Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Argument Against 'G'

An essay by – Heather Spoonheim

The habitual capitalization of the word ‘god’ is evidence of one of the most insidious mind-games ever perpetrated by the cult of Yahweh. To understand why, one must first understand that language, as a social construct, is recursive. That is to say that in as much as language is a construct of society, society itself is a construct of language. As an example, consider how the evolution of civilization has been shaped by the concept of democracy while, over the same period, the evolution of the concept of democracy has been shaped by civilization. The modern concept of democracy has greatly diverged from that of Plato, yet his dissertations on the concept have had as much influence the evolution of society as the evolution of society has had on the concept itself.

The same can be said of the habitual capitalization of the word ‘god’. In practice, secular society habitually capitalizes the word ‘god’ when the word is used in reference to the concept of a singular, supreme being. Even my damn word processor is suggesting that I capitalize ‘supreme being’ in the last sentence. The young developing minds of the greatest writers of the next generation are being indoctrinated to this construct before they are even able to grasp its fallacy.

The only rational argument on behalf of the existence of gods is that man has consistently been, and will likely always be, able to refashion a definition for the god-concept that that escapes falsification. This argument applies equally to any pantheon of gods that mankind might want to imagine and therefore firmly establishes the fallacy of any and all single god conceptualizations. Not only is every concept of a single god invalid but also, by definition, self-refuting. Propagating the social construct of capitalizing the word god is, by extension, a propagation of this fallacy, a corruption of reason, and a tool of cult indoctrination directed against young impressionable minds.

Furthermore, the officially recognized rules of grammar do not actually specify capitalization of the word god for all uses that imply a singular, supreme being. Officially, the word is only to be capitalized when used in reference to Yahweh, and that is absolutely repugnant to the concept of secular society. Not only is the word god supposed to be capitalized only when it refers to Yahweh, but also the pronouns ‘he’, ‘his’ and ‘him’ when used in reference to Yahweh. This is much different than the capitalization of the proper name ‘Yahweh’ itself because that rule is equally and generically applied to all mythological and fictional beings. The other rules, however, constitute nothing other than a mandated cultural bias towards the cult of Yahweh, and serve to corrupt the very nature of our thoughts.

Interestingly, many cults of Yahweh have a prohibition against vocalizing his name. This doctrine was likely born out of an instinct for survival after the siege of Jerusalem, but it has become a social construct that is no less annoying than when it was employed as a literary tool in the Harry Potter series. In both cases, however, it proved to be very efficient in evoking a sense of mystery in adolescent minds. To those indoctrinated to the cult of Yahweh, this adds a layer of mystery that amplifies the superstitions that the cult holds regarding any investigation into the origins of Yahweh.

Our society has been tricked into pandering to the delusions of the Yahweh cult by allowing them to write their very own deity into our language. This construct obfuscates the difference between the mythological Yahweh and our social construct of the god-concept itself. The Yahweh cult should be, for the sake of intellectual honestly, required to name their mythological deity before any rational conversation of the mythology takes place. By engaging them in conversations about ‘god’ without requiring that explicit declaration, we only facilitate the isolation of their mighty Yahweh from his roots in the polytheistic Semitic pantheon.

It may still be argued that there is some abstract virtue in recognizing, through capitalization, the reverence with which monotheists regard the single god concept, but I suggest that such recognition is not virtuous at all and serves only to reinforce their delusions. Although direct confrontation of an individual’s delusions may only exacerbate the underlying emotional turmoil that spawned them, it might be considered equally cruel to actually engage their delusions by assuming the context of their reality. Eliminating the habitual capitalization of the word god is a powerful, yet subtle way of reducing the reinforcement of the god delusion.

I have been an affirmed Atheist for 18 years and it has taken me all of that time to recognize the depravity of this particular mind-game as perpetrated by the cult of Yahweh. I hope that this little rant will serve to help other Atheists recognize the value of finally adopting a truly secular set of capitalization practices. To show your support, I hope that you will not only adopt these rules in your own writing, but also consider taking up the practice of capitalizing the word Atheist when it is employed in any manner other than as an adjective.

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