Sherlock does not believe in god and has often ridiculed the idea.

Yet, quite often, he uses expressions like "Dear god", "for gods sake" and "Oh god". Why?

  • 2
    For the same reason you might say "Bless you" when someone sneezes, even though you probably don't believe the sneeze indicates their soul is leaving their body. For the same reason you might exclaim "Holy cow!" even if you don't believe cattle are sacred. They're just expressions. They don't have to mean their literal definitions. – Paul L Jan 17 '17 at 17:25

Why not?

Just because someone doesn't believe in God doesn't mean that they can't use the word "god". It's likely that he grew up using these phrases and they're just part of his vernacular and using them is simply second nature.

These utterances aren't prayers or applications to a higher power for aid... they're simply meaningless curses or exclamations, just like saying "damn it" doesn't mean that you're literally damning something to hell.

Actually, considering the glare my grandmother gave me every time I "used the Lord's name in vain", I'd think that a non-believer would be more likely to be uncircumspect about saying things like this.

  • 1
    Nice example "damn it" 😎 – Panther Jan 16 '17 at 16:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .