Religion & Language (warning) this post contains words some may not like.

Language is { the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication } . So i ask this. Do you still regulate the use of words from a religious standpoint? I thihk most people do regaurdless of their religious view and to me this is absurd. I am starting to see that i am more and more aware of what i do in this world and how religion has crept into every corner of this world.

 My views on this go back to my days at catholic school (dont worry, i made it out of there with out getting molested). The lesson at the time was "dont use bad language,its a sin" First off we need to understand that we are dealing with a faulty premis.Sin is a term used by men to control other men,simply.So if we (athiests) disregaurd the word sin why do we (athiest) still feel the need to regulate speech according to a word that they dont recognize. Religious people to this because they are trained to do it but i say that there are 26 letters in the alphabet i use to communicate with and no one letter has anymore signifigance than any other.This was one of the first steps i took to free my mind at the age of 13 or 14. Adults used any word they wanted then and now and to tell me because i was only a kid i couldnt use the same words was crazy. I think my reply was "why the fuck not". I would be much more offended if i was called a religious activist than an asshole. Asshole is such a broad term that it has no sting to it,nor does fuck.

 So if a person wants to regulate their speech i say make sure you understand the reason for the censorship. I am all for self regulation as long as it is truly the ( SELF ) that is doing the regulating. Not the FCC , the state , the fed , or the church..

 I am not trying to offend anybody. I have become hyper aware of my world and for once it makes sense. Everything is clear if you remove the 2000 year old cloud from yor view. 

Thank you.. 

thots please 

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The only disagreement I have with using supposedly foul language is that it robs us of wit. It's easy to say "fuck you," takes no thought. But to come up with a witty, non profane thought takes work, and people are lazy thinkers.

I completely agree.  I will curse at home and in front of my family and friends from time to time, usually out of frustration or if I'm trying to be funny for some reason or another.  However, while I might use these words sometimes in a casual environment, I'm not going to walk into a job interview and start dropping the f word.  It's not because I really care about social norms, but because it seems uneducated and has no creativity.  I personally would not hire a person who cursed during an interview.  I also would not use that type of language at work, or in a class, and I probably wouldn't curse AT another person under most circumstances, because those words do have meanings that can be hurtful, and I can get my point across without resorting to that.  


Now, people who have a problem with anyone cursing anytime annoy me.  It is just a word, and if I want to use those words in my own home, or even in public if I am talking to someone I'm with, then that isn't really their business.  If someone has a problem with that, they can fuck off. :)


I basically agree with that completely, April. ;)

I agree.  The challenge for me is with my young son.  I do not want to censor speech, but I also do not want him to repeat words he does not fully understand and get in trouble for it at school.  We talk regularly about language and what others consider to be "bad words".  If myself or my husband use a word that could get him into trouble if repeated, I say, "This is a grow-up word.  Use with caution."  He does not understand why people care what words others use, so this often becomes an excellent discussion about religious control and human behavior.

So far, he has not repeated any words at school or around grandparents, but will occasionally use more daring language at home.

I don't like to curse. I never have really cursed much. I've slowly started to use a few words slightly more than in the past, in fact when I was really little I actually avoided saying "oh my god" because I didn't want to use the lord's name in vain and so I'd say "oh my gosh". Now I say "oh my god" a lot but want to avoid it if possible because I find it ironic considering I'm an atheist and all... lol...


But I also have found I've been using a few other common "bad" words like "fuck" every once in a while. Usually just in the context of "what the fuck".


I don't think it's good to get in the habit of using socially unnacceptable words. They aren't really necessary, and censoring them at least in a self-censoring way isn't actually censoring any real ideas or important opinions that should not be censored. The words are generally meaningless and just rude and offensive to people.


I think for emphasis sometimes a curse word might be useful, it has a very specific, extreme connotation. In my Linguistics classes we've learned that in English curse words are really the only types of things that work as "infixes" (rather than suffixes or prefixes - you can say "Ala - freakin' - bama" lol. And also when it comes to certain negation things they come into play as some of the only good examples of certain situations, like "I don't give a rat's ass" but you can't say "I give a rat's ass".


