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Philosophy/Godfather meaning.


Dear Charles

What is the Dictionary meaning of the word "Godfather" ?.
Is it related to philosophy, spirituality ?.

Can we termed our Teacher, Coach, Guide, Spiritual Guru, Blood relations, Close relatives etc as Godfather ?.

How we can use this word in English sentences ?. Can you illustrate this with examples ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

This is really a question about English usage, but I'll be happy to answer it.

The term "godfather" means at least two things: (1) the male who acts as a stand-in for a person being (usually an infant) baptized in one of the Christian churches; (2)  a Mafia chieftain who has power over lesser chieftains. (The Mafia is a worldwide criminal organization.)

Since Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" series of movies, the first meaning has practically vanished outside of discourse about religion. As typically used now, it is not related to spirituality or religion for most people. It still retains a spiritual meaning within Christian churches.

It would be used of teacher, coach, guide, etc., only as a joke.

About capitalization. The most general rule is that the first letter of each sentence and proper names are capitalized.


There is a city in Illinois.

"Chicago" is the name of one of the cities in Illinois.

One of the people who lives in Chicago is John.

End of examples.

When we talk about the President of the US, we use "President" with a capital "P"; all other presidents (e.g., of a bank) are called "presidents" with a small "p."

There are all sorts of rules like this that make no sense and just have to be learned.

There are some poets (e. e. cummings being the big example) who do not use capitals in their poetry at all.

There is a tendency developing to capitalize both improper and proper nouns. The English of Shakespeare's time did this, and German does it today.

Sometimes this is done simply out of ignorance. Other times, it is used ironically, to indicate an irrational over-commitment:

His Biceps are his Religion.

Hope this helps.

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Charles K. MacKay


I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)



BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

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