Cussing- Downed by many religions, but does an atheist thinker think the same?

Personally I cuss all the time, really can't help it. Just want peoples thoughts on it, does it make you sound stupid? Some times is it actually a good enhancing word to your statement or question? It is considered a sin to many religious people, but here, where we are clear headed thinkers, does it seem like a morally wrong thing to do?

                 P.S. it's my first post, stupid thing to ask? If so please say so, over time I'll judge whether or not i should shut up or not on this site.

Tags: cussing, or, right?, swearing, wrong

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No, the question is not stupid, and people here occasionally raise the issue of atheists who say "goddamn" or something like that, accusing them of inconsistency.

Well cussing falls into multiple categories; words having to do with sex (e.g., fuck) or body parts (dick), scatology (shit), and of course "taking the lord's name in vain" (a phrase that always sounded odd to me, no meaning of the word "vain" I am familiar with makes sense there).  I grew up in a secular household; the worst word one could pop out with was "fuck" (or some variant thereof); but most people seem to thing "goddamn" is far worse.

Cussing can relieve stress at a bad moment, and used judiciously can make for either comedic effect or emphasis.  If every second word that comes out of your mouth is "fuck" even when you are not absolutely furious, then it loses its punch and yes, you do come across as a moron, or worse, someone engaging in the verbal equivalent of a chimpanzee flinging turds.  More effective I think is to shy away from those words while writing except to really nail a sentence home; after several paragraphs of "fuck"-free prose laying out your case, calling someone a "lying fucking sack of shit hypocrite" might actually give your audience pause.

Thanks a lot, I'm paranoid of saying "God Damn it" or "jesus christ" out of frustration in fear of a prick having to correct me because it's an atheist site. Thanks.

IMHO, if clear and reasonably concise language is possible, then resorting to swearing could be a failure of creativity or intelligence.

When it appears that intelligence has been made base by a constant resort to absurdity, improper or poorly formed argument, corrupted data or sources, and a seemingly unreasonable reliance on opinion or authority, it might be that anything else than a well placed insult, a tactical and scalding retort, would be the only thing left.

If someone is clearly a 'FOOL', stateing the obvious is only clearing the air. If someone is a 'MORON', checking thier IQ, might be a prerequist, before mentioning the assertion. The 'ASS' label, while tempting, should demand from the thinker a genetic test, or inspection of quadripedic status! The term 'MOUTH  BREATHER', while mean, is hardly worth the gas expenditure.

Since I, above most everything else, appreciate creativity and witt, in other people and myself, and dislike the trite sameness of most theist prose attempts, have at them, but just remember that electrons might have other things to do!

In my opinion, it all depends on the context. If every other word you say on a regular basis is one that has been deemed a 'curse word', then you will probably come off as ill-cultured. But if you hurt yourself and shout an exclamation, or are talking about something that makes you angry and use a word to display your true emotions on the topic, then I feel that such utterances are perfectly fine, and understandable.

I am against the vilifying of words no matter what. Words are simply a collection of sounds that we have given meanings to. There is nothing inherently 'bad' or 'good' about a word until we give it meaning. And like I said, intent and context are paramount. If you are asked what you had for lunch, and your reply is "I had a fucking sandwich, you fucking cunt.", than such usage would typically be considered obscene and unnecessary. However, if someone punches you in the face and you yell "Fuck that  hurt! Fuck you, you cunt!", such a reaction would seem warranted. Same words used, yet context makes all the difference.


As for saying religious swear words, Ive said it before and I'll say it again. Don't worry yourself about it. Some will say it's inconsistent, but I don't see the issue. There is no rule that a non-believer can no longer utter the word god or Jesus if they don't believe. If that was so, parents could never tell their kids about the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, or Santa. What about Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn? No one couldn't read that book unless we accepted that they were real people first. Also, the believers who will seize on it as a claim that we can't say that are guilty of the same 'crime' they accuse us of. They all still say Thursday, even though it is named after Thor. In fact, most of the days of the week and months are named after gods or festivals that they don't believe in either.


Also, no worries. It wasn't a stupid question, and welcome to T|A!

Thanks a lot! This site is great. People here think, and then explain. It's nuts, not many others do this. I'm not really suprised by the results of peoples opinons. Thanks, I'll post again sometime.

Teens especially like to say that curse words are "just sounds", but ironically they then use and re-use such words for their verbal impact.

I think back in our cave and tribal days, it used to be more important in social situations to convey emotion before we had many words to use. Mere "sounds" had to convey all of the most significant meanings to each other at an easily understood group level, especially during (say) life and death challenges during a hunt. Laughter also served this purpose, whenever people could communicate empathy with each other (as in "Yeah, I know what you mean!" or "Haha, I know what you're thinking!"). A curse word or sound had more of a "Hey, listen up, I've got something important to express!" kind of a meaning.

I mentioned teens, because that's when bonding and social identity are forming and peaking, and that's when humans really start to learn about shared emotions and thoughts. That's also when musical tastes are explored and solidify, which I think is no coincidence when you consider the need to discover and embrace new social and emotional memes.

When people get older and more set in their ways, language meanings become so set and assumed standard that they're not even questioned any more, and novel language (eg from teens and media) tends to be rejected as invalid, with prejudice. (I'll bet some oldsters will disagree with me on this.) But that's why the word "fuck" from strangers has an emotional impact on me in a grocery line, and sometimes I just want to say "Hey, I don't want to insult you, Cunt, but..." blah blah, you know, times change and I don't like change any more.

Shit, does that make sense?

Makes a lot of sense! Haha and funny too. Thanks.

does it seem like a morally wrong thing to do?

No. People just need to grow a thicker skin. If you're offended, feel uncomfortable, or feel like your conversational partner is immoral because he said "shit" you need to grow up and get out of that preschool stage where your mommy used to tell you not to cuss or she'll wash your mouth out with soap.

How do people grow thick skin, who have had naturally thin skin from birth? Was your skin always thick, or did you nurture it?

It's easy, first one has to apply ice to the behind. That will help the butthurt one feels from someone else cussing. Second, if one still feels offended by a curse word, one should take a long cold shower with Johnson's No More Tears Baby Shampoo until one stops whining. Third, if one is still upset about hearing a curse word, one should do a shot of bleach.

Haha, cool, so one becomes ecstatically happy after the end of such training, and/or a great blues singer.

Language is first and foremost a means to communicate with one another, please by all means curse and offend to your heart's contend! What is language if we can't enjoy in a little bit of swearing once in a while? 

Cursing is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, creativity or vocabulary, in fact use your creativity and intelligence to come up with new and interesting swear words! 

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