[LMB] OT: Religion and one-up-manship, 7/17

Joel Polowin jpolowin at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 20 05:01:35 BST 2021

Raymond Collins <rcrcoll6 at gmail.com> wrote:
> "Nine Billion Names of God" was a short story written be Aurther C. Clark.
> It was about these two protagonists who  set up a super computer in a
> monastery to search for the name of God. Only problem, once they find the
> name of God the universe ends. As the computer specialists leave the
> monastery they see the stars winking out.

Close.  The monks believed that the purpose of the universe was for all
of the possible names of God to be printed -- roughly nine billion of
them, using their alphabet and according to the rules that governed its
use.  They'd been working on the task for a long time, but determined
that the computer could finish the job quickly.

Harvey Fishman <fishman at panix.com> wrote:
> My answer stands as I wrote it. I speak only for myself and I have no 
> idea (nor do I care) why some people alter the spelling of god.

"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."  Some people
interpret that to mean a stricture against oathbreaking, and other
misuses of God's name (or "title" if you prefer) such as falsely
claiming visions.  Some take it more broadly to include any trivial,
irreligious, or non-religious use.  In print, such a one uses the
euphemisms unless they are truly intending to invoke the deity.


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