Atheist list names
Regarding names of the "list of atheist ..." articles: Could you please rename them to their original names, especially List of atheists and agnostics in science and technology -> the original title List of atheists in science and technology. Actually, I agree with the renames you are proposing! Myself and another editor tried to rename these list article about 2 years ago, but we could not get a consensus. The right way to do it is (1) Do an WP:RFC for a month, to get consensus of many editors; and (2) change all articles so they have consistent names. In particular, we have List of atheists and List of agnostics and we'd have to discuss if those are going to get merged or not. A lot of discussion has to happen first. If you need help starting the RFC, let me know and I can help. But in the meantime: please rename that scientist article. Thanks! --Noleander (talk) 15:52, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
The movies you named on your user page
Hey, if you're into psychological thrillers, math and go—and perhaps, Jewish culture, considering your activity on the List of Jewish atheists—I bet my salad you will love “Pi”! That flick was hot. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 07:08, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Sure thing. In fact, since you like the genre, I actually expected that you had already heard of this movie. It seems to me that most people who like this genre do enjoy this movie. It was Clint Mansell's first movie to write a soundtrack to—you know, the guy who wrote Lux Aeterna. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 08:29, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll try to look into it. When I've think about it, I think I've heard of this film before. For some apparent reason, I didn't look into it. Right now, I've to prepare for 2 exams. However, I'll make time for it in the near future. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion! Ninmacer20 (talk) 14:50, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Haha, dude, it's not like you have to watch it. I just thought it could be a useful suggestion—and appropriate in the context of what you had chosen to share on your user page—but what you do with that suggestion is your business. I agree, you probably should be preparing for your exams now. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 18:11, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Regarding your edits about Erwin Schrödinger's worldview: It appears potentially misleading (even if not deliberate) to list a single source as if it is 3 separate references supporting a claim. I don't know the official Wikipedia policy on this, but it would seem best practice to cite the source once, and subdivide the 3 notes under that single citation. Do you agree? Jj1236 (talk) 22:09, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
In regards to adding extra sources, do you mean by the same author? Schrodinger's biographer, Walter Moore, has written multiple books on him. Out of the four references near Schrodinger's name, only 2 of them were from the same book: "A Life of Erwin Schrödinger" by Walter Moore. The other two sources that I used were: "Schrödinger: Life and Thought" by Walter J. Moore and "Spooky Physics" by Andrea Diem-Lane. Could tell me which sources you wish to get rid of? I'll be fine with that. Ninmacer20 (talk) 22:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I think keeping all the sources is fine and good, but maybe consolidate multiple citations that direct to a single book. So the 2 different citations to the same Walter Moore book would become one note with 2 parts.Jj1236 (talk) 23:30, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
On a related topic, here's one of the quotes attributed to Schrödinger that made me think the label of atheist conceals a more complicated set of views... "The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the way." As quoted in The Eye of Shiva: Eastern Mysticism and Science (1981) by Amaury de Riencourt
I'm trying to verify the source to see if it is reliable enough to include on the page. My impression from reading a whole lot of Schrödinger is that his worldview evolved over time, from religious to atheist to eastern mystic pantheism.
It would be really great to have dates (from E.S.'s life) attached to quotes and attributions of belief. I hope to have some time to work on this, but would welcome all contributions. Jj1236 (talk) 23:30, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I can try to consolidate those multiple citations based on the same source. To be honest I've never reference 2 additional sources with one note before. I'm not active wikipedian user, so my knowledege of the Wikipedia's computer language is limited. I think it is better if you could find someone else to do this task.
On the topic of Schrödinger's beliefs, read pages 288-290 in this book: A Life of Erwin Schrödinger. I don't know when Schrodinger made this statement on page 290, however, it shows that his statement was written around the same time when he included religious texts on Eastern Mysticism in his works (Possibly between 1943-1956, when he writing religiously inspired poems to his second wife.) It's best to look at the official biographies of an person than quote a text that may not represent his views accurately. Anyway, I acknowledge Schrodinger's use of religious concepts in his works (such as 'What is Life?'). However, he was said not to have taken these concepts very seriously. According to Walter J. Moore: "He rejected traditional religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive." - Walter J. Moore, Schrodinger: Life and Thought. I don't claim to be an expert on Schrödinger's personal life. I just look at the primary sources.
On a side note, I want to say that a person can still be spiritual and also identify himself as an atheist. For example, British scientist Roger Penrose, who has identified himself as an atheist, states in the film A Brief History of Time, "I think I would say that the universe has a purpose, it's not somehow just there by chance ... some people, I think, take the view that the universe is just there and it runs along–it's a bit like it just sort of computes, and we happen somehow by accident to find ourselves in this thing. But I don't think that's a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe, I think that there is something much deeper about it." If you want more evidence for this claim, please read this article: More than 20 percent of atheist scientists are spiritual. Ninmacer20 (talk) 02:11, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I think I agree with (or at least don't dispute) nearly all the points you make above, with one caveat. Biographers can also be biased (everyone is in some way or another) and project an interpretation on their subjects that may or may not be true. Every biography (even autobiography) is a mixture of fact and interpretation. Encyclopedias are supposed to be mainly factual (ideally all factual). In places of uncertainty it is preferred to make sources explicit (E.g. "Schrödinger's biographer SoAndSo described him as an atheist, while SuchAndSuch described him as a mystic pantheist"), highlight differing interpretations if they are from respectable sources. When biography conflicts with autobiography, my heuristic is to trust first-person accounts, though even in these cases it's probably a good practice to explicitly highlight the conflict.
