virus: I swear to God [sic]

Sean Morgan (
Fri, 17 May 1996 00:09:39 -0700

Whilst we quaffed a jug (pitcher, to you gringos) or four tonight, David,
First Prophet of Virus, pointed out that I tend to use expletives from the
Christian mythos. I claim to be an atheist and so was disturbed by this

According to the Virian "Sins and Virtues" definition of Hypocrisy
Our beliefs are expressed through our behaviour, most explicitly
through speech acts (e.g. "It's going to rain tomorrow."), but they also
underlay every action we commit. When our actions reflect inconsistent
beliefs we are guilty of hypocrisy. Although unavoidable to some extent
(there is simply not enough time to consciously check each action and its
consequences against every belief before executing it), every effort should
be made to avoid major inconsistencies because they undermine our values,
goals and plans. Often hypocrisy goes unnoticed because the connections
between beliefs and actions are subtle. How many of us would denounce animal
testing yet at the same time not think twice about taking medicine? That is
why we must constantly examine and re-evaluate our behaviour and the beliefs
it reflects.

What's a foul-mouthed atheist to do? (Hint, Hypocrisy wasn't in the
"Virtue" column).

According to Vernor Vinge, "A sane person is a huge assemblage of
conflicting/cooperating subprocesses rumbling along in some kind of dynamic
equilibrium" (
Regardless, I would like to spend some "effort [in avoiding this] major
inconsistencies because they undermine our values, goals and plans".

I could restrict my epithets to body parts and body functions, but that
would leave a gap.

I could curse [sic] with phrases designed to antagonize fundies, like "God's
Navel!" (as used in _Mote in God's Eye_), or "Christ on a crutch!", but
sometimes (rarely) I'm not in such a confrontational mood.

I would prefer something along the lines of the Virian belief system, as
"Ford!" was used in _Brave New World_, a world with mass produced people.

An obvious choice is "Darwin!". David suggested that the first name could
be used, as in: "Chuck you!", "No, Chuck YOU!".

How about instead of saying that something is bullshit, a load of crap, or a
crock of shit, we make it, "That's a load of Penrose". (ob-meme) Are
swear words memes? Then memetic engineering might suggest a four-letter
word, as in "Don't try to feed me that 'Rose".

Other suggestions?
Sean Morgan ( | All progress is based upon a universal
| innate desire on the part of every organism | to live beyond its income. -- Samuel Butler