Contrary to Bibby, atheists have values

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Atheists are godless and valueless”
Oct. 18, 2007

To the editor:
A great man once said, “There are three kinds of lies in the world: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” In light of the subject matter of Eva Markowski’s article, it could not be more true.

Let’s start with the sensationalist headline. Yes, it did grab my attention, but only by being highly offensive. I am an atheist, and while I am godless (the headline seemed to use the word in a derogative manner), I am most certainly not valueless. I hold in high regard the virtues that were listed in the survey, and it has nothing to do with religion.

Mr. Bibby’s interpretation of his own results is a pale attempt at pejoratively portraying atheists; to suggest the values reflected are a result of being involved with religious groups is to suggest atheists’ relative lack of values is a result of either not being involved in religious groups, or of being involved with groups of no social value. This could not be further from the truth.

I’m curious to see in what way the 1,600 surveyed were asked to rank the 12 values they were given. If it was a case of simply ordering the 12, then the results of the survey as presented are just plain silly, as all 12 of those values are very important, regardless of religion.
"Greg Moss
Computer Science & Conceptual Astronomy V

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