The reason I took an interest in this particular bit of belief/disbelief attribution to Schrödinger is that it appeared to potentially be part of a larger controversy; namely an attempt to argue about the validity of belief/disbelief by sorting famous thinkers, scientists in particular, into opposing camps. I think this is a downright shameful way to argue, akin to what Richard Dawkins criticizes as "appeal to authority" instead of appeal to fact or logic. I don't think you are taking part in this game, but believe it's worth thinking about this issue as a potential source of biased attribution by biographers or others. Schrödinger's worldview, in his own words, did not sort him into traditional Western camps of thought. To make my own perspective (or bias) explicit, I don't think that Islam, Judaism, & Christianity have a monopoly on conception of God(s), such that disbelief in these three traditions is always equal to atheism (e.g. there were ancient Greek and Roman theists, too). Polytheism and pantheism are also varieties of theism. It's fascinating to me that a wild variety of different beliefs exist in people who have made major contributions to science, and it is troubling when this fact is obscured ... especially in service of a hero-worship 'argument' for a particular brand of disbelief or belief. My apologies for being long-winded on these subjects. I want wikipedia to be as factual as possible, as I'm sure you do as well. Jj1236 (talk) 04:36, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I see what you mean. I actually agree with you that even notable biographies can have biased as well. I'd respect Schrödinger regardless whether he was an atheist or a devoted theist. If you want to, you can post your views on Schrödinger's talk page to discuss (in detail) about Schrodinger's views. A panel of wiki commentators would then try to decide what to do based on the arguments. On a personal note, please remember, I'm not trying to make other people into atheists (My views are personally closer to agnosticism). Ninmacer20 (talk) 06:59, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Alinsky Lucifer passage
Ninmacer20, the topic of what, if anything, the article should say about Saul Alinsky's Lucifer passage is under discussion at Talk:Saul_Alinsky#Why_hide_the_fact_that_Alinski.27s_most_famous_book_was_dedicated_to_.22Lucifer.3F.22
Science & Technology atheists list edits
Hiya, just found your message. I've given the chap a boot up the bum, but it seems he's removed tons, and I 'm not sure of the best way to proceed. I think each removal should be put on the Talk page where the references (one way or the other, if he has any) can be checked. But I've never gotten into WP editing (only adding, and discussing!) enough to know if one can undo one old edit while leaving later stuff intact -- I'd have thought not, but...
I think we need someone more expert here. First person to come to mind (and about the only one else on here I know) is Nick Graves. I'd love to get involved more, but Real Life is a bugger at the moment :-( Sorry :-(
That's fine, Oolon. I understand you're busy. I already sent Nick Graves a message a while ago, but he seems to be busy. Thanks for at least responding. Ninmacer20 (talk) 02:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Hello and thanks for your critique on my slight, though important changes to the article. I'd like to comment that previous to my changes, the particular part was absolute horrible writing, strictly from a stylistic point of of view, while my changes morphed that into a well balanced, clean structure that semantically integrated into the overall flow of the previous text. Furthermore, your deletion, based on arguable and vague stylistic opinion while ignoring a more important semantic correction—without which many are misled to believe that Bohr was an atheist unarguably—makes you appear to have done it in an attempt of an ideological censorship. Although I'm sure you have had no such intentions, your removal of only one side of the story points directly to your own dogmas on the subject.
As someone who, I believe, appreciates freedom of speech and honest representation of views in Wikipedia, you can understand my arguments. If you wish to discuss the style of the change, I'm more than open to discuss it with you, but I think your fine reputation ought to prevent you from silently deleting it in the future. Therefore, relying on it, I'm reposting the correction, which we can later collaboratively polish to your liking.
Finally, as we are on the subject, I have done an extensive search, and to my knowledge Bohr never called himself an atheist, and the references for this statement "Bohr's disagreements with the philosopher mostly stemmed from Bohr's atheism" seem completely unsupportive of the thesis—statements by anybody but the man himself can hardly prove such a blunt declaration about such rigorous subjects as religion and philosophy. What are your thoughts on that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by BijouTrouvaille (talk • contribs) 23:01, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
The main reason I removed your edit was because it had little relevance to Kierkegaard and Philosophy. If you're so adamant about inserting your work, discuss your views in the talk-page under the Niels Bohr article. By the way, your edit was removed by another user with similar concerns. My talk-page is not the most direct way of getting your message across. Go to the Niels Bohr's talk-page if you want to voice your concerns with other Wikipedian users. I understand that Bohr's philosophical and religious views were complex. However, I don't see how Bohr's statements explaining how religions tend to use a different metaphorical language in order to explain reality is saying the same thing as Bohr being religious. Being an atheist doesn't mean that you're are completely against religions. You don't have to believe in God in order to be part of a religion (see articles such as God in Buddhism, Atheism in Hinduism, Jainism, etc). If you had only added just that one quotation from Bohr, that would be just fine (in another paragraph not relating to Kierkegaard).
