The use of the word Godspeed has declined somewhat over the years, but for longer than anyone alive can remember—and certainly longer than anyone dead can now remember—some people have been wishing “Godspeed” to friends, relations and acquaintances who are about to start out on a journey. This begs the obvious question, what is God’s speed?
A great many Infinitian scholars have filled their waking hours vigorously, and often violently, arguing about this very question.
One of the very few things they all agree on is that, when reflecting on this riddle, one should consider only the speed of God One, not of any of the other of the infinite number of Gods.
Does the God Matter When it Comes to Godspeed?
The reason is that if all Gods have the same speed then it doesn’t matter which God we consider. The answer will be the same for all of Them. So we might as well look only at the God we are most familiar with, God One, our Creator.
On the other hand, if each God has a different speed then it would be impossible for our finite minds to contemplate the speeds of all of the infinite number of Gods. Therefore, to avoid being driven totally nuts (assuming we’re not already there), it’s still best to stick to only God One’s speed.
Because all scholars concur on this point, in the interest of brevity, for the purpose of this discussion I’ll say simply “God” when I mean God One as representative of all Gods.
Beyond this one point, agreement breaks down horribly. One sect of scholars predicates its calculation of God’s speed on the belief that God is omnipresent. They argue that God only appears to be everywhere simultaneously. This, they claim, is an illusion created by God moving so fast that His or Her image does not fade from anyone’s brain before God returns to the same spot—no matter where in the universe He or She went in the interim.
These scholars invoke television and film as analogies to illustrate this point. Both of these media depend entirely on still images. However, those still images are flashed before our eyes so rapidly that we can’t distinguish the individual frames. Instead, the action shown on the film or television program appears to us to be fluid motion because the incremental images meld together in our brain.
Appearance-of-omnipresence scholars tell us that God’s apparent omnipresence depends on much the same principle. God appears to be everywhere at once only because He or She returns too quickly for anyone anywhere to detect that God was ever gone.
The scholars who espouse this theory have calculated that God’s rate of speed must be at least warp 1,000,000,000, give or take warp 127,000, to achieve the effect of omnipresence throughout the universe.
Another sect of scholars accepts the argument that God achieves the appearance of omnipresence by moving really, really quickly, but they take exception to the first group’s calculation. This second sect of scholars argues that God needs to create the illusion of being omnipresent only in the eyes of living creatures. There is, they argue, no need to appear omnipresent in front of water or rocks, for example.
These limited-appearance-of-omnipresence scholars are convinced that, in order to cut down on Her or His traveling, God placed living creatures on only a few planets in a few tightly clustered galaxies. That way, She or He can avoid a large part of the universe.
Limited-appearance-of-omnipresence scholars peg God’s speed at “only” warp 13,275,000, with a margin of error of warp 17,235.
A third sect of scholars, known as true-omnipresence scholars, castigates both of the first two sects for being abominable heretics. This third sect says that God doesn’t just appear to be omnipresent. He or She is omnipresent. Thus, they argue, God’s speed is zero. God can’t move at all because God is already everywhere in His or Her universe(s), so He or She has nowhere else to go.
This postulation is particularly prevalent among one group of Infinitians. Most Infinitian scholars abandoned the God-One-created-us-in-His-image myth the first time they saw a naked man and a naked woman standing next to each other. Nonetheless, some scholars do still cling tenaciously to this ridiculous fairytale. They think that God One is a hermaphrodite with both a penis and a vagina. (They don’t, however, explain why, then, we are not all hermaphrodites as well.) And they believe that all women who are not flat chested with at least a little hair on their chests are an abomination. (In case you were wondering, God One shaves His face. Thus, lack of facial hair is not an issue.)
While a belief that we were created in God One’s image is not a prerequisite for believing that godspeed is zero, to a person, all scholars who still believe the God-One-created-us-in-His-image nonsense also believe that God has no speed. They argue that if we were created in God One’s image and God One can travel at warp 1,000,000,000 or warp 13,275,000 then we would also be able to would also be able to travel at warp 1,000,000,000 or warp 13,275,000, whichever the case may be.
Obviously, these scholars point out, we can’t move that fast. Therefore, because the only three plausible answers to the God’s speed question are warp 1,000,000,000, warp 13,275,000, and zero, and because we were created in God One’s image, and because we are certainly capable of standing still, the correct answer must be zero.
What Can We Infer About Godspeed From the Existence of Couch Potatoes?
These scholars also often point to the prevalence of couch potatoes to further buttress their case for a zero-speed God who created us in Her or His image.
Some of you will no doubt point out that being created in God One’s image doesn’t necessarily mean that our same-looking bodies will possess powers that are identical to those possessed by God One. Therefore, you will say, it’s ridiculous to estimate God’s speed based on the similarity of appearance.
In case you were going make that point, let me say right now that you are absolutely right. Keep in mind that I did say that these “scholars” still believe that we were created in God One’s image. Taking that into consideration, it would be unreasonable to expect much rational thought from them. Nonetheless, I felt the need to mention them here because there are still many people who take them seriously. Besides, even if we weren’t created in God One’s image, God may still be omnipresent and, therefore, have zero speed.
So, you might ask, what is the correct answer? What is God’s speed? Damned if I know. Nobody else does either. Take your pick.
However, be that as it may, I suggest that it is high time that everyone finally stops wishing people “Godspeed.” We aren’t capable of traveling at either warp 1,000,000,000 or warp 13,275,000, or anywhere remotely close to that. So if either of those is God’s speed then wishing another human being Godspeed is absurd.
On the other hand, if God’s speed is zero, why the hell would you wish that to people setting out on a journey? By definition, if they are embarking on a journey they are trying to get somewhere. If God’s speed is zero then wishing them Godspeed is horribly hurtful.
In case you missed it the first time, the point I’m trying to make is, stop wishing people “Godspeed!” It’s one of the most ridiculous expressions humans have ever invented—and we’ve invented some real doozies.