Re: "God" is overloaded [was Re: The Unfathomable]

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 15:38:18 -0800 (PST)

> Now this raises an interesting point regarding "language"
> and meanings. The problem arises when you "overload" a
> word. Are their languages that exist and differentiate
> between things like:
> - "the creator of the universe",
> - "the source of all good (or evil)",
> - "the laws that make things go"
> - "the thing that provides the energy for life"
> - "the thing that creates life"
> - "the reason we should be good to one another"
> - "the easiest way to explain to children stuff you can't explain"

Lojban <> avoids polysemy by having inclusive root words whose meanings can be narrowed by nonce coinings according to specific rules. Thus, one can use the word "cevni" when you don't need to be specific about what kind of god you're talking about, but when you want to narrow things down you can refer to "mu'ezbacei" (universe-creating god), "vu'emi'ecei" (virtue-commanding god), or "nalselri'agaucei" (agentive cause of non-physically-caused things god) as the need arises, and the word-coining rules of the language make the interpretation of these coinages reasonably straightforward. Conversation about these complex coinages can then be simplified by assigning pronouns to them that persist over whole conversations.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
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