Congratulations, this four year old post made me sign up. :D
How many Atheists, when they have an orgasm exclaim "god!" What spoils the mood more: when you say it or when your partner says it?
Personally, if my partner started shouting anything but "god" or "fuck", it would likely kill the mood during sex. It would be very disconcerting if he started calling out Sagan or Darwin.
I think it would be prudent to categorize expletives, such as by level of excitement.
Cuss words, or words used in anger or as insults should be left alone, due to the blaspheme factor that many have already explained. Personally, I use Joss Whedon's Firefly swear words Gorram for Goddamn, and rutt for fuck. On occasion, I substitute Douglass Adams' "Belgium" for fuck when not using it as a verb/adverb, or BSG's "Frack" at other times.
Exclamations, or words used in surprise or fear, I would say are open to personal choice. I do use religious words here, but only out of habit. I like the idea of replacing Jesus with Darwin in this context. Darwin's Beard tickles me a bit.
Personal Courtesy words and phrases should definitely be changed.
I live in the SSA (Southern States of America) and on a daily basis people tell me to "Have a Blessed Day." This infuriates me on a personal level, but because I work in a grocery store, I can't approach the topic for fear of offending a customer and being fired. I instead tell them to "Have a Wonderful Day" My context being to have a day filled with wonder and interesting events.
I personally use the word "Gesundheit" for sneezing, because a sneeze is, at it's best a biological cleansing of the nasal passage, and at it's worse a symptom of disease. I think it proper to wish them health. I stay quiet after my own sneeze, again for fear of being fired.
Often times I'm required to stay silent because religious people tend to be so easily offended by atheists expressing themselves in a secular way, and Nature forbid I ask them to be more secular towards me.
You're overthinking this. References to God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Mother of God (among other similar ones) when taken "in vain," are appropriately disrespectful used by a disbeliever, so I use them.
This is the problem i have with identifying with groups. People can use whatever naughty words they want and just because they identify with a certain group, that shouldn't limit what they can and cannot say. It's like saying "Hopping easter bunny shit nuggets!" just because i don't believe in the easter bunny doesn't mean i can't grasp the concept of it and therefore use it in any way i wish. If I want to say "Jesus tittyfucking christ" then being an atheist shouldn't make that contradictive to my understanding.
Also, the blaspheming makes a statement that we aren't afraid of the invisible skywizard.
My African grey has picked up on one of my friends bad words , such as calling people a C@nt , and she also telss you to F&ck off ect, I think I need to teach her a few more words so nextime the religous family comes to visit she can realy piss them off!
First of all you can very easily have a full grasp of the english language without ever picking up a bible. I'm not sure what the bases of that claim is on, but it simply isn't true.
What you need to understand here is the concept of "evolution of language". When I say "oh god" or whatever the case may be when I'm excited for whatever reason. Would it surprise you to know that I"m actually not praising a god for "having sex" or whatever. Its an expression of awe, it has no other deep meaning for me.
This topic is very old to me, I've heard it all before. Its kind of like when you get a foreigner imegrating to a different country, they pick up the new lingo then start using it. For example if an English person moves to American and starts using all the American slang usage, such as cell phone (instead of mobile phone), or candy (instead of sweets) etc. Does that make them less English? No, they just words to describe something it doesn't change the bases of who they are.
And an atheist using religious lingo amongst a culture of a majority of religious people, doesn't make him or her less atheist. They are just phrase to express an expression of awe. I could easily say "oh my gosh" or something of that sort if I wanted to, but I don't see the point.
And if your point was that these "phrases" are of the English language. They are just slang to me.
I think I would like to stop using religious language when I swear, but I find that it feels too silly to say "Dawkins!" or "Darwin!" or whatever. I prefer to let loose with a "Oh my fucking god!" every once in a while (or a lot, really), despite the lack of belief in said god. What could I say that would be sufficiently secular but also satisfying?
How about: "Oh your fucking god!" ?
Perfect. Thank you.
Offend everyone, god damnit, jesus christ, i swear to Buddah, Appolonius Christ! etc.
Lol JK that may imply that I actually believe those things. I love Carlin, he is my favorite comic. I like the suggestions you make at the end. When I am interacting with someone in person (someone I know) I usually swear quite a lot. I just stick to the 7 dirty words shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, mother fucker, and tits :)
When interacting formally online, or through other writing I avoid it all together xP