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God Language in our Society

Society has been so dominated by Judeo-Christian beliefs that even people who don’t believe in a god are still brainwashed into using God language. How many times have you said, “God bless you” after someone sneezes?

“God Bless you” is just one example and many non-religious people have started to use other phrases instead of this very theistic one. Why do we say anything at all when people sneeze? The idea was that back in the day people believed that an evil spirit might enter the body when someone sneezes. This is of course ridiculous. In fact this is so ridiculous that no modern Christian still believes it.

“Oh my God,” I still say that phrase when something surprising or unfortunate happens. It is an unthinking reaction yet I still say it even though don’t believe in a god. Even “holy shit,” “God damn it” and “Jesus Christ” are used by most atheists today.

But the number one religious language holdover has got to be “goodbye.” Most people have no idea where this term comes from. It is short for the phrase, “May God be with you on your quest.” Of course, now goodbye has lost the religious component and has become a more generic farewell so I don’t really feel bad about continuing to use it. But the other terms and phrases that retain their obvious religious wording is a little embarrassing.

How should a non-theist deal with such things? Should we create and use more secular terminology and train ourselves into using different terms and phrases? Or should be just claim that those terms and phrases no longer have religious meaning to us and move on?

One thing is certain, even after the vast majority of people abandon religious superstitions and ridiculous beliefs, we are still going to be stuck with a lot of reminders of how these ridiculous beliefs have dominated the world.

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