It's quite frustrating to read atheists writing and using the word god as a proper noun when it is a common noun.  We expect theists to use it as a proper noun because they assume that the deity is real and specific.

 

A common noun is something that does not need to be capitalized and is not specific, examples are truck, house, dog, or man, whereas a common noun needs to be capitalized and is very specific such as Ford, the White House, Bulldog, or Edward.

The word god does not specifically denote any individual.  The word god and the word deity is synonymous.  You wouldn't use he as a pronoun for deity would you then you shouldn't use it for the word god.

 

If you looked at any lengthy text on any religious topic and put in front of the word god the letter A or the word The suddenly the meaning of the word god changes.  Conversely replace the word god in the same text with a real persons name.

 

Take the following text for example.


Conceptions of God vary widely. Theologians and philosophers have studied countless conceptions of God since the dawn of civilization. The Abrahamic conceptions of God include the monotheistic definition of God in Judaism, the trinitarian view of Christians, and the Islamic concept of God. The dharmic religions differ in their view of the divine: views of God in Hinduism vary by region, sect, and caste, ranging from monotheistic to polytheistic to atheistic.


The word god is being used as a proper noun. As such it gives it credence and the assumption is that the god the text refers to actually exists. The text below written with the word god as a common noun.

 

Conceptions of a god vary widely. Theologians and philosophers have studied countless conceptions of a god since the dawn of civilization. The Abrahamic conceptions of a god include the monotheistic definition of the god in Judaism, the trinitarian view of Christians, and the Islamic concept of a god. The dharmic religions differ in their view of the divine: views of the god in Hinduism vary by region, sect, and caste, ranging from monotheistic to polytheistic to atheistic.

 

The word god takes on a different and reasonable meaning when used correctly.

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Comment by John Camilli on February 12, 2011 at 1:40pm
And if someone descended from the skies to talk to me, I'd ask him where I got the stuff I'm tripping on, then I'd ask for some ID.
Comment by John Camilli on February 12, 2011 at 1:39pm
Using the word god at all is just idiotic, but since it's accepted as the name for whatever a person's ultimate belief happens to be, we use it for the sake of a semblence of understanding. For the same reason, we sometimes capitalize the first letter, just to distinguish which particular notion of nonsense we are discussing. Don't let yourself get caught up in the symantics too much, dude. If we try to define things too strictly, we arrive at the ultimate conclusion that we cannot define anything, and then we cannot discuss anything, lol.

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