Talk:Nontheism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Religion (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Atheism (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon Nontheism is part of WikiProject Atheism, which aims to organize, expand, clean up, and guide atheism related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit this article, or visit the project page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Buddhism (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article falls within the scope of WikiProject Buddhism, an attempt to promote better coordination, content distribution, and cross-referencing between pages dealing with Buddhism. Please participate by editing the article Nontheism, or visit the project page for more details on the projects.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Skepticism (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Skepticism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of science, pseudoscience, pseudohistory and skepticism related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Nontheism:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

    Delete?[edit]

    I think this article should be deleted. The main reference about the origin of the term shows that it was artificially created precisely to avoid the term atheism, but it means the same thing. We already have an article about that... Atheism. Nontheism (as if anyone is every going to look it up) should redirect to Atheism. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:27, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

    I'm not the first to think this. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:30, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

    Of course it was artificially created to contrast with atheism. What is your point? The question is whether the term is notable, not whether it is artificial. Nontheism is a term coined in 19th century literature to express a concept distinct from atheism. This article is by no means good, as it rambles along and goes off on tangents, but there is no point in deleting or merging. Instead it should just be fixed by somebody with a clue. Any argument for deleting or merging will need to be based on notability. --dab (𒁳) 19:47, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

    Keep. In my opinion, deleting this article is a bad idea. Atheism and nontheism are not the same thing. By the logic of whoever proposed this deletion, we can also get rid of the food article because we already have an article on pineapples. I agree with the above comment that this article isn't particularly well-written, but that can be fixed. If anything, this article needs fixing rather than deletion. Skysmurf (talk) 12:50, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

    It most certainly does NOT mean the same thing as atheism Cosand (talk) 17:56, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

    For this article to justify its existence it needs to explain exactly how it is different to atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief in a God. How is "nontheism" any different? According to the article as it is currently written, so-called "nontheism" doesn't include anything more or less than atheism.
    Ksolway (talk) 07:40, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Ksolway

    After the AfD[edit]

    The AfD has closed as a (somewhat ambiguous) "keep". Given that concerns are still out there, I'd like to propose some actions short of actually deleting the page. First, I'd like to take the sections of this page from Christianity through Hinduism, and move them to a new page: Nontheistic religions. I think that's the most important thing. What would remain here would be the more general aspects of this page, including those at the interface between nontheism and atheism. One option would then be to leave this page in that form, while another would be to merge that material into a new section of Atheism and religion, with this page becoming a redirect to that. I would lean towards favoring the merge/redirect, but I don't feel strongly. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

