What if God was always called Yahweh but never God?

Technarch
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What if God was always called Yahweh but never God?

The name "God" is useful because it's generic.  God, which god, THE God, not just any god, not the god some nobody worships, but God.  It may seem simplistic, but you can carry the generic name across all languages, just take their word for singular "god" and make it refer to the Judeo-Christian God.  Look at Allah, who is also believed to be the Judeo-Christian God.  But by calling this deity God it conveniently does the following- it singularizes the concept as one god rather than multiple gods, it allows someone to use their idea of what one god is, and through capitalization the idea of one god becomes THE ONLY god.  It sounds too simple, but it's worked worldwide through different cultures and languages, rather than saying "subscribe to the specific name of our deity."         

What would have happened if throughout history God was always called Yahweh or Elohim and never "God"?   A Jew or Christian comes up and asks, do you believe in Yahweh?  Or, did you know Christ claimed to be the son of Yahweh?  I have a feeling that specifically saying Yahweh would have alienated more people by having God become a more specific deity along the lines of Zeus, Odin, or a specific Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian god.  Most pagan cultures had names for their gods, with specific properties.  Saying Yahweh gives a name to a specific deity which begs the question "what specific properties does Yahweh have?"  Rather than saying "do you believe in the general idea of one god creating the universe" it would be "do you believe that the specific deity Yahweh created the universe?"

 


Jacob Cordingley
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And your point...

And your point...


Technarch
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Human civilization has been

Human civilization has been blindly following a semantic trick of language and grammar.


Hambydammit
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I like your point, but I'm

I like your point, but I'm not sure what your conclusion is...

The Romans were particularly good at including widely disparate religions in their socio-political structure, and as a strategy for expansion, it proved very successful. Christianity is still full of pre-Roman trappings that were incorporated into the religion as tiny city states were absorbed into the empire.

The use of the word "God" does go a lot farther than specific names. It's a great tool if you're trying to sell theism, in fact. The conversation could go like this:

Theist: You believe in god, don't you?

Agnostic: Well, I dunno.

Theist: You know, when you think about, you know, stuff and stuff, don't you just feel like there's something out there?

Agnostic: I guess so, yeah.

Theist: See, we're not so different!

Agnostic: Um... ok

Theist: So, have you ever accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior?

This is the same kind of stuff they teach you at sales school:

Salesman: Hi there! What can I help you with today?

Customer: Well, I was just wondering about different weed and feeds.

Salesman: Oh, what are you working on?

Customer: You know, the wife has me on the honey-do list.

Salesman: Oh, I hear ya, buddy. My wife is always on me about something. Do you have kids?

Customer: Yeah.

Salesman: Here, check this out. (shows customer a quick picture of an adorable kid) Just started baseball last week.

Customer: Cool. My kids just started soccer.

Salesman: Say, have you ever thought of putting BlahBlahBlah in your yard? My kids just love it!

 

In both cases, the end result is the same. Somebody's getting sold something they weren't even looking for. The salesman used a handy little technique called "building rapport." You don't have to be friends... all you have to do is show them you could be friends -- you have stuff in common. Then, the walls come down just enough to turn on the charm and start plugging your wares.

Salesmen have always had a knack for finding ways to avoid mentioning the differences, and highlighting things they have in common with customers. General words are better than specific words. The Biggest Douche in the Universe, John Edward, is famous because he's very good at using words that are just vague enough to get the job done.

What does any of this has to do with the value of the service or goods being sold? Nothing. Unfortunately, Christianity has become so large, and moderate Christianity so inclusive, that I don't think the name-game works very well any more. As you say, if people had been very name-specific throughout history, Christianity might not be as big now. If anything, it shows that most people would rather get along than fight.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Brian37
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Technarch wrote: The name

Technarch wrote:

The name "God" is useful because it's generic. God, which god, THE God, not just any god, not the god some nobody worships, but God. It may seem simplistic, but you can carry the generic name across all languages, just take their word for singular "god" and make it refer to the Judeo-Christian God. Look at Allah, who is also believed to be the Judeo-Christian God. But by calling this deity God it conveniently does the following- it singularizes the concept as one god rather than multiple gods, it allows someone to use their idea of what one god is, and through capitalization the idea of one god becomes THE ONLY god. It sounds too simple, but it's worked worldwide through different cultures and languages, rather than saying "subscribe to the specific name of our deity."

