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

Views: 2822

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

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.

Indeed, we live in a culture where swearing has evolved into a major linguistic pattern, I think many of us are accustomed to the 'facile' nature of using swear words left right and centre instead of a more interesting vocabulary. I swear A LOT, whenever I'm visiting my agnostic/atheist mother, she finds my obsession with swearing annoying. And often requests that I cut it out. I don't think she is 'right' or 'wrong' about her request. But my mother has always lived outside pop culture, whereas I've been a partaker of pop-culture and many of the hedonistic pleasures it involves.


I've often discussed the linguistic patterns of swearing before in a strictly cultural sense, but this discussion of swearing's linguistic value to atheists is an interesting and novel topic, on which I'll do some additional pondering... :)

You are in their same trap by allowing yourself to be catagorized by something you are NOT. A-theist. I am an evolutionist, a pragmatist, a free-thinker, but refuse to describe myself in the negative.

I've always found that food products make good swear words, and they get noticed more. One of my favorites is "cheese nibbles."


My favorite swear phrase also involves food and was coined by Kurt Vonnegut. "Take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut."


If I want to cuss something scandalous around religious people, I usually say, "bloody Jesus on a stick!"

You reminded me of a swear that works better in croatin, but here it goes:

F*ck soup made from nails Jesus Christ was crucified with

I never knew "flying fuck through a rolling donut" was Vonnegut's!  I'll be damned!


© 2018   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service