Here is a little thing that I've always been wondering about.
The use of profanity, being atheist or religious alike, has always been seen as impolite.
Yet, a study seems to have shown that the use of profanity lowers stress and boosts morale. (If God should exist then he has a twisted sense of humour, doesn't he?) So yes, I profess to profanity and I am certain that I am not alone.
So here is my question on this. Assuming you just stubbed your little toe on the bed with unsettling force;
Do you use profanity and, if you use it, how do you use it? Do you reference God in it or do you stay clear of blasphemy?
For example, a very Christian lieutenant I once knew wouldn't swear but he'd freely call out Gordon Bennet's name every time he stubbed his toe.
An atheist I heard speaking on the radio said not to use profanity involving god references just because they do not believe in god.
I try to be creative but old habits are hard to beat and I will occasionally use the good old OMG! or JMFC! still.
Your opinions please?
I'd like to point out something that Christians never seem to realize:
To do something "in vain" means to do it with anger or hatred. Thus "You shall not use the name of the Lord in vain" means you can't say God's name when saying mean things. It doesn't actually have anything to do with words like "fuck", "shit", "ass", "bloody", etc.
Instead, it DOES mean that Christians shouldn't ever say things like "God's gonna send you to hell for that!" or "You atheist pieces of trash need to get some God in your life." So next time they tell you that, refer them to the second commandment.
Profanity offends only if you let it offend you.
I see no big deal with profanity. I am a big George Carlin fan... so profanity is no issue.
I know people who get offended if you say "shit" near them. To me, the word "moist" sounds more dirty than "shit."
As for religious profanity, I am fond of "Sweet zombie Jesus!"
And I do go out of my way to use god's name in vain. I don't say "God damnit," I go to the extent of using his first name. "Yahweh fucking damn it!"
If someone is an atheist and sees this thread, they probably either roll their eyes wondering what the big deal is and care more about whether someone is a reasonable and kind person than the words they use and/or they embrace the shit out of cussing just for the fun of it. If they are a religious person they are offended by nearly everything we say and we don't need to worry about if they are offended by little cuss words.
Emotional and social maturity makes it so that people secure with their own identity and feelings will not be offended much in any case. I do hope that little kids or those with child-like minds don't stumble into conversations like this but I really doubt they will unless they have neglectful parents and/or guardians/care-takers if they are mentally ill. Can we just agree that we are all adults here and act accordingly?
The strength of an argument is not dependent on whether someone cusses or not. To me it is a sign of embracing healthy human feelings or emotions when an adult (or kid but I'm liberal about this subject) can use any words available to them to express themselves in a language. I also think it is a pretentious argument that I heard from religious people (and some atheists too) that say that you look less intelligent if you use profanity.
That's just passive agressive bullshit control tactics that they love to use on anyone that is easy to control or force into submitting to their ways of thinking. Pretentious assholes are not smarter than people that cuss and I have found that many of the smartest people love to swear like sailors sometimes. Correlation does Not equal causation.
Not using the words god or jesus or whatever gives them more of a power like Voldemort in Harry Potter, he who shall not be named. By pretending these words don't exist, it in no way helps an atheist's argument against these concepts so it is not logical to me when someone says they will not cuss using words like god etc. I think it helps people to lower the fear factor involved with saying negative things about lame concepts like god(s) when they can cuss using them. Of course it gets redundant eventually and even thinking about god(s) becomes an exercise in boredom and servility to (should be) dead concepts.
Guilt by association and logical parallelism are very common traits of religiously minded people. We need to be a little more critical and rational in our thinking if we don't want to fall into those mind control traps. So Jesus-fucking-Mary-Christ already, can we just agree that profanity is fun and like that study shows can relieve stress in a relatively healthy way? :) May the fuck be with you and may you live long and prosper. hahaha (yes, I'm a big dork)
Being something of a recluse who rarely ineracts with actual flesh-and-blood people, I don’t often get the opportunity to swear; but when I do, I scrupulously avoid any reference to god or other supernatural or mythical entities (like Jesus Christ). I do often blurt out four letter words when I’m alone - sort of like controlled Tourette’s - but no OMG’s or goddamns.
You say: "...I scrupulously avoid any reference to god or other supernatural or mythical entities (like Jesus Christ)..."
The question that immediately pops into my mind is: Why?
The second question is: What do you think is the root of the psychological pressure that causes you to do this?
I for one, love swearing. I love just ripping out a "FUCK!" when I'm feeling down and it really does seem to turn my mood around almost right away. Also, I really enjoy the shock factor that comes with me swearing. Apparently I don't look like the type of person who swears and when I do it throws people through a loop, even if we are just using voice chat online (they say I sound too chipper to be someone who swears), it's awesome. Any kind of swearing is a huge no no in my family (once I was slapped for saying "heck") so being able to do so now whenever I want is just a relief and joy. I also enjoy using the jesus christ, goddammit, dammit, OMG and OMFG (by letters or by saying) and don't feel that there is anything wrong with it. I think it is great. I also get a kick out of pissing off all my theist friends and family for "taking the lord's name in vain." That is all XD
@Amanda - you're probably too young to have reason to remember the late Allan Sherman, a chubby Jewish comedian with horn-rimmed glasses who wrote and performed the song, "Camp Granada" ("Hello Muddder, Hello Fadder, here I am at Camp Granada --"), but what many who may recall the song likely don't know, was that in the last year of his life, he wrote an incredible book, entitled, The Rape of the A*P*E* - "A*P*E*" standing for American Puritan Ethic. It's long since out of print, but worth a read if you can find a copy.
Your comment reminded me of it, in particular, a chapter he called, "Short Chapter, Long Footnote," in which the first page consisted entirely of the word, "FUCK," typed over and over again, for the length of the page. The rest of the chapter consisted of his footnote, explaining how he felt when he first sat down and typed the first "FUCK" - he was terrified that the police would come crashing through the door. By the time he had typed the last one, he had been cathartically cleansed, the word no longer held any significant meaning for him. He went on to describe what he felt WERE really bad words, hate, bigotry, intolerance, ignorance, greed, etc.
It might interest you to know that he also mentioned that "FUCK" is a euphemism, once quite in proper use in Merry Olde England, describing the shameful phrase no one was then allowed to say, "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge," and so, "F.U.C.K." was invented to take its place - he further remarked on how things have since evolved, to the point where we now need a euphemism to describe the euphemism.
Ah that is interesting. I thought that FUCK stood for Fornication Under the Consent of the King. It was made for unmarried individuals (or married people who were in foreign counties) in the military and navy when they had shore leave, that way they could not be prosecuted for having unmarried sex or be divorced if they cheat. But I guess that is just something I was told as a high schooler and never really thought about.
Also, I do remember that song, I loved it.
I don't know, Amanda, I'm just repeating what Sherman wrote. Poor guy died at 42, sad.