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  1. #1
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    Default The Atheist's Sneeze

    What do you think about the idea of saying 'bless you' when someone sneezes?


    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P21irX3zXCo"]The Atheist's Sneeze[/YOUTUBE]

  2. #2
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    My initial thought is that it is completely pointless.

    I would, however, like to see if there's any correlation between a polite response by people who hear it and the fact that sneezing isn't generally taboo at all, despite the fact that it's spewing bodily fluid and obnoxious sounding.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    My initial thought is that it is completely pointless.
    Yeah... I always considered it pretty pointless as well. The last time I was sitting in class and someone next to me sneezed... everyone said bless you except for me and people looked at me like I was crazy or something. Where the hell does this expression stem from anyway?

  4. #4
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    I think the phrase came about when people thought that one's soul was trying to escape their head when they sneezed (yes, even sneezes were explained superstitiously). Now, it's more of a social grace; but there are some very conservative people out there who literally think it's offensive because it suggests that a person can "bless" another without God's approval.

    The best way to take it is for what it is, not literally. It's just as much of a social grace as "excuse me".

  5. #5
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone knows for sure, but there are a bunch of different speculations

    snopes.com: Etymology of Bless You!

    I don't usually say it myself, but if someone says it to me i usually just thank them. I suppose it's just good intentions.
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  6. #6
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    I'm pretty sure it came about during the Black Plague because people would drop dead pretty quickly and start as sneezing.

    Even 100 years ago the flu was a major killer. People used to die from getting sick all of the time because they didn't have antibiotics or the access to nutrition that we do.

  7. #7
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Not a concern of mine.

    If someone takes offense at polite social convention because it violates their religious beliefs, chances are we wouldn't get along anyway. So, I don't concern myself with their response.

    In fact, I'd probably be more inclined to repeat the well-wishing in the future, if I knew it bothered them.

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    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    "You're soooooo good lookin'."



  9. #9
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Yes, I once had an atheist girlfriend who would get half-offended when you'd say "Bless you" to her sneeze. She thought it was half-funny.

    At one point in my teenage-years, I stopped saying it because it's not worth the effort, but my mom got offended that I wasn't even using "standard politeness," so I started saying it out of reflex.

    What to replace it with? Maybe "excuse you."
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  10. #10
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    Replace it with "No one can bless you."

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