As I have stated many times, I am not a scientist, but I appreciate science as the key to the shackles of religion that once bound me. So I try to be science-minded.
I am a writer though, so I think about words a lot. I like to ponder word taboos, fifty (or more) years ago breast and thigh were too scandalous for public use so companies selling chicken came up with the labels white and dark meat. Now we can say a little less than half of Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" on television, and barely wince at most of them. In fact I think cunt is the only one that people still consider too dirty to casually throw around (unless you are my close friends, in which case I have desensitized you to cunt in the name of science!)
What on earth does saying "cunt" have to do with science? Stick with me a moment as I try and explain.
A few years ago I was watching an episode of Bullshit in which Penn went on about swearing. It struck a chord with me that something as simple as words could hold such emotional power over people. Curse words are an obvious example, but for me the names of gods resonated more deeply. My own first step towards atheism involved writing down "God" and "Jesus" hundreds of times, so much that the words no longer held any emotional trigger.
Of course many of my friends are devoutly religious, so I didn't think they would let me simply sling about "Jesus Fucking Christ" all willy nilly.
No, I needed a word that offended by mere association. One women hated to be called and on men were afraid to utter in mixed company.
Oh I love this word. It sounds so innocent without context, in fact if you didn't know what cunt means, you wouldn't guess what cunt means.
So I began using it, a little at first, easing my friends into my little vocabulary nugget. At first it shocked. No one expects a wide-eyed mousey girl to simply say "cunt" and move on. I explained myself, it means nothing to me and I attach nothing emotional to it. I didn't use it insultingly towards others, but I used it none the less. Now I have a group of about 10 twenty-somethings using the word "cunt," on a regular basis. Cunt means nothing now. It isn't a word to be afraid of, it doesn't bite. It's just cunt.
What on earth does this have to do with god names?
Well, there exists in many religions a taboo against casual utterance of the name of god. Whatever that name is. The name holds power, to utter it is to offend, to summon, to damn. The name of god, is like "cunt," the people who believe are weak to it. There is power in enforcing this taboo. This taboo makes certain that no one may ever get used to to the word.
I believe that there is a connection. Some holy man somewhere must have observed that the more often one said the name of god, the more familiar one felt with that name, the less frightened they were by that name. I mean, you see a little of it with xtians, the new ones say Jesus so often that they treat him like a buddy instead of the physical manifestation of the god who visited the plagues on Egypt or buggered Job because the devil dared him to. If they honored their own religious taboos they would never utter his name outside of prayer. They have allowed the disconnect. If they had lived during Jesus' day they would be stoned to death for their insolence for uttering the name of god (YHWH then, but hell, who cares?)
I seem to have lost my point somewhere in all of this.
The point is I say "cunt" a lot.