Nope, this isn’t a horribly late April’s Fools joke, nor are you hallucinating: the title actually is asking the question of whether Google is “God.”
But before you write this off as something absolutely crazy (as I almost did), take a moment to consider what I present, and you’ll find that a) this wasn’t originally my argument, and b) that the quotes around the word “God” in the question are meant to signal a metaphorical equivalence rather than a literal one, even though the argument itself wants to go as far as a literal congruency. In the former form (a metaphorical one), the idea isn’t as far-off as it might seem.
Given the way the Internet has infiltrated our lives so heavily, I find this to be very intriguing, and I hope you do, too. (Perhaps this might even be of relevance to the topic for the next student conference that’s being organized for the fall.)
Alrighty! So what’s the argument for Google being “God”? Simply put, as this website (which is also linked to above) puts it, the argument comes as a result of Google possessing all of the characteristics that the conventional definitions of God give to Him (with the exception of gender — the argument refers to Google as a She). I replicate these points here in this post (possibly by paraphrasing), although you could also read them off of the website if you choose. (As such, all credit for the argument goes to that website, not me.)
Without further ado, here are the so-called “nine proofs” for Google being “God”:
1) Google is the closest thing to an all-knowing being that can be scientifically verified, as it indexes more pages than any other search engine on the web today.
2) Google is everywhere at once. We can access Google from anything that has the prerequisite ability to do so (that is, those thing with access to the Internet).
3) Google answers prayers. Doing a search on Google can answer just about any question one has, even if its medically related. (Personal note: this one is a bit far-fetched, I know, but play along for now.)
4) Google is (potentially) immortal. Google isn’t like us. It’s spread amongst many servers, where a damaged one can easily be replaced by another, fully-working server. Theoretically, this allows for Google to be possibly immortal.
5) Google is infinite. The Internet, on paper, can grow to an infinite level, which means that Google can continue to index onward infinitely.
6) Google remembers all, as it caches and stores its webpages on its servers, even blogs, tweets, and facebook messages. In some sense, you’ll “live” even after death, as your thoughts, opinions, and photos (if any) will be forever kept on those servers.
7) Google can’t do any evil. (Personal note: the explanation the website offers for this deals with Google’s corporate philosophy, but I think that the best explanation for this is with the simple fact that Google — the company and search engine — can’t do anything evil as they’re not human entities (its the people behind them who could do evil).)
8) “Google” is searched for more than the following terms combined: God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. And it also helps in ways those 8 terms can’t.
9) There’s more than enough evidence to prove Google’s existence and its powerful abilities. Just go to http://www.google.com, do a search, and see for yourself. No faith, sex, age, race, or ethic pre-requisites are required.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I personally wouldn’t take these proofs to be an argument for a literal equivalence between Google and God. That seems to be going a bit too far. By, metaphorically, there might just be something to it.
Google has become so mainstream in our lives that we even use the word as a verb, meaning to search for something on Google’s search engine. We can access it off of any Internet-enabled device, and in many cases it’s even used as a way to check to see if one’s Internet is even working.
Businesses today who have websites sometimes pay thousands or tens of thousands to make sure that their website is higher up on the search results list on this search engine. And, something not mentioned in the “proofs” above, it has expanded its reach to include e-mail, social networking, books, cell phones, document processing, and other functions. Not to mention the Chrome browser and OS software that have been or are being developed by the company to supposedly simplify our Internet and computing experiences.
Google is also only second to Apple in brand-name value. And it also covers a vast amount of information and transactions with its servers. The company is also considered to be one of the best to work for given its surprisingly eccentric corporate environment. And its big enough that the Senate called its representatives to testify about the recent privacy issues with location tracking on cell phones.
It’s amazing just how big and wide-spread Google’s influence is in our Internet-filled world. The social implications are probably huge, and certainly impacts a lot of people.
Wouldn’t that qualify it as a “God” in some sense? At least, one that we can prove without appealing to invisible beings and other seemingly mystical notions? I don’t plan to make a Google shrine, by any means, but, given all this, I find it intriguing (and scary, now that I think about it) that Google might just be something more than what it might be (metaphorically speaking, of course), both now and in the future.
George (“The Meager Weakling”)