How should Atheists swear?

One cannot understand English without having a basic knowledge of Christianity; so pervasive is that religion on our culture. Christianity's hold on European civilization has been totalitarian.

I am in favour of a secularization of North America that is so profound that when people swear they do not use religious references.

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?

And why do we use "fuck" as a swear-word. The Atheist comic George Carlin often wondered, why does a word describing the act of procreation merit being turned into a pejorative?

Towards an Atheist Newspeak.

A reason why Christianity dominates the English language and culture is because the theists imposed habits of thinking, altered the meanings of words to suit their world-view and made it as difficult as possible for anyone to think outside the box they built for us. The successful struggle against these efforts is called "The Enlightenment."

Secularists have ended the domination of Christianity - people now enjoy freedom of thought, at least in most countries. The time is overdue for us Atheists to take English over - to make it more likely that people will think secular thoughts and less likely to entertain obscurantist ideas.

Here are two ways we can do this :

1) stop using words that have religious or mystical meanings. The objective is that the words will die out from lack of use;

2) Co-opt the words. change their meaning permanently so that whenever someone uses a given word it can only have a secular interpretation.

In his novel 1984, George Orwell described how a totalitarian government used language to condition people's thinking.

That language can be shaped, controlled and purposively modified is not only an idea that totalitarians can implement- it is a fact that should be appreciated by anyone desiring liberty. We Atheists are partisans in a culture war and the English language is a battlefield we must control.

I therefore submit the following list as an example of words and expressions we should use in place of the current obscurantist terms:

This seems like such a good idea someone must have already proposed it. If you can find out who please let me know. As you can tell by these first four examples, I could use some assistance.

My god - my word
bless you - you are so good looking (Seinfeld)
Jesus! - Darwin!
holy shit - blue screen!

Dave Mann

Tags: 1984, Orwell, Swear, english, language, orgasm, swearing

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Sometimes, I use "Oh your god!" Stolen of course from Bender on Futurama.

Generally I say 'By the hammer of Thor!' or 'By Odin's raven!' or some other obsolete pagan reference as an exclamation. When people question it I take the chance to start a debate. Curses, Oh fie, and Blast are also personal favorites. I should start using Godless Damn It and Oh Your God as well.


If someone who isn't of extreme authority says 'God bless you' to me, generally I respond either 'I'd prefer he didn't', 'what evidence asserts that action', or, in some cases 'In the Bible alone, God killed roughly 25 million people, only a bit under Stalin and Hitler's combined kill counts. Would you say 'Hitler bless you' on a regular basis?'

More like 'Hitler promote you' or something even more strange like 'Hitler befriend you on facebook'
I agree, if you're not insulting someone or something... it is simply not a swear :)

i enjoy. 

i almost forgot about the seinfeld "you are soo good looking" 

The link between swearing and religion is not always as obvious as it seems. Take France which has been a quite secular nation for some time, their swear words are all related to female sexuality. Latinos swearing often involves homophobia. In Quebec, until FUCK YOU entered our language in the 70s, we swore solely on church words:

And if were REALLY pissed off, we string a bunch of them together. For me, as a feminist woman, cussing with religious words is much more appealing than cussing with female sexuality. From the Australians I've met, cussing with female words also seems popular (cow, cunt) even out of the mouth of women...


So in French I cuss with religion, but in English I feel restricted to fuck-you and it's variants, which is sad  :(


A swear is a denigration of something sacred. Maybe we should start using capitalism and democracy for our cussing in North America, since after religion, capitalism is surely the most sacred concept around... hmmm, yep, I think I'm going to start looking into that:

My god! ... My Bush!

Jesus! ... Friedman!

bless you! ... money you!

Holy Shit! ... ok, that one still works :)

You reminded me you can say:

holly cheese

I remembered an odd religious swear that I have heard somewhere (I'm paraphrasing):

holy dancing cow of vishnu


We should swear however we fucking hell want to.
Instead of saying "bless you" when someone sneezes I just say "nothing happens when you die"

When my son was 7, he asked who decided a word was "bad" and he wanted to know why we all follow that persons opinion, still. I loved that he was able to be so objective, so young. 

If we say anything after a sneeze, it's "Sternutation," as that is the act of sneezing.

My family also recognizes the religiosity in language, and we consciously respond with different words, or none. It seems that people react more uncomfortably when nothing is said, as if they're forced to see that their expectation for a response is the only thing causing them discomfort, because a smile from us is not enough.

I'll often practice being quiet when I would normally use an exclamation. Seeing my minds reflex to speak, and not actually acting on it, is somehow rewarding for me, less stress.



Swearing is a religious concept. Before religion, someone stubbing their toe would simply scream OUCH! In the sense that all sex is considered 'la la sacred' by most religions, even fuck is a religious swear when you really boil it down.


Maybe as atheists, who supposedly are better educated and have better vocabulary, we can just forget about swearing altogether, and simply use appropriate language for any given event...


Interesting thought, but I still have an urge to say something in a given situation, like if I hit somebody in testicular area I would say: "Evolved much?", or if I see a young programmer making hideous beginner mistakes I would exclaim something like: "In the name of Turing's left testicle what are you doing?" because if I mentioned some god-fellow I wouldn't make any sense.


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Things you hate.

Started by Devlin Cuite in Small Talk. Last reply by James Cox 22 minutes ago. 122 Replies


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