However, your writing seems to be speculative on your part as I quote your addition in that article: "Some believe that Bohr's disagreements with the philosopher mostly stemmed from Bohr's atheism, although statements such as, "The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality." may indicate a more intricate thought pattern." Interpretations of quotations based on the opinion of Wikipedia users (professional or not) can be skewed unless they are written by professional biographers (who probably has more access to primary sources or work from their subjects than we do). By the way, it is not my judgement alone on what stays or goes in Wikipedia, you must ask the administrators for their POV of the issue.
Anyway, I think three citations more than suffice labeling Bohr as an atheist. If the sources were not reliable secondary sources about the subject (in this case Bohr), I can understand your concerns. However, Wikipedia states that unless a person is still living, you can put these labels if they are cited by reliable secondary sources. The point of reliable citations is to give validity to controversial statements that may result in conflict without them.
By the way, my personal views are closer to agnosticism and I have removed unsupported claims from both theists and non-theists in many articles in Wikipedia. Ninmacer20 (talk) 05:29, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Ninmacer20, for your quick response. I also appreciate your advice to voice my concern about this on Bohr talk page, however I do not quite understand it. How would speaking to other Wikipedia users help the case move along if it was you who made the decision to remove this edit? Or are you implying that you wish to continue this conversation on the mentioned page? My apologies for not being well versed in the customary practices here.
I now understand more about your reasoning, and I can see a point to it, but it also seems to me in the same way incomplete. The three sources cited for the original quote mention nothing about Bohr's views on Kierkegaard's philosophy. The one referenced sentence simply declares Bohr an atheist, and is not relevant to the subject you mention. If you were to follow the same logic all the way, the original quote is to be removed as well, or did I miss something?
Also, I don't understand where you see a speculation in my post. I do not believe to have interpreted opinions, unless by that you mean the part "Some believe...", in which case you are implying that the thing I interpreted is mere opinion, which then would warrant deletion of both sentences. I'm frankly confused as to why you emphasized that part.
About your statement, "Being an atheist doesn't mean that you're are completely against religions.": I certainly agree with you, there is such a point of view, but there are others. Definitions of atheism vary, some including agnosticism, some not, and using such a vague term, many definitions of which strictly oppose Bohr's view, misleads many readers I've talked to, not to mention reeks of ideology. That said there is such a thing as apophatic theism, and other forms of mystic thought that can not be labeled as belief or non-belief. This is why I used the terms "a more intricate thought pattern", that is, not to allude to theism, but to the fact the Bohr did not label himself as either, but admitted to either possibility—that being a primary, and most reliable source.
One thing I am certain of, is that this is a very important point to be precise about. Tensions are very high on the subject of religion within the theoretical physics community, and so it receives a great disservice when misleading information is posted in spaces reputed to be objective on related subjects.
Thank you for your response in my talk-page. I understand your concerns now. Anyway, what I mean (in your first paragraph) is to move our conservation to the Niels Bohr talk-page. In response to your second paragraph (regarding the citations), some months ago there were as many as five citations on Bohr being an atheist. Anyway (in the current article), the first citation reference that Bohr disagreeing with some of Kierkegaard views in reference to his non-belief. The other two citations just reference Bohr being an atheist. I could bring the quotes of those citations (even more if you like) on Bohr being called an atheist.
In response to your third paragraph, the words that I highlighted that I had some issues with is the words "Some believe that" and "may indicate an intricate thought pattern". Even though your analysis may be correct, we should avoid using "may" or "Some believe" (unless you are biographer of Bohr yourself, which in that case you may have access to more sources than we do). I recommend not using that phrase especially when the citations are credible.
In response to your fourth paragraph, remember again if those citations didn't state that Bohr was an atheist (which I can bring many more but that would be superfluous) it wouldn't be included in the first place .
In response to your last paragraph (in my talk-page), remember I understand your concerns. I wish we would come to some sort of conclusion on this sensitive topic. Just a piece of advice, try to be avoid words like "believe" or "may" as those words in wikipedia are "weasel words". You could just create a new paragraph like for example, "Bohr expressed his view that religions tend to uses "insert a quotation here"". That would fine in an another paragraph. However, try to be concise and orderly. Plus, ask other administrators if your addition is ok to add in the article. I can give you some names if you wish. We can discuss more of this topic in the "Niels Bohr" talk-page.
P.S. Sorry for any grammatical/syntax errors or misconceptions. I understand that I being very repetitive here, however, I hope this answer most of your questions. Send me another message if you wish. Ninmacer20 (talk) 15:16, 29 November 2013 (UTC)