Decided to put this up, finally, in a place it would be readily accessible. This is a combination of two posts originally made on the now-defunct RichardDawkins.net discussion board.
One of the views shared by many who have posted on the relevant forums over the years was formulated by the user Calilasseia thusly: ‘Bad ideas exist to be destroyed.’ Indeed, this is the central thread that links this collection of writings, disparate as they may otherwise be.
Many of the essays included in this collection also share another similarity: the use of what may be considered, by some, profanity. Also know as swearing, cursing, and foul or bad language.
The often liberal use of expletives in some of these tracts may appear gratuitous and immature, even offensive. The reader is advised to bear in mind the aforementioned notion: bad ideas exist to be destroyed, in this case formulated as what has become known as Goldenmane’s Third Rule of Public Discourse, commonly referred to as Rule #3: swear a lot.
Rule #3 was formulated initially as a joke, the point being that it serves as a way of distinguishing between those conversational opponents who were capable of addressing an argument intellectually, rationally, and logically, and those who were governed entirely by emotion. The key here is to realise that those governed by emotion would be those who would be offended (and loudly) by the use of words like fuck, cunt, shit, piss, arsehole, and sundry others. Such people would tend to leave a debate or conversation in high dudgeon, complaining loudly about the language their interlocutors were using. So much the better. There is little worth in continuing a discussion with someone who bases their entire position on emotion, and it’s all to the good if they can be induced to chuck the shits and storm out, since it starkly highlights the intellectual vacuity of their entire approach.
What started as a jest (as all good jests do) rapidly developed more profound ramifications. For example: the words used to refer to swearing (including, tellingly, “swearing”) reveal an unholy (or perhaps overly holy) reliance upon certain magical notions. ‘Cursing’, ‘swearing’, ‘using God’s name in vain’ and the like all rest upon the rather quaint and somewhat silly notion that words have magical power. Whilst words do have power (the power to communicate ideas being primary), there’s no evidence whatsofuckingever to suggest that incantations can make shit magically happen.
The idea that certain combinations of sounds (always culturally determined) can have inherent magically ‘bad’ properties is, to be blunt, bullshit. Most such words from around the world’s different cultures are related to one of two things: fucking and shitting. Why these two essential processes for a complex sexually-reliant species that needs to eat should become the ‘bad’ words I’m not going to debate here. Suffice it to say that from a rational modern perspective, it’s a little bizarre. But I’ll work with it. It’s my fucking medium, after all.
Bad ideas exist to be destroyed. The notion that words can inherently be bad is a bad idea. It springs from primitive beliefs about words being magical. Similarly, the intellectual coward’s retreat from debate under the banner of ‘my opponent swears’ is rooted in the same notion. It also provides them with an easy escape route, and in this sense it is offered up as a service: allowing them to exit with the personal sense that they have retained the moral high ground, even if they have been unable to support their own arguments.
What renders the whole notion of ‘bad language’ truly ludicrous is that words are just effectively arbitrary collections of sounds (or letters, if written down). Start with ‘c’. Add a ‘t’: ‘ct’. Add a ‘u’: ‘cut’ Wow, we now have a word that we recognise. There’s nothing bad about the word, just as there’s nothing bad about the letters it is made from. Now add an ‘n’: cnut.
That should, properly, be rendered Cnut, it being a proper noun. Chap is famous for arguing with the sea, or something. The sea, of course, ignored him, because words aren’t actually magical. Changing Cnut around a little makes him a cunt. Where’s the fucking magic?
In writing this, I have been reminded to add a little explanation of Rules 1 and 2. An explanation was posted some time ago. Here it is, and I hope the reader gains some understanding:
Sweet juicy Mohammed on Satan's glistening prong, you want comedy and explanations on demand?
I can give you the explanation, but I can't guarantee the comedy. I've got stage fright, and as everyone knows stage fright causes the balls to shrink and try to hide in the body, and as everyone also knows the balls are where the comedy glands reside, which is why (as Hitchens so rightly pointed out) women aren't funny. Unless they have balls. Evidence of this, in case anyone was wondering, is there to be seen. Just look at the scrotum. Take a long, hard (or flaccid, depending on your proclivities) look, and tell me that the scrotum isn't fucking funny. You'll be lying if you say it isn't. The scrotum is like the world's most honest packaging. It says, "Here be comedy. There is literally and categorically nothing as funny as this.
It's an evolutionary thing. Dick Dawkins even touched on it (well, there's really no other way to put it, is there? No quote mines, please, I won't have it said that Dick touches his, or any other, scrotum any more than strictly necessary) in The Greatest Show on Earth, where he points to the completely ridiculous path the vas deferens takes. It's fucking bizarre and surreal. Any designer who came up with that and was still responsible for the entirety of everything is a joker on a colossal scale. It's the only possible answer that isn't pants-shittingly terrifying. And as it is, it's minor-incident-of-bowel-incontinence scary. You wonder why God is referred to as He? It can only be because the fucker's a sadistic practical joker, with testicles the size of... well, how do you measure such balls?
The other option is that He doesn't exist, of course, but some well-known people have, historically, bet against that.
Anyway, enough (as the sage said) of that guff: Rule #3. The strict name of said rule is Goldenmane's 3rd Rule of Public Discourse, and stackhishash has quoted the short form verbatim: Swear a lot. The reasons are, I hope, obvious, and need no further explanation. Rules #1 and #2 are both the same as, and yet separate from, Rule #3. Simply put, Rule #1 dictates the rules (whilst being identical to Rule #3) and Rule #2 fucks about in the background somehow making globules of retarded effluent seem to mean something that gives Rule #3 its efficacy.
To put it another way, Rules 1,2 and 3 are the same goddamn rule, but invoking Rule #3 is all that is needed to have a cock-suckingly good life, and if you fucking well understand Rule #3, you'll stop asking for explanations. Fuck.