Google As God June 5, 2009

Google As God

We already know about The Church of Google, but in the latest issue of American Atheist, Tucker Lieberman and Richard Wassersug examine the idea of “Google as God” a bit more seriously (though with a sense of humor about it).

The article is short but very interesting — it’s not available at the American Atheists website yet, but Lieberman has a PDF on his website:

Yet, in other ways, the Google company oversees its virtual kingdom with empyreal exquisiteness. Its stated higher purpose is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Its followers — Googlers, if you will — rely on its search engine as the main directory of all knowledge and consider any piece of information not known to Google to be effectively non-existent or irrelevant.

Here we examine the behavior of Googlers in the light of commonly recognized religious practices and review Google’s qualifications as a god in the classical mold. We ask whether Google requires anything of us morally and how it might lead us to a better life.

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  • Rob

    The article doesn’t seem to answer the question about whether Google requires anything of us morally.

    It sure does. It even has commandments, like “thou shalt not present a different website to the Googlebot than thou presentest to most people” and “thou shalt not link farm”.

    No need for Pascal’s Wager here: If you disobey Google, your website will very likely go to Delisting Hell.

  • Some people say, in an exasperated tone, “Oh, God knows why he did that.” Or, “God knows, I don’t.” I’m sure you’ve heard similar phrases.

    About a year ago at my house, we started staying “Google knows, I don’t.” Or, “Google knows why he did that.”

    I still haven’t worked my way up to, “Oh my Google!” but it’s on its way, I’m sure.

  • Cafeeine

    So, considering Google’s structure, as a god, would it fall into panentheistic belief structures?

  • Jeff Satterley


    Wolfram does enough worshiping of himself; you don’t need to, and he probably doesn’t even notice.

  • Marissa C.

    And lo, there shall be a great battle between the Google-ites and the followers of WolframAlpha…and One shall emerge victorious….and all will be good.

  • God? Bah!

    Everyone knows that Google is Skynet!

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