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WikiProject Christianity / Theology / Unitarian Universalism / Latter Day Saints / Witnesses (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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This article was nominated for deletion on 05/12/05. The result of the discussion was keep. An archived record of this discussion can be found here.

Weasel words tags?[edit]

Hi User:Esoglou mind if I ask what's the reason for these 'weasel words' tags

  • ..which reject the currently[weasel words] mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity, namely..
  • ..According to churches that consider trinitarian[weasel words] ecumenical council decisions final,..

I can sort of understand the second, which seems redundant and First seven Ecumenical Councils might be better, but "currently" only reflects that prior to Nicea Trinitarianism wasn't "mainstream". Not that "mainstream" or "currently" is particularly good wording re the 2nd 3rd 4th Centuries. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:17, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't mind in the least your asking about the tags. On the contrary, I am happy that you have done so. You may even be able to inform me if "weasel words" is the wrong tag and what tag I should use instead. I couldn't just delete the words, since my doing so was reverted.
  • The text speaks of belief systems that "reject" (not "rejected") the "mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity". It is thus speaking of the present day. What purpose does the addition of "currently" to "mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity" serve, unless it be to suggest that the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity is either going to become a fringe view or that it was once a fringe view? No reliable source has been cited for either of these suggestions. Is raising these questions with no source to support them either necessary or useful?
  • You are right in saying that "trinitarian" attached to "ecumenical council" is redundant. Worse, it suggests that there are also non-trinitarian ecumenical councils. There aren't. Esoglou (talk) 12:42, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  • re 1. "currently" shows that the Trinity wasn't always orthodoxy. I don't think anyone could read "currently" as saying anything about the future, but if another adverb is substituted, then "traditionally"?
  • re 2 I think it is simply redundant no weasely, you deleted the source as it didn't check out. But presumably the source must say something? I thought all 7 ecumenical councils affirmed the Trinity in one form or another. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:34, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  • re re 1. What is spoken of is the present, and there is no ambiguity about that. If, for some reason, a different topic, such as what was mainstream in some other period, is to be introduced, it should be done otherwise than by adding the word "currently". The word "currently" does not "show" that the Trinity wasn't always orthodoxy. To "show" that, you need to cite a reliable source.
  • re re 2. You are mistaken in thinking that the statement that I removed a quarter of an hour after questioning the propriety of making the distinction "trinitarian ecumenical councils" had anything to do with that questioning. The claim that I removed was that trinitarianism was defined by the First Council of Nicaea (which defined nothing about the Holy Spirit), instead of by 4th-century councils of which that council was only one. The invalidity of the source cited for that claim was pointed out as long ago as October 2013. If you think the Council of Nicaea on its own defined trinitarianism, then put the claim back in, but with a valid source. "Presumably the source must say something", you say. Of course it does. But it does not say whatever you imagined it said. Only yesterday was the word "trinitarian" inserted on a distinct matter, adding it to the mention of the belief of churches concerning ecumenical council decisions. You are right in thinking that all ecumenical councils (whatever their number, even if fewer or more than the 7 you claim them to be) "affirmed the Trinity in one form or another", so that adding the word "trinitarian" to "ecumenical council" is simply redundant. So do you agree that the addition should be undone? Esoglou (talk) 17:26, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
User IIO says ""currently" shows that the Trinity wasn't always orthodoxy.". This is not true. The doctrine could not have been infallibly defined had it not always been so held by the faithful. The Council only expounded in formal terms which Tradition had always affirmed, even if Scripture was more ambiguous. That no such word as ~"Trinity" had been used does not mean that the essence of the word had not always been taught as true teaching. Laurel Lodged (talk) 23:37, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's up to Wikipedia users to decide whether or not that is the case, unless a large number of scholars have come to a conclusion, if so the source would be required. "Currently" shows that it is a present orthodoxy and that Wikipedia isn't stating whether or not it has always been orthodoxy. It is the most NPOV language given that ambiguity of the subject. Fordx12 (talk) 02:23, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Is the addition of the word needed in some way? Esoglou (talk) 07:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Reliable sources required[edit]

