Atheism and profanity

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A National Public Radio reviewer of one of atheist Penn Jillette's books found the book "showy and assaultive" in terms of its use of profanity.[1]

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: obscene language; illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.[2]

Furthermore, the University of Illinois psychologist Ryan Ritter published a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science which showed among other things that atheists used profanity significantly more than Christians do on Twitter and that Christians had happier dispositions on Twitter.[3]

Swearing is negatively correlated with conscientiousness, agreeableness and religiosity.[4]

See also:

Studies on religion and self-control

Many individuals engage in profanity due to having a poor control of their emotions (anger, bitterness, hatred, etc.). See: Atheism and emotional intelligence and Atheism and anger and Atheism and hatred of God

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[5][6] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[7][8] Also, numerous studies indicate that those who engage in regular spiritual practices have lower mortality rates.[9][10] See also: Atheism and hedonism

Profanity, education and vocabulary

See also: Atheism and intelligence and Atheism and the theory of multiple intelligences and Atheism and education

It is commonly thought that some individuals who commonly use profanity have limited vocabularies and imaginations.[11][12]

In the United States, due to more women and southerners attending college/universities, atheism is now negatively correlated with education. See also: Atheism and education and Atheism and women

National Public Radio on atheist Penn Jillette's profanity laced book

A National Public Radio's review of Penn Jillette's book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales declared:

The problem with the book is that that same vibrancy, that same exuberance, eventually becomes performative and exhausting. Jillette's adoration of profanity is shared by plenty of great writers, and I absolutely believe in a "well-tempered *#@!-word,"... But there are places in this particular book where it feels showy and assaultive, as if the millionth *#@! will make a duck drop from the ceiling. As much as I enjoy profanity wielded for proper effect, that's how much I don't like it slathered on just to add a gratuitous sense of rebellion, just to rile up the kind of people you want to dislike your book.[1]

Agnostic and New Atheist Richard Dawkins' online forum riddled with profanity and gossip

See also: Internet atheism and Richard Dawkins' battle with online fans

In February 2010, the news organization The Telegraph reported that the agnostic and New Atheist Richard Dawkins was "embroiled in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, insults and 'frivolous gossip'."[13] Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being abrasive so the behavior of his fans is not entirely surprising.

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry on atheism and profanity

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry wrote about atheism and profanity:

Not to long ago, I was in an atheist chat room for about half an hour where I was repeatedly insulted, told that I was stupid, that I couldn't think properly, mocked, cussed at, etc. It was the usual fare from the atheists. I remained calm and eventually asked the question, "Why do you atheists hate God?" I knew the question would get an interesting response. It did. Foul language, insults, lies, misrepresentations, hatred, condemnation, and more. But woven throughout the numerous insults was the most common answer: "We don't hate what does not exist!"

I replied by asking how they knew that God did not exist. I told them that if they could not give me some rational reason for denying his existence, then their position is held by faith.[14]

See also: Atheism is a religion and Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Atheism and irrationality and Atheist hypocrisy

Atheist Howard Stern and indecent radio broadcasts

Howard Stern is a radio host. He is also an atheist.[15]

Between the years of 1990 and 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined owners of radio station licensees that carried The Howard Stern Show a total of $2.5 million for radio content it deemed to be indecent.[16]

George R.R. Martin declared in 2011: "You would consider me an atheist or agnostic. I find religion and spirituality fascinating. I would like to believe this isn't the end and there's something more, but I can't convince the rational part of me that makes any sense whatsoever."[17]

George R.R. Martin's anger at some fans and an obscene gesture

See also: Atheism and obesity

The atheist/agnostic George R.R. Martin is overweight. In 2014, The Guardian reported that George Martin became angry about some of his fans speculating about his health and the time of his future death. The fans were concerned that he will not finish his lengthy fantasy series before he dies.[18] In response, in 2014 Martin published a picture in The Guardian which featured him giving those fans a profane gesture using his middle finger.[18]

Atheist George Carlin and his monologue "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television"

George Carlin was a comedian. Carlin was an atheist.[19] In 1972, Carlin performed a monologue entitled "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television".

PZ Myers and profanity

PZ Myers is a militant atheist.[20] His language is extremely militant at times, and laced with expletives.[21] In a diatribe in which he described those who believe in the Bible as "lunatics" and "bigots," Myers said; "I say, screw the polite words and careful rhetoric. It's time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots."[22]

Orphelia Benson and profanity/hypocrisy

See also: Atheist hypocrisy and Elevatorgate

Orphelia Benson

Ophelia Benson is an American atheist, feminist, author, editor and blogger. She is known for using the word f*#@wit and she claims the word is not a vulgar word.[23][24] Despite commonly using this vulgar epithet, she published a joint statement with the agnostic and New Atheist Richard Dawkins indicating that atheists should behave in a civil manner in disagreements with each other and not engage in uncivil behavior such as the use of vulgar epithets.[23] See also: Atheist hypocrisy

American society and other societies in the world see the use of profanity by women to be particularly unmannerly. Woman who engage in profanity are commonly deemed to be vulgar/uncouth individuals and this is especially the case in religious areas of the world. For example, in 2014, a mother in South Carolina who swore in front of her children in public was arrested for disorderly conduct.[25]

Atheist/feminist blogger Amando Marcotte and profanity

Amanda Marie Marcotte is an atheist, American blogger who writes on feminism, politics and atheism/religion.

