1. Joined
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    17 Sep '16 06:351 edit
    I was reading some stuff about Marc Bolan, who died 39 years ago this weekend, and people were all saying RIP etc. I think this is a odd thing to say, especially when atheists (or non religious/spiritual people) say it. It implies sleeping until ... until what? Resurrection? Well Bolan certainly wasn't a Christian, nor was Bowie for that matter, nor most of the celebrities who die and the public say "RIP" over. I just find it odd. Thoughts?
  2. Standard memberapathist
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    17 Sep '16 08:26
    It indicates a respect for the life that person lived. I don't think the use of the phrase necessarily indicates anything about the user's religious views - the phrase is just in our vernacular.
  3. Joined
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    17 Sep '16 08:51
    Originally posted by apathist
    It indicates a respect for the life that person lived. I don't think the use of the phrase necessarily indicates anything about the user's religious views - the phrase is just in our vernacular.
    Lots of phrases are in our vernacular but we tend to only use the ones that represent our world view. "Rest in peace" is a phrase that talks about resurrection from the dead; I find it odd that people use it without considering its meaning.
  4. Standard memberapathist
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    17 Sep '16 09:23
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Lots of phrases are in our vernacular but we tend to only use the ones that represent our world view. ...
    I doubt you can support that claim. People say god-damn-it routinely, but are they asking a creator deity to curse something, or are they merely expressing anger and frustration?
  5. Cape Town
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    17 Sep '16 10:33
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Lots of phrases are in our vernacular but we tend to only use the ones that represent our world view. "Rest in peace" is a phrase that talks about resurrection from the dead; I find it odd that people use it without considering its meaning.
    I would never have thought that it 'talks about resurrection from the dead'. Where do you get that implication from? It does imply life after death, but only vaguely so.
    As for your claim that we tend to only use phrases that represent our world view, that is not the case at all. In fact many phrases that reference Christian concepts are very much in contradiction to Christian teachings.
  6. Cape Town
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    17 Sep '16 10:42
    I must also add that I hear the word RIP most often in the context of computer games.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    17 Sep '16 11:34
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Lots of phrases are in our vernacular but we tend to only use the ones that represent our world view. "Rest in peace" is a phrase that talks about resurrection from the dead; I find it odd that people use it without considering its meaning.
    If I swear and say G•• D••• it!, do you really think I'm invoking a deity to condemn something to hell? It is an empty phrase that has been divorced from any meaning it may have once had.

    "Rest in peace" may also be an empty phrase. Or it may have connotations quite different from what you assume. It could imply that the victim has been released from the perpetual turmoil of daily striving and yearning to rest in the eternal peace of death.
  8. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    17 Sep '16 12:26
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If I swear and say G•• D••• it!, do you really think I'm invoking a deity to condemn something to hell? It is an empty phrase that has been divorced from any meaning it may have once had.

    "Rest in peace" may also be an empty phrase. Or it may have connotations quite different from what you assume. It could imply that the victim has been released from the perpetual turmoil of daily striving and yearning to rest in the eternal peace of death.
    I guess the same goes for 'bless you' when someone sneezes. (Which I believe goes back to the fear of the soul escaping, during the process of a sneeze).
  9. Cape Town
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    17 Sep '16 12:56
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    I guess the same goes for 'bless you' when someone sneezes. (Which I believe goes back to the fear of the soul escaping, during the process of a sneeze).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_bless_you
    Wikipedia suggests that the origin is unknown. I had heard that it was related to the fact that a sneeze could indicate illness such as the flu or something worse (ring a ring a roses).
    I never got into the habit of saying anything and I find people feel quite awkward when you don't. There is certainly an urge that most people feel to respond in some way to a sneeze and 'Bless you' is just the English traditional one.
  10. Donationrwingett
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    17 Sep '16 13:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_bless_you
    Wikipedia suggests that the origin is unknown. I had heard that it was related to the fact that a sneeze could indicate illness such as the flu or something worse (ring a ring a roses).
    I never got into the habit of saying anything and I find people feel quite awkward when you don't. There is certainly an urge ...[text shortened]... ple feel to respond in some way to a sneeze and 'Bless you' is just the English traditional one.
    For years I refused to say anything when people sneezed. Some people were quite offended by that for some reason. I still refuse to say "bless you", but will occasionally mutter a reluctant "gesundheit".
  11. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    17 Sep '16 14:12
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_bless_you
    Wikipedia suggests that the origin is unknown. I had heard that it was related to the fact that a sneeze could indicate illness such as the flu or something worse (ring a ring a roses).
    I never got into the habit of saying anything and I find people feel quite awkward when you don't. There is certainly an urge ...[text shortened]... ple feel to respond in some way to a sneeze and 'Bless you' is just the English traditional one.
    Our friend wikipedia also says "The practice of blessing someone who sneezes dates as far back as at least AD 77, although it is far older than most specific explanations can account for. Some have offered an explanation suggesting that people once held the folk belief that a person's soul could be thrown from their body when they sneezed, that sneezing otherwise opened the body to invasion by the Devil or evil spirits, or that sneezing was the body's effort to force out an invading evil presence. In these cases, "God bless you" or "bless you" is used as a sort of shield against evil."
  12. Cape Town
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    17 Sep '16 14:52
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Our friend wikipedia also says "The practice of blessing someone who sneezes dates as far back as at least AD 77, although it is far older than most specific explanations can account for. Some have offered an explanation suggesting that people once held the folk belief that a person's soul could be thrown from their body when they sneezed, that sneez ...[text shortened]... sence. In these cases, "God bless you" or "bless you" is used as a sort of shield against evil."
    Yes, I wasn't disputing that it was one possible origin - but you will note that the references for that claim are not particularly good, in fact one of the references attributes the claim to The Simpsons. None of the references actually confirm that as the best explanation but only one of a number of possible explanations.
  13. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    17 Sep '16 15:19
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Yes, I wasn't disputing that it was one possible origin - but you will note that the references for that claim are not particularly good, in fact one of the references attributes the claim to The Simpsons. None of the references actually confirm that as the best explanation but only one of a number of possible explanations.
    If you don't mind, I'd rather link Leonardo da Vinci as the source than the Simpsons. 🙂

    Da Vinci believed (or at least suspected) the soul was to be found in the human brain, and set about dissecting one to prove it. (Without success). It is arguable that this commonly held believe that the soul dwelled in the head led to the fear that the soul could could be thrown out the body during a sneeze, and that 'bless you' was a means to keep out evil spirits from taking over the body. I think personally it is the most like explanation.
  14. Cape Town
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    17 Sep '16 17:05
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    I think personally it is the most like explanation.
    And I find it an unlikely, but possible explanation - and certainly is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.
    I think people feel the need to say something and that in the case of Christians, 'Bless you' is the phrase that caught on. Other people and other languages have other phrases meaning other things.
  15. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    17 Sep '16 17:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And I find it an unlikely, but possible explanation - and certainly is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.
    I think people feel the need to say something and that in the case of Christians, 'Bless you' is the phrase that caught on. Other people and other languages have other phrases meaning other things.
    According to Alan Montague of the Guardian, "It goes back to more superstitious times when a sneeze was believed to separate the soul from the body. To prevent the devil stealing the soul the incantation "bless you" (i.e. God bless you) was uttered to release the soul from Satan's clutches and return it to its rightful owner."

    So, that's me, Da Vinci and Alan Montague of the Guardian. What more do you want sir, blood?
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