It would be ridiculous if, after inserting statements that lack a reliable source, I were to declare that it is up to others, not myself, to find reliable sources for them; if I were to declare untouchable questioned statements left for months without valid support; and if, with a "spelling fix" edit summary, I were to remove question tags and declare that any negative reaction to their removal was proof of bias. Esoglou (talk) 19:50, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Point taken about "reliable source" and "self-published", but in context of how certain groups or people view the matter of John 1:1 with "theos" versus "person" and distinctions, the point was made well from that source, albeit not the best one since it's considered "self-published". But WP policy and recommendation (as mentioned in my edit comment) is NOT to delete statements but rather to find better sources. Not only did you remove the pointed statement about "distinction not just in terms of person, but in terms of theos" but REMOVED WHOLESALE ENTIRE SENTENCES that were not even from that source. I found an arguably better source for the statement in question though, per WP recommendation, and restored all those sentences that were removed that were the very heart of the section!! The very reason why non-trinitarians (mainly of Arian or Unitarian bent) reject the notion that John 1:1 second occurrence of "theos" is stating that the Logos is the "absolute God". Totally unwarranted to remove all of that. Agreed that the original source (for just one or two of the sentences) may have been questionable or not the best (dogmatically because of "self-published", which I don't see how that makes any real difference, because a book is a book and a position is a position...regardless of the publishing company...sighs), but there are other sources that make the same statement that are not necessarily "self-published". Again, WP policy is to look for other refs, that support the view, and not remove entire paragraphs because (as it comes out) "I don't like" reasons, and bias. That's all I was saying. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 20:26, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I can write a book and pay AuthorHouse or the like to print it and to get it, by judiciously availing of Google books algorithms, to appear on Google. My book would not thereby (on the grounds that "a book is a book") become a Wikipedia-reliable source. For information that does not really depend on such a book, surely you are quite capable of finding a proper source, even if you have to adjust somewhat the wording of what you want to insert. As you know, Wikipedia says that unsourced material may be deleted – if only to stir the inserter, whose duty it is, to seek a proper source for what has for too long been left without reliable support. Esoglou (talk) 21:03, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The nontrinitarian view of John 1:1c is well known. Once Gabby finds a suitable source, I would have no difficulty with its inclusion as well as the surrounding detail. The restof the article can say why Trinitarians disagree with the view. Laurel Lodged (talk) 23:04, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Was found and put in. It was taken care of already. But the inclusion of the "questionable source" (which I contest as being "unreliable" simply because of the publishing company, as a book is a book regardless of the publishing agent, and per context can be used to make the point of the position in general) has been removed, by Esoglou, and has NOT been restored by me. But removing so much material from the John 1:1 counter-argument position might as well be removing the entire section itself. And was not really necessary. Huge chunks of stuff that was in that section for literally years now. (And some of the stuff that was in there I don't even necessarily totally personally agree with, but I would not remove for that reason.) Reliable sources are found and more are gonna be put in.
And to Esoglou, I understand your point, but I wasn't saying that the publishing situation of said author was necessarily the best or so "reliable", but that the author himself was contextually (at least in a sense) "reliable" to make the argument of what most non-trinitarians are saying about John 1:1's second occurrence of "theos". This author (Patrick Navas) is obviously not some dude down the street, who slapped a webpage or book together, who runs a pizza place down the block with no knowledge of the subject or philosophical or doctrinal points regarding this. He obviously is. Also, in his book, he REFERENCES many sources that would be considered very "reliable". Wikipedia is not considered "reliable" by many uptight teachers and schools, but the references in the Ref section definitely would be. But Wikipedia itself IS reliable, overall, not perfect, but overall, and most people deep down know it. Why? Using reliable sources, is one big reason. And so does Navas. Try reading the book. One example of his many copious references in his book, that would be considered reliable: The Doctrine of God, a Historical Survey. I have it. As well as many deep pro-Trinitarian books as well. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 00:27, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I can publish a study, with lots of footnotes, either as a self-published printed book or on the web, a blog. I may state objectively reliable facts in my study (and not be merely giving opinions bolstered by my personal interpretations of the footnoted sources), but something more (for example, peer review) is required to make my printed or web publication a Wikipedia-reliable source. Wikipedia, Gabby Merger says, is reliable. But it is not itself a Wikipedia-reliable source. I of course agree with Laurel Lodged that what is stated by a Wikipedia-reliable source may be put in Wikipedia (even if, as in the present case, it may badly need copyediting). And I am sure that Laurel Lodged agrees that Wikipedia's original-research rule means that material that lacks a Wikipedia-reliable source may be deleted from Wikipedia, while an indication of the uncertain reliability of a cited source should not be removed under pretence of making a spelling correction. Esoglou (talk) 07:42, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I already said you had a point about it, but that I think it's over-done, as there is such as thing as context and "WP:IGNORE", also. That you seem to forget sometimes, to be frank. Also, I was doing general edits, and had noticed that tag there, and was wondering why it was put there, and removed it. I don't always put every single thing in the edit comments, sometimes I put "clean up" or the word "etc"... Also, to repeat...there's the point of "Wikipedia Has No Rules". Or "Ignore". WP:IGNORE. There are only general POLICIES. Not firm dogmatic "rules" per se. So this "self-published" issue needs alto be taken in context, was my point. And arguably that book by "Navas" made the point of what nontrinitarian Arians say about John 1:1b. And if you ever saw the book, it does not look like some cheap slap-together, but very scholarly researched and footnoted. But regardless, you went WAY OVERBOARD in your subsequent chop-job, removing HUMUNGOUS amounts of text and wholesale things, that were not even really part of that specific source issue. You mistakenly (apparently) thought that ALL of those sentences were in regard (necessarily) to the Navas ref, when it wasn't. But just needed sources in general. And to remove the very heart and substance of the sub-section argument (remember, the name of this article is "Nontrinitarianism" and NOT "what Trinitarians think about non-trinitarian arguments"), is so unwarranted and over-done, it's like not funny. You may have had a valid point, I said that already, about the not the best source because of not liking the publishing house that was used by said author, but the very statement itself (plus all the other ones you removed) should not have been deleted quite like that. Anyway, there are other sources (more reliable) that state the argument. And again, I don't always put every jot and tittle in my edit comments. But anyway, there's the point too about guarding against over-scrupolosity and "wiki-lawyering" etc. And battering. That's a tendency we all have at times. (Just being honest.) And remember again, WP has no etched-in-stone "rules", like you (and Laurel and others) seem to think. Some things are firmer than others. Consensus is a firmer standard, I believe, as an example. But in general, there's a measure of flexibility in WP depending on context. General policies, not actual "rules". (As far as the "self-published" thing goes...because there were other variables regarding that.) But now there are better sources for the statement. Gabby Merger (talk) 18:02, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Should you therefore remove the no longer needed citations that are not Wikipedia-reliable? Esoglou (talk) 20:16, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Just for the record, Wikipedia does have rules, guidelines, and policies. WP:Ignore does not state that there are no rules. It states that you can ignore the rules when appropriate. WP:IAR defines exactly what that means, including such policies as, "'Ignore all rules' is not in itself a valid answer if someone asks you why you broke a rule" and "'Ignore all rules' does not mean there is necessarily an exception to every rule." This clearly points out that there are rules. The rules, however, are not "hard-and-fast rules" as defined on WP:PG: "While Wikipedia's written policies and guidelines should be taken seriously, they can be misused. Do not follow an overly strict interpretation of the letter of policy without consideration for the principles of policies. If the rules truly prevent you from improving the encyclopedia, ignore them." As stated, there are times when you should ignore the rules, but you need a valid reason to do so.
As for the inclusion of the disputed material, I agree with Laurel Lodged that it can't hurt to have the material here, assuming that it references a Reliable source. However I think that Esoglou's edit to the John 1:1 page may be sufficient. It gives more information on the interpretations of the verse than is possible in a paragraph or two we could include in this article. Dromidaon (talk) 18:02, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree basically, and that's why I elaborated in my comment about "ignore all rules". But it's also been stated elsewhere that there are no HARD-FAST FIRM "rules". As you also stated in your comment too. And that's really what I meant by "no rules". Meaning not etched-in-stone dogmatic all the time, as I also stated. And also, anyway, the edits were taken care of, better refs found, and also Esoglou's modifications, as they are valid at this point. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 18:44, 26 November 2014 (UTC)