What would have happened if throughout history God was always called Yahweh or Elohim and never "God"? A Jew or Christian comes up and asks, do you believe in Yahweh? Or, did you know Christ claimed to be the son of Yahweh? I have a feeling that specifically saying Yahweh would have alienated more people by having God become a more specific deity along the lines of Zeus, Odin, or a specific Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian god. Most pagan cultures had names for their gods, with specific properties. Saying Yahweh gives a name to a specific deity which begs the question "what specific properties does Yahweh have?" Rather than saying "do you believe in the general idea of one god creating the universe" it would be "do you believe that the specific deity Yahweh created the universe?"

 

Out of a given number of possible statements which one makes the most sense?

"Superman can actually fly"

"I'm getting a harem after I die"

"Someone sold me a story that I like so I'll believe it even if it isnt real".

It never occures to the believer that they merely like what they have been sold. It makes sense that humanity does not exist in a vacuum and that deity belief is a result of human immagination combind with a history of competitng culters.

We accept borrowed or stolen concepts in captialistic buisness. Coke sees Pepsi come out with a Cherry product and says, "|Hey, I want in on that action". So Coke comes out with it's own version changes the shape of the can, color and tweaks the flavor, to compete with the Pepsi counterpart. Why would humans be immune to this competition when it comes to religion?

Saying that a religion is original is like saying Coke is the first beverage because it's can is red. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Hambydammit
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Hey, Technarch, just so you

Hey, Technarch, just so you know you're making an impact in the universe, I gave you props in THIS THREAD.  Give it a look if you like.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Technarch
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Coke is a soda product. 

Coke is a soda product.  You want a soda product, therefore say you want Coke.  Because they say Coke is the superior soda product, Coke must be the superior soda product.  Any mention of soda product now means Coke.  Don't you want a soda product?


Technarch
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Thanks, I'd like more

Thanks, I'd like more information on how God became a generic brand.  I'm sure the "unspeakable name of YHVH" tradition contributed, not sure how it evolved from there.


Brian37
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Technarch wrote: Coke is a

Technarch wrote:

Coke is a soda product. You want a soda product, therefore say you want Coke. Because they say Coke is the superior soda product, Coke must be the superior soda product. Any mention of soda product now means Coke. Don't you want a soda product?

Not sure where you are going with this. The "superiority" of something depends on the ability to prove it's superiority. Claiming that something is is just that, a claim.

Every deity believer claims that their sky daddy is the best thing since sliced bread, but somehow these claims of magical disimbodied brians in the heavens never seem to solve the debate on their own, and we get caught in the middle of their ineptitude. If one were to assume that a giant magical heaven brain exists, it has it's invisable head up it's butt.

I am supposed to respect a claim that asserts "all loving" and "all powerfull" when the planet is full of desease, war, famine and crime such as pediophila and rape? This is the home an "all loving" being gave us?

I wonder what would happen to any parent if they left their child in a home infested with cockroaches, asbestos, lead paint chips and razor blades lying on the floor? I know what I'd do to these parents, I'd have them arrested and thrown in jail for child abuse.

Now, here is the skinny on reality. These bad things that humans dont want happening, are a result of NATURAL events, not a devil with a pitchfork or a bearded man in the sky.

NATURAL to the theist means "warm and fuzzy".

NATURAL to the objective means, "That which is observable"

Just because something is natural doesnt mean we want it affecting us. Cancer is not magical and is naturaly occuring, but we study it so that we can find ways to prevent it. That is a better way of dealing with life than consulting ouji boards, tarrot cards or books written by goat herders based on myth. 

The reality is that religion is a human invention based on mythology combined with natural human compitition. No magical superman vs kriptonite puppiteer in the sky to state the obvious. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Hambydammit
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Quote: Thanks, I'd like

Quote:
Thanks, I'd like more information on how God became a generic brand. I'm sure the "unspeakable name of YHVH" tradition contributed, not sure how it evolved from there.

Actually, that's a great question. I wish I knew how to answer it better. I know that the Romans had a great deal to do with it, though. Greek gods were very particular about getting their names right. Every house had its own "patron deity" or something like that, and it would often have something to do with the occupation of the owner. There would be a room that had some kind of tribute to the deity, presumably fitting the personal tastes of the deity. The Romans had a similar system, but when they discovered how easy it was to subjugate a conquered people by simply letting them worship their own gods, it was only natural to broaden the concept of "god." Each new subject state got to keep their own government and pay tribute, and the better they fit in, the lower the number of troops garrisoned in their town. Since fitting in was largely a matter of custom, it made sense for the Romans to say, "See, you're worshipping the same god as us, but you call her Astarte, and these other people call her Isis, but we all think being a good wife is awesome!" So, let's not spend time bickering about whose god is the right one... Now, there's this matter of taxes...

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
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