    Looks like we were commenting on the AfD at the same time. My concern is with the article that might develop out of Nontheistic religions. Such an article seems possible only by violating WP:SYNTH, WP:NPOV, or both. Getting those sections out of this article, however, I agree is the most important thing: I would just move them to the trash basket. And I would support merging the remaining material, although there wasn't total support for that at the AfD, as I recall. We may just have to have this be an article on the nontheistic I-don't-believe-in-God-but-don't-associate-me-with-those-atheists "movement," if anyone can actually build an article out of the sources that were proffered in the AfD. RJC TalkContribs 17:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, I see what you mean about the religions article being potentially SYNTH, or, I think, something like WP:COATRACK. However, there were a lot of sources brought up at the AfD (I'm thinking particularly of the long list by JimWae) that might suggest that such an article could satisfy sourcing requirements, and it seems to me to be better to approach it that way than to try to shoehorn both the nontheistic religions and the similar-to-atheism usages into this single page. To me, that combination makes the SYNTH issue worse. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
    • The main issue I have, and so far unresolved to any acceptable solution, is covered under Wikipedia is not a dictionary. This does give allowances for exceptions dealing with neologisms. The article Prima facie, does seem to be well referenced. Of the 40 references, of which 4 could be verified without going to a library (so narrows the internet coverage part), I read a lot of interesting things but nothing to shed light on Nontheism, as "we must cite reliable secondary sources such as books and papers about the term or concept, not books and papers that use the term.". The clarity would be "about the term" and not "use of the term". I explored links #1, #37, #38, and #39, and could find no direct connection that included anything "about" the term. #1; "WORSHIPPING AN UNKNOWN GOD" is a "paper" that discusses things like "negative theology", "devout agnosticism" and even a paradox, "There is a paradox here: if God is inconceivable, is it not self-refuting to talk about him at all, even to state his inconceivability?". There are to links in the reference but one is redundant. #37 and #38); are links to parts of the article. #39 leads to "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy", and I thought, "Now we are getting somewhere". This very long article touched on many things but I could find nothing on "Nontheism". I typed this into the search bar and did find mention of the word under two links; "Theological Voluntarism", and "Process Theism", which gave in-dept and very lengthy discussions concerning those titles, but only touched on "Nontheism".
    There is a trend in America to change what is referred to as British spellings of words, especially by omiting the hyphen. Since I am from the U.S. I find no fault (my POV) in this. I can also see a position that a belief does not actually conform to something currently acknowledged. Adding a hyphen to reflect "Non-theism" would not make a non-word, or neologism, an accepted word but just a variation in spelling of a new word . I have a belief, that has roots from the start of where modern Christianity claims the beginning, but has still been referred to as heresy so I can be sympathetic.
    Being involved in Wikipedia I do have an issue with this encyclopedia being the vehicle for creating new words or advancing neologisms to prominence. This is presently supported by Wikipedia, even though this article survived an AfD, which leaves it open to being renominated, and currently on more grounds than one. Wikipedia gives reference to neologisms, "In a few cases, there will be notable topics which are well-documented in reliable sources, but for which no accepted short-hand term exists. It can be tempting to employ a neologism in such a case. Instead, it is preferable to use a title that is a descriptive phrase in plain English if possible, even if this makes for a somewhat long or awkward title. I have seen there is an article on Antitheism but from what I gather those that profess "Nontheism" do not share this belief.
    What I would not like to see is anyone jumping on a "proverbial band wagon" concerning my comments. I am assuming good faith and request the same. I see there are on-going discussions and choose to see how these play out, and request that my observation be weighed with the evidence. I feel, at present, I could argue a new AfD (that was also acknowledged as tainted) and feel I have justifiable grounds to do so. I can however, see a difference in what is perceived as a "mainstream" idea not conforming to some actual beliefs. Although I was against a keep consensus I am not against a particular belief (and my comments there reflect this) just the word as it now stands, which is not backed up by definition or any clear secondary sources. The question to me would be if an understood belief does not conform to what is written, short of inventing or creating a new word, what would be the solution? One would be to provide reliable secondary sources to back up this use, another would be to find an acceptable word (or other title) in use where the differences could be expounded on, and a third would be do nothing and see if a consensus on Wikipedia would (by whatever steps) allow the use of the new words, effectively changing Wikipedia policy. 205.242.95.130 (talk) 17:08, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
    I think that your comments are very thoughtful. As I've been thinking further about the issue since last commenting here, I continue to like the idea of moving the Nontheistic religions material, as it uses the word as an adjective to describe something that is well-sourced, and I may well do that, boldly, fairly soon. However, what that leaves of this page, which I'm increasingly leaning towards leaving here rather than merging into another page, may well be a good candidate for another AfD, perhaps after giving other editors a little time to see if they can improve it first. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:01, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
    I forgot to sign my above comment. I am sure I will be reminded by an illustrious bot. I was in a hurry to conclude to go finish a job so I will make sure to sign this. If there is lack of secondary source then that will be up to those that wish to see how it will play out right? I just hate to see useful information get buried as I hold similar views, that float somewhere around middle and don't swing one way or the other, concerning politics so have to maintain being an Independent. Having 40 references, that refer to books not easily obtained might look nice, but concerning this controversial title, I was turned off the second hour I couldn't locate anything and can imagine what the casual reader might think. I have looked at this with an open mind, read the above long winded articles, spent a considerable amount of extra time, and conclude a less than well sourced new "word", striped of all passionate discussions, is still a minutely sourced neologism, no matter what we try to add back into it or around it, so my advice is to use good sources and references. Good luck, Otr500 (talk) 00:58, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    • I see that Editor2020 has just made a series of edits that I think improve the article significantly. My plan at this point is to move the Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism sections as discussed above, and leave the rest of the page here. What will remain here will still need work, but I think it's starting to move in the right direction. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:54, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    Full support on the above proposal. The page is on my radar - if you want to go ahead and split out the content I'm willing to spend an evening improving what's left :) --Errant Tmorton166(Talk) 16:51, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    Thank you! I just did. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:04, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

