Thursday, July 20, 2006

God is Flexible

I don't believe in God. It just seems to me that humans are too animalistic to deserve some kind of ultimate being watching over and governing them. What I mean to say is I don't feel there's enough differentiation in our behaviorisms as there is in, for example, a water buffalo (we have a herd mentality, for one). If I were to believe in any sort of higher power, it would be a god that cared about all living things equally, from a human being down (or across, if we're being all equal here) to a fruit fly. Even then, I don't think it's likely. It just sounds too much like fantasy to me.

Still, although I don't believe in God, it's not surprising to hear him mentioned daily. Most principally, as part of the phrase (mostly the ending), "oh my god."

NOTICE!!! That I did not capitalize "god" that last time around. OH, YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT WAS DELIBERATE.

As a minorly dickish, anal (yes both together) thing to do, I have made decisions as to whether or not I believe the word "god" should be capitalized in a given situation. This is going to sound like a lot of unncessary bull and, indeed, it is, but I will explain it afterwards.

Firstly, I do not capitalize "him" or "he" when referring to God, because I don't do that for any other pronouns. I do not ever write "My friend Bobby is cool and He is great!" Why should God get special treatment over Bobby (especially considering how cool and great he is)? Because God is almighty and such? Bah! If it's between God getting a pronoun uppercased to massage his ego (as though all those people praying to him aren't good enough) and keeping my sentence grammatically intact, well, I'm sorry, but grammar is going to win every time.

Now, the only time I actually capitalize the word "god" is when I am talking about the theoretical guy, God. It's a name, so I capitalize it. Again, basic grammar rules. If he was "the god" or "a god," lowercase would be permissable but, no, that's his title. If I saw him walking down the street I would say "Hey, God!" just like I would say "Hey, Bobby!"

I do not capitalize "god" (in this case, I am referring to the word itself so it's all kosher) in any other situation I can think of. Unless I'm talking about the specific being known as God, I stick with god. This most often comes up, again, with the phrase "oh my god." Now, why not captalize this?! Well, for one thing, like I said earlier "a god" and "the god" would be correct, so "my god" would function in the same manner. It's not really a name we're talking about here, it's a thing. It's like saying "oh my child" but, still, one could say "oh my Bobby" and that would make sense. So, in this case, Bobby wins! One might say, however, "But perhaps one is referring to the name 'God' when they say 'oh my god.'" Ah, well, but I disagree.

The phrase "oh my god" is used so often by so many people that I believe it has no more thought behind it than a curse word (for those of you who want examples of everything, "shit" and "fuck" are two worthy candidates). "God" sometimes gets used in an exclamatory sense without the "oh my" to preface it. We've also got "god dammit" or "goddammit" which actually orders the man upstairs to destine something or someone to hell. Although, in theory, we're talking about a specific guy here when such a thing is done, I do not believe the gravity that is supposed to be part and parcel of using our god's name at any point invades upon the thought processes of the sayer. In fact, it's much closer to being a complete absence of thought. Much like any other curse, it's something shouted in frustration, when the time needed to form a more sensible thought has not been taken. In effect, "god" is a curse word and I don't capitalize my curse words.

To be perfectly honest, I think this whole practice I have come up with is utterly frivolous. I originally invented it when I was trying to write my novel (on hiatus until I have a stable life). My thought was that I was writing teenage characters who would undoubtedly use the phrase "oh my god" from time to time and that I would not capitalize it because, my feeling was that somebody would notice and somebody would take offense. I then arrived at the reasoning as to why, indeed, I had decided to do this, so that it would be more than just "Well, it's an easy way to offend some religious people" and I honestly think it's a valid point. Still, it's a frivolous one (the origins of which really are more just about offending), no doubt about that, but are not the original rules in place for the capitalization of "god" just as frivolous?

I mean, "He" every time you mention "Him?" Totally ridiculous and unnecessary. How about when it's taken further and people refuse to write the word out and instead opt for "G-d." This strikes me as intolerably ignorant. First of all, if you are actually making reference to God himself, what's the wrong in writing out his full name? I mean, if you want you can get rid of any mention of God whatsoever in your story, fine, but if you have a part where someone says "I pray to God" and you don't want to change it to "I pray to Bobby" then don't write "G-d!!" When a priest gives a sermon, he says the word a bunch, and he doesn't bleep himself, now does he?! Does the Bible stick dashes inbetween all its g's and d's? Well, maybe some editions do, I really wouldn't know, but, generally speaking, no! You're not talking about G-d, you're talking about God!!

If you have someone saying "oh my god" and you change it to "oh my G-d" (because, obviously, such an individual would capitalize it), that's even worse. You think because you put a dash in it, you're not taking his name in vain? It's like bleeping curses on TV. When people say "s(BEEP)t" I still know they're saying "shit." It's pointless.

How strange is it that there's actually a commandment telling us that we shouldn't go around using God's name all willy-nilly? I know that SUPPOSEDLY Moses brought those all down from a mountain way back when, but, speaking in realistic terms, which came first? The commandment or the overusage of "god?" If it were the latter, it means that people just naturally took the word "god" and began using it in whatever way they saw fit until someone decided a commandment would stop all this (yeah, nipped that one right in the bud). If it's the former, it means that God's disciples actually went out of their way to disobey a commandment. They even took God's son's name and started using that as a vulgarity too! Naughty, naughty humans!!

One thing I can say for God is that he is flexible. He can exist or not, depending on what's more convenient for me. If I were to argue with someone about his existence, the idea of a god would be nothing but a concept to me (an improbable one). If I want to curse, I can say "oh my god" or "god dammit." Being an atheist, I understand how ludicrous this is, but, of course, it's not like I actually consider the theory that I am ressurrecting God into existence each time I make reference to him. I also don't shy away from jokes about God and his screw-ups with the human race. It makes comedy easier if you have something to blame all our mistakes on. Again, I don't believe there's one guy out there that deserves all this blame, but I'll say there is to save on breath.

You don't get this flexibility with the opposing force, Satan, whose name I always capitalize, because I am always only referring to the one guy. How strange it is that Satan is completely left alone, but we continue to drag God, god, and Jesus Christ through the mud.

Oh my Fuck! Look at the time! Bobby is expecting me at His house. See you later.


Blogger cristiane said...


4:28 AM  
Blogger cristiane said...

Numbers 12
4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, "Listen to my words:
"When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.

7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.

8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?"

9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.

10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, [a] like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; 11 and he said to Moses, "Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother's womb with its flesh half eaten away."

13 So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!"

you may want to go on with your believe but today you've been warned!!!!
but you are still lucky beacase as Moses prayed for them i'll pray for you too and when life turns back to you remeber to claim the name of GOD and He will hear you still because His LOVE!!!
take care.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Joeplork said...


6:14 AM  

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