Is Google 'The Closest Thing We Have Ever Known To God'?
Or is it the new Tower of Babel?
My article, Is Google the New God?, was viewed by more people the day it was published than any of the other articles I have done the few weeks I have been on InfoBarrel; but I was slow off the mark. I am far from the first person to notice the similarities between Google and God. I delved a bit further and have discovered the Church of Google.
The Church of Google
Googlism was founded in 2006 by Matt MacPherson a resident of Ontario, Canada while he was off sick from work for two weeks. The site is not affiliated to Google Inc.
It is a parody religion that believes the search engine Google is the closest humankind has ever come to experiencing a real God. They say there's much more evidence for Google than for other more traditional Gods and cite nine proofs that Google is the closest thing to a God humans have ever experienced. They identify similar god like characteristics to the ones I talk about in my Is Google the New God? article.
Googlists reject supernatural gods on the basis that they are not scientifically provable. They say Google should be given the title God as she demonstrates many of the characteristics of a god in a scientifically provable way.
The Nine Proofs
Google is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere at once), answers prayer (!!), is potentially immortal, can grow forever and is therefore infinite, remembers everything, is omnibenevolent (can do no evil????), is more searched for than the terms God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism combined and evidence of Google's existence is abundant.
According to proof number 3 Google answers prayer. "One can pray to God by doing a search for whatever question or problem is plaguing them. As an example you can quickly find information on alternative cancer treatments; ways to improve your health, new and innovative medical discoveries and generally anything that resembles a typical prayer. Ask Google and She will show you the way, but showing you is all She can do, you must help yourself from that point on."
The Church of Google site is clearly a 'send up' but the 55,600,000 people who type Help Me God into Google every month are acting as if the idea that Google can answer their prayers is true.
Google's Ten Commandments
The Googlists parody the ten commandments with for instance, "Thou shalt have no other search engine before me, neither Yahoo, nor Lycos, Alta Vista nor Metacrawler. Thou shalt worship only me and come to Google only for answers."
Is Google the new Tower of Babel?
Google isn't God. Even Googlists only claim that it is 'the nearest thing human kind has ever known to a God'. Google is a man-made creation; invented by humans, operated and serviced by humans. Google is more like the new Tower of Babel.
The Tower of Babel is described in Genesis (Chapter 11 verses 1-9). It was an enormous tower built in the plain of Shinar, Mesopotamia. According to Genesis; in the generations after the Great Flood the people who were left came together, all speaking the same language. They migrated from the east to Shinar and resolved to build a city, Babylon, with a tower that would have 'its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves.'
It is a story about human ambition running away with itself, the threat this posed to God's supremacy and the action God took to frustrate it.
God came down to see what they were doing and said, "They are one people and have one language, and nothing will be witholden from them which they purpose to do. Come let us go down and confound their speech." So God came down, scattered them across the earth, confounded their languages, so they couldn't speak to each other any more so that the tower, which was called Babel, never got built.
I don't expect God will be striking down Google Inc. or the Church of Google any time soon but there is a good case for Google being our Tower of Babel. Google brings us together, diminishing the barriers of distance and country. It is spreading the use of (U.S.) English as a common language. Through it we, or the Google corporation, can assume the god like characteristics we have discussed. The Church of Google is an amusing spoof but it is also a direct challenge to God. Who needs God when we can do so much for ourselves?
The human race seems to have more confidence in itself than it has ever had in history. Atheism is on the march and ever more confident in its debunking of religion. But it may be there is some mileage left in the Tower of Babel story and that, if God himself isn't coming to put us down, a little humility and caution would not be a bad thing.
Googles omnibenevolence and inability to do evil is debatable. Whatever Google Inc.'s. motivations and intentions Google's omniscience is a powerful tool that, in the wrong hands, could certainly be a tool for evil. Google aside we are plundering the earth's resources at an alarming rate, destroying our environment and having a catastrophic effect on the earth's climate. Maybe we should come down to earth a little.