Author Topic: Nonsensical religious vernacular  (Read 216 times)

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Offline MatCauthon

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Nonsensical religious vernacular
« on: November 17, 2011, 06:00:23 PM »
I can't help but notice that so many people use words and sayings that don't make any sense, especially when of a religious nature. I think that these sayings reinforce theist's beliefs on a subconscious level. Then there are "social" theists, those that never worship, go to religious services, read religious texts, or even think about the topic, but will say they believe in Yahweh if asked. It is very possible that these "social" theists only say they believe because they have these small things (and other cultural idiosyncrasies) to back up their greater culture's beliefs that they have unwittingly adopted through an Appeal to Belief/Tradition (basically the reasons 99.9% of people believe what they do).

Note: Although most of these sayings use the word "god," they are in reference to Yahweh.

"Oh my god!" or "Jesus Christ!" This is one of the more common sayings theists and non-theists alike use. It is an expression of surprise. I don't understand why people say this, especially if they are religious. For a theist to express surprise, as in the surprise of the revelation of an invisible sky daddy controlling everything, surprises me. Occasionally, this is also said in anger, which does not surprise me due to the incredible wrath Yahweh is known for.

"Thank god!" For what? This is said if something fortunate happens, as if Yahweh were actually responsible. These are often very trivial events. No one should think that Yahweh only does good things for them (Isaiah 45:7). However, no one says, "Damn it God, why did you do that to me?" If there is a god controlling everything, I don't think I'd care too much for living. I'm already a determinist, but if I believed in an extra-dimensional being that controlled my life, I would hate it's guts, if it had them, and I most certainly would not worship it.

"Good god!"  Contradictory statement used to express amazement or disbelief. Yahweh is far more bad than good, and the good is often a result of the bad. Following a rape, the victim is married to her assailant. Killing all but a handful of the world's population, and he gives them rainbows. After a short life full of hardships with an often times brutal death they are promised... more life! It really makes you wonder why people buy into this nonsense. On the flip side there is...

"Godawful" I actually love this saying. By stating one's dislike of something and how awful it is, this saying implies that Yahweh (and his work) is as unpleasant as portrayed, not the nice guy people wished he was. In other words, "Awful as God." Say, we should starting saying that instead. See how people react then!

Unfortunately, although the meaning behind the words should tell people how awful Yahweh is, no one ever thinks of Yahweh when they say it. I am truly astonished as to how this saying started.

"God bless you!" "Thank you!" I really despise this saying. At some point people took the ordinary occurrence of sneezing and tied it to a magical sky king for protection from...? I can see why people started saying this, but this is 2011. We all know that rainbows aren't a sign from a god, lightning is the result of electrical discharges, and absolutely nothing will happen if someone doesn't say this stupid saying. What do the sneezers think happens when no one is around to say it to them? Unfortunately, the "Thank you" is the worst part. This encourages people to bless others, reinforcing the behavior like a dog getting a treat for doing a trick.

Speaking of blessing others, it would appear that is precisely what people think (or used to think) they're doing. What conceited person actually thinks that they can speak on behalf of their god? Seriously, if I were Yahweh, I would consider revoking the blesser's eternal Disneyland.

"God damn you/it!" See above paragraph. An exclamation used widely even by non-theists. Curiously, theists will sometimes get upset over hearing it, but never when they hear a “God bless you. “ I wonder if they are mistakenly thinking that the speaker is damning Yahweh, and not an object or a situation? It wouldn’t surprise me if they did, as they have to break their minds to work through all the plot holes.

"For god's sake." A contemptuous Appeal to Consequences of a Belief. It's also rather selfish to say. Not really worth talking about. “For god's sake, this situation should be more favorable to me, and I'll have you know that my god is real because he will punish you for your actions here, even though this is a very trivial situation that you won't find covered in the bible.” Just wow.

"God only knows," "God knows why," etc. An Appeal to Ignorance. The speaker is basically saying, “I don't know, therefore God.” Weak.

