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← Care in Atheist Terminology

Roedy's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Roedy

Several people have asked why bother avoiding innocuous Christiansms. After all, they have been thoroughly integrated as a part of secular speech.

I would attempt this for two reasons:

  1. to avoid falling into Christian superstition, like my atheist mother did. When you use certain language, it facilitates corresponding superstitious modes of thinking, gradually eroding rationality. Especially as you get old or near death, Christians will pounce.

  2. Think how many times you have seen an image of Noah's ark. It is used for seed banks, animal rescue, disaster preparation... along with creationist religious indoctrination. Even the titles of secular nature documentaries on the Oasis channel often use religious vocabulary (e.g. miracle, creation, ark) Enough repetition makes even the preposterous seem ordinary. This is why Christians feel no need to present evidence for goofy stories like Noah. It is part of the background. It needs no more explanation, in their view, than air. By subtly changing your vocabulary, you unobtrusively keep challenging these background assumptions. If you are like me, you want to see Christianity go the way of the Aztec god of sacrifices Chalmecatecuchtlz. Avoiding reinforcing Christian superstition with sloppy speech is just one more technique to send it on its way.

Don't worry. I won't pounce on you for infractions.

Mon, 15 Nov 2010 01:35:24 UTC | #547578