"Fuck" is a particularly "bad" word because it a form of "sex" (which is a neutral but "adult" word that younger children probably should have no reason to be discussing) but it is a very rude verb/noun if it is being used to mean "sex", which sometimes it is. It is also used to mean SO many things, I am WELL aware, and the vast majority of the time the word is essentially meaningless.... but the "sex" definition is one that perhaps is a reason that it is natural to feel uncomfortable using the word around children. It is not a synonym for "making love". The connotation is a lot different.



I find I get slightly uncomfortable when people use swear words, because it often gives me the impression that they are particularly vehement about whatever they're discussing, that they're upset. I don't get offended unless the word is bigoted like "fagot" or it's directed at me as an insult or something and then of course I do... of course when my mother calls my brother (her son) a "son of a bitch" we always just laugh... but the mean intent is there and so we are supposed to feel offended. I got offended when someone was writing a YouTube message to me and casually mentioned something about "chinks". I'm a straight white female but I was horrified that this person thought nothing of referring to a whole group of people in such a derogatory way and I informed them of this.


I think many swear words are similar. And/or they're not specific enough to be useful in most contexts.


There are different levels of "bad words", and I like the more moderate versions of many things - "freakin", "screw", "Hell", "sucky/sucks", often "bitch" (although it depends on the context) etc I don't feel uncomfortable saying for some reason. Nor do I feel uncomfortable hearing them, they seem more common in everyday language so perhaps that's why.

An asshole is a hard working part of the body =]

I don't use racist words because all people are equal IMO but I use all 7 of George Carlin's words you can't say on tv. I lve tuem. "Fuck" is such a multi-faceted word!

You can say some of those words on TV now, though, right? Times have changed a lot in terms of TV norms... lol.

i knew about the Bee form of language, I just attended a talk at the Boston University Conference on Language Development last month when they talked about Bees and birds and chimpanzees all having certain "concepts" and stuff, but it's not really "language" like human language. It definitely showed how the capability to produce/understand language is a slow gradual evolutionary process though and that humans aren't as special as some people might think we are. ;) I think it's so awesome that even Bees have that dance lol.


But yes I agree completely. There are certain settings when it's just inappropriate or not the best way to get your point across, it really does have nothing to do with a god or it being a sin though.

I can't say I'm offended by people using expletives, but I am brought to certain conclusions of a person by how often they use profanities. I have often asked friends if they could refrain from swearing several times in every sentence, which they usually retort "Ahhh, does swearing upset you?" so I can only confirm that "No, it just makes you sound like a dick".

I think the overuse of profanities, in my opinion is most often indicative of a person's vocabulary and just fucking stupid. But there are occasions where a carefully placed expletive can add so much gravity to a statement, like the kindly old man I was talking to the other day, an ex-sailor, he was telling me an old war story. At the end of the story, with reference to having several pieces of shrapnel in him as a result of one of the men in his command messing up, he added "I was fucking livid!".

There is one exception to this overuse, Tim Minchin's "Pope Song". Every "fuck" in that song is completely necessary IMO.

Historically, cursing - literally putting a hex or curse on another person - was grounded almost solely in religion. Thus "God Damn You" or "May you go to hell, sir!".


Sex and excretion mostly substitute for what was once a serious business of ridding oneself of cursed persons.


Thus "God Damn You" -becomes-> "Fuck you" in a secular shift away from "practical religion" which supports physical casting of souls into Hades on command to a more practical impulse to kick one's opponent directly in the nuts.


Fighting over the shock value of fuck is like dancing for architecture. The culture has moved away from belief to belief in belief.

I agree with the point that words are just words really. I love the George Carlin sentiment "There are no bad words, Bad thoughts. Bad intentions. And woooords."


That being said i do censor my language when appropriate simply because it does sometimes make you a dick. I dont censor any blasphemous words or ideas though since that is really their problem not mine.


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