Time magazine described Marcotte's blogging as "provocative and profanity-laced."[26]

Marcotte has spoken at Skepticon, SXSWIII, Women In Secularism 2,[27] and SkepchickCON.[28] In addition, she is on the speakers bureau of the Secular Student Alliance.[29]

Atheism and pornography

See also: Atheism and pornography

One of the causes of atheism is a hedonistic lifestyle. See: Atheism and hedonism.

The infamous pornographers Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt are both atheists.[30]

In 2003, Arena magazine magazine listed Flynt as #1 on the "50 Powerful People in Porn" list.[31] Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries sustained from a 1978 assassination attempt by the serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin.[32]

Profanity, atheism and women

PZ Myers declared, "...I don’t object to bestiality in a very limited set of specific conditions..."[33][34] See: Atheism and bestiality (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

See also: Atheism and women

In 2006, Psychology Today found that 55 percent of males and 45 percent of females were reported to swear in public.[35]

In November 2010, Discover Magazine published survey results published by the World Values Survey which showed significant differences between the percentage of men and women who are atheists for various countries.[36]

A 2009 article in entitled Women More Religious Than Men reported: "A new analysis of survey data finds women pray more often then men, are more likely to believe in God, and are more religious than men in a variety of other ways...The latest findings, released Friday, are no surprise, only confirming what other studies have found for decades.[37] In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.[38]

Atheist PZ Myers' and atheist Susan Jacoby's commentary concerning atheist meetings

In June of 2010, the atheist PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[39] In October of 2012, the atheist Susan Jacoby wrote in The Humanist concerning atheist meetings: "When I speak before non-college audiences — that is, audiences in which no one is required to be there to get credit for a college course — 75 percent of the people in the seats are men."[40]

Christian blogger's testimony about online atheists and profanity

In an August 21, 2013 blog post entitled Civility, Negativity, and Atheism-as-Identity the Christian blog A well Spent Journey wrote:

Lately, this blog has been receiving a huge number of scornful, obscene, profanity-laden comments from anonymous atheists. I’ve been deleting the bulk of them without explanation. I toyed with the idea of writing an official comment policy (no swearing, hate speech, personal threats, saying mean things about my mother, etc.)...

There was a time when this would have gotten under my skin (and probably drawn me into some of my infamously long debates in the comment threads). I also realize that I bring some of this upon myself by uttering occasional blasphemies against The Wise Atheistic Consensus Of The Internet and Modern ScienceTM.

But on a serious note, I feel a tremendous amount of compassion for these anonymous individuals. In my experience, this kind of rage often has a personal back-story.[41]

See also:

Christian blogger subsequently disabled blog comments with a message to online atheist trolls

See also: Atheist bullying and Atheism and sadism and Militant atheism

In a September 24, 2014 blog post the Christian blog A Well Spent Journey posted a blog post entitled In the Words of Leo Tolstoy which declared:

NOTICE: We’ve had a problem lately with slanderous and abusive comments. The site admins have decided to disable all comments for the foreseeable future.


“No longer able to believe in the Church religion, whose falsehood they had detected, and incapable of accepting true Christian teaching, which denounced their whole manner of life, these rich and powerful people, stranded without any religious conception of life, involuntarily returned to that pagan view of things which places life’s meaning in personal enjoyment.”

“Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. Nor can this be otherwise, since always and everywhere a Government, by its very nature, must put in the place of the highest, eternal, religious law (not written in books but in the hearts of men, and binding on every one) its own unjust, man-made laws, the object of which is neither justice nor the common good of all but various considerations of home and foreign expediency.”

“Condemn me if you choose — I do that myself, — but condemn me, and not the path which I am following, and which I point out to those who ask me where, in my opinion, the path is.”

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”[42]

Atheist trolls and atheist bullying

See also: Atheist bullying and Militant atheism

Atheists are well known for engaging in online bullying behavior (see: Atheist bullying).[43]

Atheist online bullying has contributed to atheists having a bad reputation among many members of the public (see: Views on atheists). For example, Dr. Sam Harris is one of the founders of the New Atheism movement. Sam Harris is quite aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has even advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists.[44][45] In fact, Dr. Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation.[44][45] See also: Atheism and social outcasts

Atheism, profanity and YouTube/blog comment moderation

Atheists have developed a reputation for immaturity and whining (see: Atheist whining and Atheism and immaturity).

One of the matters that atheists/evolutionists whine about is Christians/creationists moderating their YouTube/blog comments or turning off commenting on their YouTube videos or blogs, despite the fact that atheists have a penchant for engaging in profanity on the internet.

