Is google like God

I’m trying to decided whether using google as an analogy for God is appropriate or not. There are certain similarities that would help make God more accessible to geeks.

First I considered the possibility of using an open source analogy… it all started when I was trying to explain that it’s not inconsistent for an omnipotent God to change his system of doing things…

“The logic is perfectly consistent. The OT is a precursor to the NT – and certain things from the Old system are replaced in the new. It’s like a software upgrade that makes that piece of technology so much more awesome. In fact – the OT is like a proprietary software system that only works for the original company that won the contract,and in the NT it’s open source. Available for all. For free. Actually, it’s more like shareware because you don’t get to hack the code to bits and make it do whatever you want…”

Here are five ways God is like Google…

  1. He knows everything
  2. His slogan is “don’t be evil”
  3. His products are free and good and available to anyone who wants to use them
  4. It’s best if you just take them as they naturally appear and don’t go around trying to outdo the core program with your own stupidity
  5. While everything comes free and easy, he’s actually keeping a record of everything you’ve ever done in order to target you better.

Yeah, so it’s not perfect. But help me refine it in the comments.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

4 thoughts on “Is google like God”

  1. In what way do you think it’s not perfect (or do you think that’s self-evident)?

    I’m not sure if geeks need God to become ‘more accessible’ by way of analogy. Geeks, I would think, a fairy good with understanding abstract propositions, which are a big part of the way that Christians think and talk about God. They’re probably also literate – which makes reading the bible accessible.

    (Point 2 from your list)
    I reckon God’s ‘slogan’ is something much stronger than ‘do no evil’.

    For google I think this means, ‘make as much money for our shareholders as possible, whilst doing the right thing by our customers’.

    But for God, he does things for because he wills, for his own glory, because he is love, because he is holy, … ‘Do no evil’ doesn’t even come close.

    1. I am aware there are fundamental flaws in any analogy. So I know it doesn’t completely stack up.

      The “don’t be evil thing” is not the extensive definition of God’s character as you’ve rightly pointed out. Nor would it ever operate as a sole motto. But I don’t think it’s Google’s motto – you don’t see it on their website. It’s more a corporate mantra, or an approach to business.

      I think I’m happy enough to say God subscribes to the same mantra (as one of his core characteristics).

      I agree with your thoughts on geeks – just wondering if such a comparison – that could no doubt be fleshed out further – could ever be helpful.

      Also, it was a post containing a list. And they’re meant to be good blog fodder. Because they prompt disagreement and discussion.

  2. It is good fodder.

    Been thinking some more about this. Do you reckon that ‘do no evil’ is an adequate solution to the (so called) ‘problem of evil’? Though it’s true in an ‘ultimate’ sense, how does things like Habakkuk, or Job, or the Cross, fit with such a mantra?

  3. My flatmate in 1st year Uni and I once figured how to share the gospel using lawn-bowls terminology (we lived next to a green and played it once. We were totally down with the lingo.)
    For all have a “bias” and fall short of the “jack”..

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