    Concerns over synthesis[edit]

    This article survived an AfD because a distinction could be drawn from atheism, although there was a general acknowledgment among the "keep" votes that it needs a lot of work. My concern was that the article suggests that Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Hegel, and secular Christian theology all belong together. The section on Buddhism, for example, argues that Buddhism really should be considered nontheistic, even though there are gods in it. There are citations for each piece of evidence in that section (or they could be provided for the tagged statements), but the assertion that these add up to the conclusion that Buddhism is nontheistic at all, let along nontheistic as opposed to atheistic—to say nothing of whether the categories of "believer," "agnostic," "atheist," and "nontheist" capture the varieties of religious experience—is an unpublished synthesis. Even if such a source could be found, it would certainly violate WP:NPOV to privilege its view in the structuring of the article, akin to whether we should have a section on Buddhism as an example in the article infidel or cult (for which statements sources surely exist). The same goes for the other examples of nontheism offered. Since I voted to delete the article because of these concerns it would be unseemly for me to expunge the offending material, claiming that only the narrow distinction between nontheism and atheism gained support in the AfD. But that is the case, so someone else should correct this article. I suggest a hatchet. RJC TalkContribs 17:02, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

    There aren't gods in Buddhism. Gods were believed in in the milieu in which Buddhism sprang up, but what the Buddha teaches is that whether they exist or not is irrelevant, and that belief in them or disbelief in them is also irrelevant. -- Evertype· 08:08, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

    "Philosophy" section needs more relationship to the term "nontheism"[edit]

    The philosophy section is just kind of hanging out there, with no relation to the word "nontheism". Some sources are needed that relate the word "nontheism" to those topics (Hegelianism, Post-theism, Theological noncognitivism). Without secondary sources that relate the term "nontheism" to those topics, this is synthesis. --Noleander (talk) 17:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

    "Nontheistic" religions[edit]

    I removed the word "also", for obvious reasons. I deleted the word Christianity from the section "Nontheistic religions" because it is including the word of a religion directly related to theism, with no explanation and references or sources, under a section that implies inclusion to that section and possibly belief (or belief of non-belief), which is "also" very controversial and contentious. The entire section needs references , considering, "Nontheistic traditions of thought have played roles...", which would bring unanswered questions such as "what traditions of thought"?, where is the source for this?, etc..., but I am not familiar with Buddhism and Hinduism. Otr500 (talk) 04:35, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

    It's certainly understandable that it would sound incongruous with respect to Christianity. I think the problem came from having just separated out the separate page on Nontheistic religions and leaving a summary sentence here. I've added it back (but not the "also"), with sourcing from that page. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:55, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

    nontheism and naturalism/materialism[edit]

    Quoting the article: "it has become an umbrella term for summarizing various distinct and even mutually exclusive positions united by a naturalist approach, such as agnosticism, skepticism, and atheism."

    I find this wikipedia article a surprise because the way it defines nontheism is at odds with how I understand and use the term and how other people I know understand and use the term. The article appears to be describing materialist-atheism, the very concept people use the term "non-theistic" to avoid. As such the veracity of this article will need to be examined.

