In what I've written so far (and in what I intend to write) I've drawn heavily on my own article on "Gods" in H. James Birx [ed.] Encyclopedia of Anthropology Vol. 3 (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2006) ISBN 0-7619-3029-9 . Should I add details of this to the article, leave it here for someone else to add it if they see fit, or what? --Peter J. King Talk 16:31, 4 March 2007 (CST)
I've just inadvertently overridden (in an edit conflict) two changes to the lead. before I reinstate them, could I discuss them here?
- Should the article start with a claim about what most English-speakers would think? First, I'm not sure that it's true (much depends upon the context – if an English-speaker were reading a book about the Roman Empire, ancient Egypt, modern India, etc, she'd surely not take "god" to refer to the Judæo-Christian god – and there are over a thousand million Indians, many of whom speak English, most of whom would probably not think of the Judæo-Christian god first). Secondly, it seems to me to bring a slight (very slight, it's true) slant to the article rather than leaving it as wholly neutral as between readers.
- The reason that I had: "Examples include living human beings such as certain Roman Emperors and Egyptian Pharaoahs, humanlike beings with superhuman powers such as the gods of the Ancient Greeks, personal but omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent creators such as the god of the Abrahamic religions, and impersonal abstractions such as the Hindu concept of Brahman." was that I wanted to move from the most limited and specific notion to the most unlimited and abstract.
The article should, indeed, put front and center how most native English speakers understand the term. This is in keeping with our Neutrality Policy, according to which the fair, or neutral, method of proceeding when deciding what to put front and center depends on what the constituency of the article is. Indeed, by "God," most people reading the article will understand anything other than the Christian God. That does not mean that the article must concern the Christian God (that can be treated in a separate article; it's correct that god should concern the generic sense. But it does imply that the article should take the Christian God as its primary example.
There is a way to satisfy this concern: precisely as I had it. I will reinsert the text which our edit conflict deleted, and let you have a look. --Larry Sanger 10:29, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
I wonder whether it's correct to say that "petitionary prayer" necessarily involves "bargaining." To be sure, some petitionary prayer is of the form "O whichever-god-I'm-addressing, if you will cure my disease I will make a pilgrimage to Walsinghamptonburywich, or erect a statue of you, or build a school, or mow the grass in front of the church." But other petitionary prayers rely on the concept of a "gracious" god, who gives favors to mortals without being offered anything in return. (In the immortal words of Don Novello's comedic character Father Guido Sarducci -- "God is love. Why? Because He likes you.") Bruce M.Tindall 20:40, 26 June 2008 (CDT)