I presume that the convention for taking an oath arose from a time when people had a genuine fear of God and consequently would have intended to keep their word if they had sworn on a Bible.
Since atheists, by definition, do not believe in God, it is difficult to envisage a change to the Constitution, as proposed by Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland (“Atheists and oaths of office”, November 14th), which would make an atheist’s oath taking any more relevant whether or not it was made to a god or to no-god.
Rather than dredging up an excuse for another referendum on this subject, Mr Nugent might reflect on whether his own organisation needs a change first, since the name “Atheist Ireland” is as presumptuous as the reference to God in the Constitution to which he objects.
“Atheists of Ireland” would surely be more accurate. – Yours, etc,