Talk:State atheism

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North Korea[edit]

The section on North Korea concentrates on Christianity, even though Christians are only currently about 1.7% of the population. Chondoism, which has a party in the Korean People's Assembly is ignored.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:22, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Cheondoism probably should not be ignored, and neither should other religions. However, I wasn't able to quickly find info which is supported by citeable sources and which has identifiable as-of info. Examples: the relevant CIA Factbook page ([1]) has undated info saying, "traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) ... note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom". This website has a page ([2]) giving info on religious breakdown which, at a quick look, might be somewhat reliable (see [3] and [4]). However, that web page is personally copyrighted by, I presume, the publisher of the website (who may or may not be this person).

References for assertions in the map[edit]

This edit caught my eye. The edit summary says: Sorry to insist, I didn't mean that the map is incorrect, but it just seems to me we need sources as to why these countries are considered (formerly) atheism states, for example, I can't find anything in this article about Afghanistan being an atheism state in history. [...].

I see that the image description page on Wikipedia Commons does cite supporting sources (this is unusual, and I'm happy to see it). As WP policy, as I interpret it, does require that the article should explicitly list sources supporting the assertions made visually by the map, I've added a cite here which echoes the sources listed in that Commons page. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 12:13, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

East Germany, China, Vietnam[edit]

The text says "East Germany was an atheist state". I am not sure what this is supposed to mean. The churches were allowed to operate, no churches were being demolished or so. I would say that churches had more influence back then in East Germany than they had today. And Art 39 of the GDR constitution guaranteed religion freedom --Johannes Rohr (talk) 17:17, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

