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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v012.n106
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 09:26:27 

On Thu, 19 Apr 2001, Timothy Reilly wrote:

> blows this out by using "god" to mean almost anything, and thereby depriving
> the concept of any real meaning.  At least, I can't define what a "god"
> means in TBSS.  If it can mean a space alien (the Mother), why aren't the
> Neighbours (or even theoretically the inhumi) "gods"?  They're not, but the
> Neighbours we're told have "gods" of their own.  We're never told the
> difference even in the Narrator's mind between all these. [snip] One
> wonders what his definition of a god is.

My impression is that Horn uses the same definition I used when listing
the gods of Earth; a god is one who has been worshipped[1] by somebody
sometime somewhere.  Gods can be powerful, not powerful, space aliens, not
space aliens, existent or non-existent.  

Horn|Silk does muse about whether a given god is a "true" god, which seems
to mean that the god really exists and is really powerful (e.g. Pas loses
points for being stuck on the whorl), and maybe even that the god is
worthy of one's trust/love/worship (that seems to be what is meant when
Silk is said to have not credited any god save the Outsider when he knew
firsthand that Scylla was real and powerful).


[1] Using a broad definition of worship to include fear, desire to
placate, or even recognize with respect--I'm not sure the Greeks or the
Chinese actually worshipped every god they told stories about, but their
recognizing them as gods is what makes them gods in the sense Horn seems
to use the word.  Even if nobody worships Quadrafons, he's still a god
because he's listed as such in the Writings.


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