In addition, atheists are some of the most militant, unreasonable, illogical, uninformed and stubborn individuals on the internet. For example, the atheist Brendan O'Neill wrotein an August 14th, 2013 The Telegraph article entitled How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet wrote: "These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on Earth."[46]

See also:

Bible verses on the avoidance of the use of profanity

The Apostle Paul defending his preaching. (Giovanni Ricco)

The Apostle Paul was one of the most educated men of his day and the Bible has many eloquent passages.[47][48]

Below are some verses from Pauline epistles encouraging Christians to be peaceable and to avoid using profanity:

"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving." - Ephesians 5:4 ESV

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." - Ephesians 4:29 ESV

"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." - Colossians 3:8-10 ESV

"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." - Colossians 4:6 ESV

"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth." - Colossians 3:8 ESV

See also

Atheism and aesthetics:

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 National Public Radio [NPR) review of the book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette
  2. Practical Outcomes Replace Biblical Principles As the Moral Standard, The Barna Group, September 10, 2001
  3. Happy Tweets: Christians Are Happier, More Socially Connected, and Less Analytical Than Atheists on Twitter Social Psychological and Personality Science 1948550613492345, first published on June 18, 2013
  4. The Science of Swearing By Timothy Jay and Kristin Janschewitz, Association for Psychological Science
  5. Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications
  6. Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications
  7. Religion Replenishes Self-Control, Psychological Science, June 2012 vol. 23 no. 6 635-642, Kevin Rounding, Albert Lee, Jill A. Jacobson and Li-Jun Ji at Queen’s University
  8. Study finds religion helps us gain self-control
  9. Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review. McCullough ME, Hoyt WT, Larson DB, Koenig HG, Thoresen C., Health Psychol. 2000 May;19(3):211-22.
  10. The role of spirituality in health care, roc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2001 October; 14(4): 352–357.
  11. Handbook for New Converts By William J. (Bill) Morgan ThD, page 77
  12. The Etiquette of Profanity by Alan Weiss, Posted on October 31, 2010
  13. Richard Dawkins in bitter web censorship row with fellow atheists: Professor Richard Dawkins is embroiled in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, insults and “frivolous gossip, The Telegraph By Heidi Blake, 9:25AM GMT 26 Feb 2010
  14. Do atheists hate God?
  15. Howard Stern and Larry King on Atheism and Homosexuality, Wednesday, May 7, 2014 21:41
  16. Dunbar, John (April 9, 2004). Indecency on the Air. Shock-radio jock Howard Stern remains 'King of All Fines'. The Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved on September 6, 2010.
  17. James Hibberd. "EW interview: George R.R. Martin talks 'A Dance With Dragons'", Entertainment Weekly, July 12, 2011. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 George RR Martin gives impatient readers the finger by Alison Flood, The Guardian, Thursday 10 July 2014 07.18 EDT
  19. Ray Comfort on atheist George Carlin, Ray Comfort is a Christian evangelist
  21. P.Z. Myers’ evolutionary equivocation My brush with P.Z. Myers at his anti-creationist talk in Minot, ND, USA by Greg Demme
  23. 23.0 23.1 The Ophelia Benson canard
  24. Joint statement by Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins (see comment section)
  25. Mom Arrested for Swearing in Front of Kids at the Grocery Store, but What the Woman Who Tattled on Her Did Afterward Is Just as Surprising, The Blaze, Aug. 15, 2014 4:41pm
  26. Calabresi, Massimo. "Bloggers on the Bus", Time, 2007-02-07. 
  27. Amanda Marcotte Profile. Retrieved on 9 June 2013.
  28. SkepchickCON at CONvergence. Retrieved on 11 August 2013.
  29. Amanda Marcotte. Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved on 11 August 2013.
  30. Multiple references:
    • Gottesdiener, Laura (February 23, 2010). "10 celebs you didn't know were atheists". Salon. Retrieved on October 3, 2014.
    • Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast.
    • "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." "Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell" [transcript] (January 10, 1996). Larry King Live. Transcript retrieved from on October 3, 2014.
  31. "Larry Flynt". One News Page. Retrieved on October 3, 2014.
  32. Multiple references:
    • Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast, pp. 170–171.
    • "Larry Flynt". One News Page. Retrieved on October 3, 2014.
  33. Atheist Achilles Heels: Objective Morality and Sacred Life
  34. The “objective morality” gotcha
  35. Male & Female Differences in Swearing & Taboo Language By Pamela Stewart, eHow Contributor , last updated August 30, 2014
  36. Sex differences in global atheism, part N
  37. Women More Religious Than Men
  39. The Woman problem by PZ Myers
  40. A Woman’s Place? The Dearth of Women in the Secular Movement
  41. Civility, Negativity, and Atheism-as-Identity, Blog: A Well Spent Journay, Posted on August 21, 2013
  42. In the Words of Leo Tolstoy , blog: A Well Spent Journey, Posted on September 24, 2014
  43. Atheist trolls
  44. 44.0 44.1 Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
  45. 45.0 45.1 5 reasons why the Atheism+ movement will fail
  46. Brendan O'Neill, The Telegraph, How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet, August 14th, 2013
  47. The Early Life and Background of Paul the Apostle by Quency E. Wallace
  48. The Eloquence of the King James Bible