The article said that "China is an atheist state", yet again, that's not what the Chinese constitution says. It says that there is religious freedom, although it limits this freedom to state-sanctioned organisations. I have changed this accordingly. --Johannes Rohr (talk) 01:03, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Another country which the article called "officially atheist", whose constitution actually protects relious freedom. Again, state politics in this country may have been anti religious, but the state is not "officially atheist". --Johannes Rohr (talk) 01:13, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Johannes Rohr, I see you have made some edits that I may have to revert or adjust as I check the sources. The reason is that your claims are not correct. State atheism is not about religious freedoms per se, but about heavy restrictions or even attempts to eliminate religion and theistic beliefs. The definition by the Dictionary of Atheism states "State Atheisms have tended to be as much anti-clerical and anti-religious as they are anti-theist, and typically place heavy restrictions on acts of religious organization and the practice of religion." So generally, you can have government constitutions or official documents that say they allow for religious freedoms, but then have these same governments go out of their way to limit, restrict, or even go as far as to try to eliminate it or convince the masses against religion. There are ranges of State Atheism as there are ranges of theocracies. I highly doubt that you would say that China, Vietnam and East Germany would have protected religious freedoms and practices like the United States has in the past. Obviously there are massive differences between the US and these countries. So technically, religious freedoms on a government document are besides the point since it is whether the government actually protects religious freedoms that really matters here. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 02:50, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Be careful in those reverts as well, as if a cited source does not mention 'state atheism', neither can the article.
This article (conveniently) neglects to mention that 'State atheism', a term absent in most all mainstream references, is a concept invented and promoted by a very select demographic, and this is a glaring omission that must be remedied. In short, if the source doesn't use the term 'state atheism', it can't be used, as that would be WP:OR and WP:ESSAY. TP   07:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
It gets even worse, when you talk about atheist states than when you merely talke about state atheism. Again, the only state I know that officially labelled itself atheist was Albania under Enver Hoxha. Therefore the claim that xxx is/was an atheist state is simply not correct in other cases, as far as I know. Certainly not for East Germany where I live. --Johannes Rohr (talk) 08:24, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
@Ramos1990: Sure there are differences between the USA and the GDR (I have difficultities understanding why the English Wikipedia insists on calling it "East Germany", when this is not how the state was called). But then, there are also differences between states like the GDR or communist Poland, which had anti-relious politics, but where churches remained quite powerful, and the only state which I know that was officially atheist and outlawed any religious practice, Albania.
I happen to live in the former GDR, and throughout its entire history, protestant and catholic churches operated, they partly functioned as save spaces for regime critics and arguably had more influence that they do today, Churches were not demolished or converted into barns, thus really, calling the GDR "an atheist state" along with Albania or the Khmer Rouge without even mentioning that the constitution says otherwise seems grossly ahistoric.
Also, the terminology of "atheist state" is not something I have seen anywhere, it looks like original research to me, unless I have overlooked something. It is fair to say that certain states promoted atheism, but it seems like a different thing to call them "atheist states". --Johannes Rohr (talk) 08:12, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
I think the atheism state is an ambigous term. In post-soviet time, these countries seem closer to secular countries. Maybe the only one significant difference is that a secular country donesn't mix its law with religion, while an atheism state also generally requires government officials not be religion-affiliated to ensure government policy not to be affected by religion. Minussquareofa (talk) 09:21, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
After a search on the Internet, loose understandings of state atheism differ from the strictest sense being "anti-religion" to the least strict sense being "promotion of atheism". But this article just defines atheism state in the more strict sense, I think maybe we can broaden the meaning in the article. Minussquareofa (talk) 09:58, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Again, the article (writers) can't define the term... the cited sources have to. Otherwise, it's WP:OR. TP   13:13, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
@Johannes Rohr: It is clear from the sources that "state atheism" is a broad term similar to how the term "theocracy" is used and also how they apply to East Germany, Vietnam, and China. The sources say that so there is no OR involved at all. There are parallels between this article and the Theocracy article in terms of how historians and other researchers have used these terms actively and retroactively. I think that you can mention stuff from the constitutions of these countries, but that does not absolve them of their promotion of atheism, or heavy restrictions of religion - which are against their own constitutions. Even reading the sections themselves provide ample evidence of attempts by these government to limit any religious freedoms they wrote in their constitutions. That is the point. I am sure not many governments call themselves "totalitarian", "terrorist", "evil", "racist" and other terms, but that does not mean that they, therefore, do not fall under these terms. In short, the sources specify the realities of religious suppression and they even use the term "state atheism", "state sponsored atheism" and other similar terminology too. It all the same stuff that is being discussed. One need not have complete destruction of religion for it to qualify as state atheism since as Minussquareofa has mentioned, there are degrees of religious suppression from mild to heavy and also of promotion of atheism. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 01:53, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Most of the sources do not use the term 'state atheism' (or even 'atheist state'). Shall we systematically go through them all to verify? TP   15:49, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
This article is not limited to just one term or just one interpretation of it since many synonymous terms exist for theses kinds of governmental institutions and actions. Variations exist from mild to heavy on promotion of atheism and restricting religious populations and many relevant dimensions exist (capital punishment, destruction of stuff, discrimination, economic sanctions, slaughter, etc). Again look at the Theocracy page for a parallel. No article on wikipedia has to have one term be used over and over for it to be relevant or ciatble to an article. Articles grow and expand on wikipedia as others provide relevant sources with respect to the diversity of the topic. No wikipedia policy exists for limiting relevant content the way you are suggesting. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 22:28, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
If the source doesn't say that the topic it discusses is 'state atheism', then neither can the article. Period. TP   12:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Well, IMO a starting point is that "state atheism" is just two words. Then we need to decide between two possibilities One is that it is best covered as a term (with its various usages and definitions). The other is that that it is a covered as a topic which could be named as different terms, and where one of those is picked for the article. And when all is easy, the two are one and the same. IMO this one is a bit more of the latter, but a blend of the two. So, IMO two things are going on:

  1. Acknowledge that there is a topic, decide what it is, and acknowledge that sources may not always use those exact words when covering the topic
  2. Also cover the usages of the term in sources

