Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Dilemma in Writing: "God" versus "god"

One of the struggles of being a novice writer is having to make some initial, basic decisions about how to write. As I am writing, I am finding that when the topic is religious beliefs, a writer has more decisions to make than one may have in writing a novel. One dilemma I have faced is what one of my readers called the balance of both sensitivity and assertiveness. Another seemingly more basic, but none the less important, is the choice of using the word “God” versus “god”.

I’ve struggled with this, as one of my purposes in writing this blog is to communicate my thoughts about spiritual and religious beliefs and not to outright offend my readers. When I first started this blog, I chose to not capitalize the word “god”, however I changed my mind soon after, hoping to minimize what some readers may interpret as a direct intent to offend on my part.

However, after writing a few articles, I’ve made the decision to switch back to using “god” in reference to any gods. To not do so is to grant indirect support and favoritism to the god of Chistianity over other gods. My lack of belief extends to all gods of all religions and all concepts of spirituality that I am aware of to date. Most books on Christianity I have read capitalize the word “god” when referring to the Christian god, but not when referring to other gods. To me this smacks of a tacit message of superiority, which is unfair as there is as much evidence for any other god as there is for the Christian god.

Further, when I use the word "religion" or "religious", I am also meaning the words spiritual, supernatural, and pseudoscientific, as they are all equally valid, rational, and reasonable.

I predict that some people may find this dilemma of mine to be quite silly, as many Christians will be offended by the mere existence of this blog itself. However, I think there are also many Christians who will read this blog and will not be offended by it, but may read my intent in not capitalizing the word “god” as a blatant attempt to offend. I am sure that there are readers who will continue make assumptions of my intents regardless of what I write here or attempt to explain, but for those who do not, I offer this explanation to you as a means of genuine clarification.

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