    Non-theism (as I understand it), contrary to the article's claim - accepts a non-naturalistic (i.e. non-materialistic) worldview, but does not imply a belief in God. I am a Reiki practitioner - which would be regarded as "supernatural" by Materialists, yet I have no belief in god. Buddhism also recognises supernatural forces but has no explicit belief in god. the term "atheism" has become a synonym for materialist-scientism, so people use the term nontheistic to get around an association with a materialist worldview. I think any improvement in the article needs to take into consideration what I have mentioned. Over the coming weeks I will do my own research to find suitable sources to back up my understanding of the term with an eye to improving the article. HansNZL (talk) 05:25, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

    There may be multiple uses of the term in different communities. As you suggest in your post, can you find a reliable source for your proposed definition? If we can source it properly, we can include it in the article. All the best,   — Jess· Δ 05:43, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
    It appears most of the lede has overlooked what is stated in the 1st sentence - that there is a religious form of nontheism. No source is provided for "united by a naturalist approach" --JimWae (talk) 08:39, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
    I think it's important also (esp. in the context of this article) to avoid lumping anything outside a naturalistic framework into the category of "religion". I mentioned Reiki, which is an energy-healing modality I practice, not a religion. Plenty of people accept a broader reality than a naturalistic/materialistic worldview would recognise (and therefore "supernatural" to a naturalistic worldview), but would not regard that broader framework as "religious". Furthermore being spiritual and being religious are not the same thing in many peoples' minds - in fact often they're regarded as opposites. HansNZL (talk) 08:56, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
    Interestingly wiktionary defines nontheism as: "Any of a range of concepts regarding spirituality and religion which do not include the idea of a deity in the form of a theistic god or gods." It appears that the original sense of the term "nontheistic" was as an umbrella term for what we would now call atheism (which may account for why the wikipedia article says what it says). I don't believe this is how the term "nontheistic" is understood today...so off now to look for more info.HansNZL (talk) 09:08, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
    Are reiki & theism incompatible? Is reiki any more neutral about theism than math is? We do not usually bother to point out that math is non-theistic, so how does reiki fit in?
    Reiki is compatible with any belief system other than Materialism. Some religious fundamentalists might consider reiki to be witchcraft or the work of the devil, but christianity, for instance, has laying of hands which is a similar thing and many christians/muslims/whoever practice reiki much as they may all also use mathematics. The point I was making earlier is that you can believe in something that may be regarded as a "supernatural" force without it having anything to do with god or religion. HansNZL (talk) 09:47, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

    The more research I do the more it seems there is no predominating single definition of the term nontheism - with many definitions being quite opposite. This poses a problem, because how do you describe the concept of non-belief in a deity coupled with acceptance of wider concept of reality than that accepted by Materialism? HansNZL (talk) 08:24, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

    The nontheism article has been hijacked and compromised in the past.[edit]

    The nontheism article has been hijacked and compromised in the past. My recent update removed a lot of inaccurate "noise" from the beginning of the article that made it very unclear what nontheism even is. The inaccurate information included the following:

    It was stated that nontheism is a religious attitude, which is inaccurate and offensive to nontheists who wish to "opt out" of religious debate and not contemplate religion.

    It was stated that nontheism is rejection of belief in god; to the contrarary, nontheism is the choice to not even contemplate the existence of a god.

    It was stated that nontheism is simply the "umbrella" or collection of atheism and agnosticism; actually, nontheism is neither atheism nor agnosticism. Nontheists deliberately distinguish themselves from atheists and agnostics.

    These past statements attempt to confuse readers and diminish the integrity of nontheism.