Once the above dicotomy is is acknowledged, there are a lot less quandaries to debate. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:03, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Dissecting (to distract) won't help anything. Again, if the article doesn't say that whatever it discusses is 'state atheism', then who is? The article contributors, that's who, and that sort of wikipedian 'interpretation' is the very WP:OR that Wikipedia forbids. TP   12:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, the sources in the article already discuss this stuff quite well. The Theocracy article is a good parallel to look at. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 01:24, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Not much I can practically do with the the "the sources" statement.....go read all 130 of them? IMO Theocracy is not a parallel because it is much tidier......the meaning of the term is widely consistent and it's also a clear distinct topic, and the two fully agree with each other. But I both agree wholeheartedly with your 22:28, 2 May 2019 post and also believe that it provides the main answer. North8000 (talk) 02:11, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Cool. There is certainly room to improve the article with even more sources, but I hear you. Like you mentioned, the term is from 2 words and so it leaves some room for variation in interpretation (similar to religion 2-word things like "religious freedom"), but it looks like there is consistency in usage though. The sources so far have provided a good basis. I mentioned theocracy in terms of the article content. The term theocracy is thrown around in research and it goes from mild to heavy, but most nations would not consider themselves theocratic - there are variations in interpreting how theocratic anything is. Good chat. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 03:59, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Again again, it is not for wikipedians to 'interpret' sources (to make them 'fit' whatever 'message' or terminology they are trying to convey, that is WP:OR. 'Atheist state' is a designation, and if sources do not use it, neither can this article (and 'choosing' articles that use, separately, the terms 'atheist' and 'state', even (laughably) less so). TP   12:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
@Ramos1990: It is not just about "adding stuff from the constitution", it is also about looking at reality. Albania was not only officially declared an atheist state, but also demolished churches and mosques and outlawed religious practice. The GDR or Poland did neither of these things. And not only did the churches continue to operate the entire time, but they were quite powerful entities. So while it is fair to say that both states pursued anti-religious politics, labelling them "atheist states" at par with Albania or the Khmer Rouge is simply ahistorical, and if you keep insisting on using this label regardless, this looks to me like pushing an agenda. An agenda, which is not supported by historical science. My main subject at university was East European history, and I can tell you that this is simply not where the science stands. --Johannes Rohr (talk) 09:40, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
If the term were indeed widely present in the mainstream historical record, there should be no problem finding sources that use it (and if it is not present therein, the type of publication promoting/using the term is very worthy of mention). Instead, this article begins with a premise ('X' country 'is' an 'Atheist state') and matches 'event' sources that don't call 'X country' (where the events happened) an 'atheist state'. Most sources don't even use the term, and the fact that it is impossible to find 'suitable' sources (that uses the term) to promote the 'atheist state' concept speaks for itself. TP   12:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

It looks to me that the term has varying meanings, especially by matter of degree. My idea/advice is to, when there is some question as to whether it is/was a state aethist country is to just cover the relevant specifics and avoid such attempted general declarations about the overall country. Or only include such declarations when they are solidly sourced. For example, if you have an article on "Large Dog Breeds" and Irish Setters are considered borderline on that, just cover the details (height, weight etc.) or observe the situation ("some consider it to be large, some consider it to be medium.") It would be problematic with little to gain to try to put in an "Irish Setter is a large breed" declaration. North8000 (talk) 14:41, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Please re-read the comments just made and respond to those instead of trying to change the subject (to non-sequitur sophism - 'state atheism' is a specific concept-designation (with specific authors), not a 'vague adjective'... and even in the provided non-sequitur example, if opinion was indeed divided (or the descriptive too vague), there are many articles that would say that Irish Setters are a 'large dog breed'; this article can't even attain that). Again again again, if an event/country 'is' indeed 'X', then the source will say so explicitly. If it doesn't, it's WP:IRRELEVANT to the article 'X' and cannot be used/included there. TP   15:43, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
That's pretty rude. Including inventing a non-existent "trying to change the subject" motive for my post. I have no strong opinion on this, I am just trying to help. And there is nothing wrong with offering thoughts and advice on the general topic being discussed vs. you implying that the only post I'm only allowed to make is a response to the comments just made.North8000 (talk) 16:59, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── ThePromenader, at WP:NORN you were cautioned by many senior editors, including sysops, to stop pushing your denialism that 'state atheism' does not exist. [5] Yours is a fringe view and should not be pushed in an encylopedia. Multiple academics have discussed 'state atheism' in their respective publications and even constitutions of these countries reference it, e.g. "The State recognizes no religion, and supports and carries out atheistic propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialistic world outlook in people." [6] Please stop tiring other editors with the same nonsense or you'll see yourself at WP:ANI facing a topic ban on atheism-religion related articles, broadly construed. desmay (talk) 17:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

That's a very inventive-selective exaggeration-laden interpretation of events, as well as the accusation that I deny that 'state atheism' exists: it definitely exists as a concept-designation with a very specific authorship, use and target. Unfortunately, everything but these is present in this article.
The fact that one much resort to 'authoritative-toned threats' at the person instead of addressing the points they make speaks volumes in itself. And those points? TP   21:50, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

