Tom Ferguson in his letter (June 13) asserts that the great mass murders of the last century were atheists.
Perhaps he could quote from the Atheist Bible that told them to go out and kill.
Certainly Adolf Hitler was no atheist, telling us in Mein Kampf that in “defending myself against the Jews, I am doing the Lord’s work”; and “any violence which does not spring from a spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain”.
He also says that Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism and the author of ‘The Jews and their Lies’, was a great reformer whose spirit would the basis of the new Reich Church.
It is true that Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were atheists, but the atrocities committed by the states they led were done in the name of a totalitarian political belief, not atheism.
Atheism is quite simply non-belief in a God.
It implies no moral code whatsoever.
But what do we mean by God? If we assume that atheism is a ‘certain’ viewpoint than, yes, I am atheist about the monotheistic gods, but about the origin of the universe I am agnostic and so, frankly, is everyone else, whatever they may claim.
Humanism is a positive philosophy of being ‘good without God’ and, as its name suggests, is above all about humaneness.
Therefore Humanists would never contemplate mass murder.
And indeed, to my knowledge, no killer has ever claimed to be one.
Brian McClinton, Lisburn