"What the hell?" Exactly – what hell?

*I don’t care for these last two, as they both strongly convey a negative afterlife as reality. I think this is due to the finality and eternal nature of the concept of hell. Curiously, I can think of no sayings that do as much for a positive afterlife.*

"Sure as hell" There is nothing as “sure as hell,” since hell surely doesn’t exist, but even non-theists will say this to emphasize a point.

"When hell freezes over" Used to say that something will never happen. I prefer the saying, “When hell becomes a reality” as it pretty much says the same thing, only more accurately.

Offline IAmFirst

Re: Nonsensical religious vernacular
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 06:30:16 PM »


"God bless you!" "Thank you!" I really despise this saying. At some point people took the ordinary occurrence of sneezing and tied it to a magical sky king for protection from...? I can see why people started saying this, but this is 2011. We all know that rainbows aren't a sign from a god, lightning is the result of electrical discharges, and absolutely nothing will happen if someone doesn't say this stupid saying. What do the sneezers think happens when no one is around to say it to them? Unfortunately, the "Thank you" is the worst part. This encourages people to bless others, reinforcing the behavior like a dog getting a treat for doing a trick.



Oh, don't get me started on this one. :D

My response is always, "No, thank you." And I make sure I say Gesundheit (good health). Part of the reason for the change to "God Bless You" is a)it ain't German and b) bubonic plague.

From Wiki
Quote
Gregory I became Pope in AD 590 as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of chanters through the streets. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the plague. The blessing ("God bless you!") became a common effort to halt the disease.

There's also the losing your soul and a shield against evil bullshit, but I encourage people to say, "No, thank you" to that phrase.
2nd of all, if all you believe in is peer-reviewed papers, you won't go very far in life...

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Nonsensical religious vernacular
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 06:40:58 PM »
I think you're way overthinking all of this.

Offline Historicity

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Re: Nonsensical religious vernacular
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 06:50:51 PM »
Don't get hung up on it or you'll tend into an unhealthy habit that crops up among Christians from century to century.  That is, they realize that embedded in Western culture there are referents to the old polytheistic pantheon.  They they try to root it out and just look silly and fanatical -- again.

The days of the week have pagan names.  They were the Egyptian names of gods for the days of the week translated into Roman gods in south Europe and German gods in north Europe.

Early Christians went on idol smashing sprees from time to time in the Dark Ages.

In 1627  Julius Schiller created a new map of the sky replacing the pagan mythological figures with his Coelum Stellatum Christianum with evangelists and OT figures.  The River Eridanus becomes simply the River Jordan.




Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Nonsensical religious vernacular
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 07:12:33 PM »
In 1627  Julius Schiller created a new map of the sky replacing the pagan mythological figures with his Coelum Stellatum Christianum with evangelists and OT figures.  The River Eridanus becomes simply the River Jordan.
And we know just how well that worked.  I've got a hankering to go look at the constellation of Orion, and maybe Cassiopeia while I'm at it.

Offline Backspace

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Re: Nonsensical religious vernacular
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 10:16:11 PM »
Don't forget the ever popular "Holy shit!" or it's slightly cleaner cousin, "Holy crap!"  Both convey an excited emotional state with an undertone of religious disdain -- perfect for any occasion.
There is no opinion so absurd that a preacher could not express it.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Nonsensical religious vernacular
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 10:30:33 AM »
but I encourage people to say, "No, thank you" to that phrase.

I don't say anything.  When you belch, you say, "excuse me."  When you pass gas, you say, "excuse me."  When you otherwise make some odd retching or weird bodily sound, you say, "excuse me."  Yet, when you sneeze other people are obliged to say something?  No, no.  Not I.  I say "excuse me," when I sneeze.  When other people sneeze, I either say "well?" and look expectantly or I say "shut the fuck up, I'm trying work, you rude dickbag."
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