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

Raymond Collins rcrcoll6 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 06:35:56 BST 2021


Ah. I haven't read the story for a long time.

On Mon, Jul 19, 2021, 11:10 PM Joel Polowin <jpolowin at hotmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
>
> Joel
>
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