Essay:Quantifying Idolatry

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Idolatry is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "the worship of a physical object as a god" and "immoderate attachment or devotion to something." It is one of the older words in the English language, dating back to the 13th century.[1]

Can one's degree of idolatry be quantified? Like time and money, idolatry can be quantified.

For example, one could simply calculate the ratio of time he spends doing one or more of the following to the time he spends in prayer:

  • watching television
  • focusing on money
  • thinking about favorites of the media, such as politicians or Hollywood "stars"

One's idolatry factor is the ratio of time spent on one or more of the above activities to the time spent on God.


  1. The dictionary does not date the origin of English words prior to the 12th century.