I was asked a question at work the other day that got me thinking, but I also thought that it would be a good question to bring to the Connect community.
First, some background: my coworker is younger like me and he came from a very conservative Christian Mennonite heritage. He has since distanced himself from that. Anyway, we got talking about the ethics of swearing. At work, he does not swear, but he told me that with his friends he does a lot. I do not swear at all (at least, not intentionally). He does not see why swearing is wrong at all. He says they are just words that Christians have, for whatever reason, deemed unacceptable. I could not come up with much of an answer to this. But I asked him what he thought of what I see as secular hypocrisy. Secular parents aren’t afraid to swear. They don’t necessarily see it as wrong. But why do they avoid swearing around young children? Why punish children for swearing if the parent themselves say the exact same thing? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical? My coworker’s answer was that when young children swear it usually causes them to be more disrespectful to other people, meaning it breeds bad behaviour. I then asked him why he doesn’t think it does the same when adults swear, but he thinks adults know better.
So my question is: what do you think about the ethics of swearing? Is it right? Is it wrong? Or is it completely neutral, that it has nothing moral to it whatsoever? Why shouldn’t Christians use swear words?