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Thread: God vs god

  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default God vs god

    I was told that capitalized God means the unique one in some religions like Christianity, but god is one of multiple ones like in Hinduism. Is it correct?

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    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: God vs god

    Yes. "God" serves as the "name" of the monotheistic deity of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Like any name, it should be capitalized.

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    Default Re: God vs god

    A different message is given by the two versions:

    I don't believe in God = this will be taken to mean the specific god which is known by that name in Judeo-Christianity. However, it will be understood by most people to mean that I believe in no deity at all.

    I don't believe in a god/any god = I am an atheist.

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    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: God vs god

    [not a Jewish scholar]

    note:
    The word "God" ... [is] often written by many Jews as "G-d" ... as a way of avoiding writing any name of God.
    - source

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    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: God vs god

    Some Jews will also use "HaShem" which literally means "the name" as a way of avoiding the name of God.

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    Default Re: God vs god

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Yes. "God" serves as the "name" of the monotheistic deity of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Like any name, it should be capitalized.


    (And there's room for relgious chauvinism here. Some people capitalize their own god, and insult others' - by implication, intentional or unknowing - by leaving it in lower case.)

    This extends to personal pronouns: 'God knows, and He loves you'. (Not everyone does this. The usage may seem rather quaint to non-believers, but still it's quite common.)

    b

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    Default Re: God vs god

    I don't think it's chauvinism if my god's name is "God" and I capitalize it, but leave it in lower case to refer to the concept of your god as a "god."

    To me, it's like calling my mother "Mom" and saying "your mom" when I mean yours. For me, when referring to my mother, "Mom" is a proper name.

    If your god's name is Thor, I would say the god Thor, while mine is the monotheistic god known simply as "God." If another religion also had a god named God, even if this God was not at all like my God, then both would get the capital G. But is there one?

    (I'm one of the quaint poeple who capitalizes the pronoun, too.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: God vs god

    I don't capitalise any of them, but I'm an atheist so I guess I'm just using them in well-known phrases and never to refer to a god by name, no matter what it is.

    Oh, for god's sake, don't do that.
    I'll just say that god alone knows what he was doing that day.

    I will, however, concede that I would probably capitalise Jesus on the basis that I do at least believe that someone by that name existed a very long time ago, probably spoke some wise words and their existence led on to a religion. Therefore, Jesus would be a proper noun. So I would say,

    Oh, Jesus, what have you done now?!
    Jesus Christ, I can't leave you alone for five minutes without you wrecking the joint, can I?!

    I'm really not trying to start some kind of religious/belief conversation here. I genuinely had to sit down and think about how I would use those words and try to come up with a reason for why I say/write them how I do.

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    Default Re: God vs god


  10. #10
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    Default Re: God vs god

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Inspired! Penned by your own fair hand, I presume?

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