    It seems to me the relationship between nontheism, atheism, and agnosticism, is pretty clear:

    • Atheists believe there is not a god.
    • Agnostics believe they cannot know whether or not there is a god.
    • Nontheists do not contemplate the existence of a god. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Viethj (talkcontribs) 20:02, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
    While the manner in which you define nontheism makes it something I can relate to quite well personally, I don't see any reliable sources for your changes. People don't usually go around calling themselves "nontheists," so claiming that nontheists do this or that isn't really accurate. Either way you will need reliable sources to support your changes if you want them to stick.Griswaldo (talk) 20:26, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
    I agree with Griswaldo, and would like to expand on several points. First, the fact that editors may disagree over content does not mean that anything has been hijacked. More importantly, Wikipedia operates according to rules about what we do or do not say. In this case, WP:NOR is very important, and I urge Viethj to read it. Griswaldo refers to reliable sources. These are very important. If there are reliable sources that would support wording the page differently, or support additional wording to include some alternative views of nontheism, it may be possible to revise the article accordingly. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:11, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
    I'll have to come back another time when I have sources. In the meantime, this article is confusing. Just because there are sources for comments does not mean the comments are useful or accurate. What we have for an article on nontheism right now is crap and very misleading. Nontheism is not a religion. Nontheists are not Christian apologists. Nontheists are not atheists or agnostics—that's the whole point for using a different term. And yes, people do declare themselves nontheists. I do, and the most recent guest on the Point of Inquiry podcast spent the whole podcast discussing that declaration. We abstain from the god question. The question itself and all debate surrounding it is meaningless, nonsensical, futile, and divisive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Viethj (talkcontribs) 21:55, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
    "Nontheists do not contemplate the existence of a god"
    So if you contemplate the existence of a God for a moment then you cease to be a nontheist?
    Perhaps you mean that a nontheist doesn't believe it matters whether a God exists or not?
    If that is what you mean then it should say that in the article. Such a position would fall within the larger category of atheism, which is a lack of belief in God (it's not a positive belief that there is no God - it is a state of being unconvinced).
    Ksolway (talk) 07:56, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Ksolway

    Nontheism includes a variety of belief systems....[edit]

    What the fuck?? Since when is atheism a belief system?? I dont belief in santa claus, what is the belief system to that?? Delete this statement or re-write it. Greets--Lexikon-Duff (talk) 01:00, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

    Atheism has been described as being a belief system and it's perfectly correct; it's a way of thinking revolving around a particular belief (namely the disbelief / rejection of the existence of deities). Your disbelief in Santa Clause is neither complex nor far-reaching, it has no real implications on life or society; atheism is and does. That aside, I read the line to be linking Nontheism to various belief systems - primarily religions if this list is anything to go by. Perhaps "is linked to" might be a better phrasing? Though the current wording seems fine to me. Emperor Wu (talk) 04:29, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    Actually, that's not true, and the Atheism article should make that clear. However, the sentence in question is important in transition to the rest of the paragraph. I've rephrased that sentence so that it still serves that role, without making the dubious assertion that implicit atheism is a belief. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 05:41, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
    @Lexikon-Duff, I think it's important to avoid the misnomer that there is a non-ideological ideology. Atheism is an ideology. Your comment reminds me of my trip to the USA where someone accused me of having an accent. I pointed out to them that where I come from they'd have the accent, but because the American accent was their norm they tended to see non-American accents as the deviation. HansNZL (talk) 15:10, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

    Euler diagram[edit]

    Does the Euler diagram recently added to this page satisfy WP:OR? --Tryptofish (talk) 18:43, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

    Nontheism can include deists and pantheists - so non-theism is partially inside the red circle. Agnosticism, by every def, is an explicit position - so it cannot include infants (who make no claim). Agnosticism is not always considered to be about proof - as some people claim to have other sources of knowledge of things besides having proofs (actually, we all do - I know what I had for breakfast yesterday, but cannot prove it). Agnosticism is thus NOT distinguished by claims of proof, but by claims that we cannot know X vs claims we can know X. Then there's the (less problematic) problem of whether the blue & the black sections can meaningfully be said to be populated. Primarily though, it is very unclear what it's got to do with non-theism.--JimWae (talk) 20:43, 6 April 2012 (UTC)