Is it just me or is Google becoming a God? Is Google becoming some sort of pseudo-god who is replacing all other gods?
Now, I would never say that Google is MY God or even THE God (if that is your belief – mine happens to be in one God, the God of the Bible). But whenever I have a problem or a question I don’t know the answer to, where do I go? That’s right, Google. I have yet to find a question that I couldn’t find the answer to on Google. You want to know who the King of England was in 1432? Ask Google. Did Alexander the Great have a last name? Ask Google. What should I buy my wife for her birthday? Ask Google.
There is no doubt that Google is gaining importance in many lives. But is Google actually a god? I guess we first must decide what a god is. The easiest way to do that is, of course, to ask Google: What is a god? Google told me to look at Wikipedia (I won’t even get into how Wikipedia is becoming some sort of subordinate god). According to Wikipedia:
Theologians have ascribed certain attributes to God, including omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.
I think we shall have to take these one at a time.
- Omniscience – Possessed of universal or complete knowledge. (Websters)I think I’ve already established that Google knows pretty much everything. Like I said, I haven’t had a question yet that Google couldn’t answer.
- Omnipotence – Having virtually unlimited authority or influence. (Websters)No one can argue Google’s “authority” when it comes to the internet world. Is there any who can compete? THE authority in search is Google. It could also be argued that no one else has had as much influence in our online lives as Google.
- Omnipresence – Present in all places at all times. (Websters)I wish I could say this doesn’t fit Google, but it does. You can find Google by checking your email, checking your bookmarks, watching a video, checking your site stats, looking for a location on a map, checking out of an online store, looking for an image or picture, viewing your calendar, writing a paper or making a spreadsheet, or even looking for trends. Google gives us alerts, grants, books, banned books, software, news, research, patents, help, homepages, newsfeeds, Shakespeare, scary stories, catalogs, code, timelines, Mars, the moon, Earth, photos, blogs, a store, research, a social network, groups, products, financial information, and even translates what we don’t understand. Has anyone not seen an ad served by Google? Is there anywhere Google isn’t?
- Perfect Goodness – I don’t know if I’d say Google has “perfect” goodness. Their mantra, however, is “Don’t Be Evil.” That has to account for something. The word evil has many meanings to many people, however. I suppose you could argue that if they achieve their goal of not being evil then they will, in fact, achieve a state of perfect goodness.
- Divine Simplicity – Is there anything easier to use than Google? I can search Google from their website, my searchbar, and even by right clicking a word. Their website is, arguably, the definition of “divine simplicity.”
- Necessary Existence – It seems simple enough to argue that Google is necessary. After all, how would we get anything done in our world today if it weren’t for Google? If Google did not exist then man should have to invent it all over again. If you were to argue that man would invent Google were it not to exist then you must also argue that Google is necessary in today’s world.
- Eternal Existence – This is, unfortunately, where Google has a hard time being defined as a god. To make the claim that one is eternal one must argue that they have always been and will always be. Although it seems like it’s been forever, we know that Google has not always been. The likelihood of them always existing from this point forward also seems rather doubtful. Even recent history is littered with the corpses of internet companies who thought they would be the next best thing. The longest lasting company I could find anything on was a Japanese construction company that started in 578 and lasted until 2006 (read about it here) which is just over 1400 years. That’s a long time but not eternity.
So, is Google becoming a god? I think we all have to decide for ourselves if there are gods or a God and if Google is one of them. I have simply outlined the facts as I see them. I think there are valid arguments for and against. In the end perhaps we should just ask Google. Is Google a god?