ThePromenader, I request a clarification on what you are arguing. Let's say that on one of these countries in question ("xyz"), there is no source that states that xyz country practices state atheism (using the specific state atheism term.) I'm presuming that you would argue against including a "xyz practices state atheism" statement in the article. But is your argument also that the country should not be included in this article? North8000 (talk) 17:50, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Right: including a country in a 'state atheism' article is an implicit claim that that country does practice (or 'is') that concept. So if one cannot find a source that states that X country practices 'state atheism' (or, at the least, is an 'atheist state'), than neither can this article, because that would demonstrate that it is the wikpedians making that 'connetion'-claim... the very definition of WP:OR. TP   21:50, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:07, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
You're welcome, but does it register? TP   05:54, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
If by "does it register" you mean "do I agree", the answer is a complex nuanced "no".North8000 (talk) 14:53, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
It may help to keep in mind that Wikipedia does not need state atheism to actually 'exist' as such — it just requires that it is used as an analytical lens in reliable sources. If there are sufficient RS on the topic, then it's fair game. There is simply no point trying to deny that it's a sensible category based on your own logic or argument. This may help bridge the gap between 'but this isn't real' and 'but there's a page on it.' Simply look at the sources, and we avoid the need to try discover the 'truth' for ourselves (which is for your own research agenda, not for writing an online encyclopedia). Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 21:06, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the comments by North8000 and Cleopatran Apocalypse.
@Johannes Rohr:, I don't really know you and you don't know me correct? We are both anonymous on the internet. So the only thing that matters for wikipedia is not our views or perceptions of a country, but sources and what they say on a particular topic. You can view Eastern Germany as not very repressive, but then again you are not a reliable source. Neither am I. I my self don't know much about Eastern Germany, but that does not give you or me a right to rewrite or remove sourced material and replace it with an unsourced claim on wikipedia even if you or I feel that something is true. Sources are the only things that matter on wikipedia. So if you can find a source that says that Eastern Germany was nice place and that Atheism was not promoted there, then go ahead an insert it in the article. If not, then there is not much to discuss. Many of the sources have quotes on them so it is clear what they are saying. Keep in mind that "state atheism" is mainly about the promotion of atheism in a country through political means, not about repression or support of religion necessarily. Repression of religion or even the protection of religion are optional, not required and in principle you can still have state atheism with religious freedom. Just like you can have promotion of Islam along with various types of religious freedoms granted. Here is the Oxford University's Dictionary of Atheism "State Atheism is the name given to the incorporation of positive atheism or non-theism into political regimes... ". The term is similar to "communism", which is in an of itself is just a philosophy of community based politics. Attaching it with destruction, genocide, etc is not necessary for something to be communist. The same goes with atheist state. The same with terms like "free state", "socialist state", etc. The solution is simple, find sources stating what you are thinking and add them. Otherwise there is nothing else to discuss. Hope this helps. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 23:36, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Can I save this comment? Its bias is clear, and it is a perfect demonstration of the 'rationale' behind the creation of what wikipedia does not want on its pages: a wikipedian-authored WP:OR WP:SYNTH WP:ESSAY ((ab)used to spread 'truth'). A Wikipedian does not 'interpret' and define what a term 'is' (especially the title) to decide, themselves (or with other like-minded wikipedians who 'agree' with them), which events 'are' said title: the sources must do this for the article. A wikipedian does not begin with a premise ('what you are thinking') to find 'corresponding' sources (and this article can't even achieve that, as few of them even mention the term this article's authors are labelling the events cited with), as this is a perfect example of WP:SYNTH perfectly demonstrated by ArtifexMayhem higher up in this very page - and were this extended to the rest of the article, it would demonstrate the same trend throughout most all of it. TP   05:54, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
That is a funny response. I guess Oxford University Press is not a source right? Come on already. No one agrees with you. Obviously finding sources that discuss the topic are all fine. That is why this is an encyclopedia, not an opinion page. The problem is that you have not presented any reliable sources that support your views and the only reliable sources available actually say the opposite of what you believe. It would be like you believing that Trump is the president of Canada and then being unable to find any source that say that and only finding sources that say that he is the president of the United States. It kind of corrects itself if you stick to sources as opposed to your views. You keep on wasting ink on this as if anyone agrees with your denial of state atheism. No one does and neither did most in RFC you opened up, the other discussion in the archive in this talk page, and your question on the WP:OR talk page about it being about synth. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 07:22, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Again, strawaman distraction non-sequitur arguments as an answer to ignored points - but I'm doing my best to make this article's very protective authors see reason. But come to think of it, your Trump analogy is pretty good: this article, were it titled "Trump (president of Canada)", cites all sorts of articles talking about Trump's 'presidental acts', but none state that Trump is president of Canada... because he isn't! And that is exactly why this article can't find sources containing 'state atheism' or 'atheist state'.
Again, it's not about 'agreeing', it's not about 'belief', it's about this article making claims that are not present in its sources: the already-present evidence for that is the article's sources.
I can see that there is no other alternative but to continue ArtifexMayhem's work and do a full claim-to-source analysis. That done, everything will be clear, and if even that testable demonstration meets unreasonable opposition, at least there will be something tangible for objective eyes to examine. Cheers. TP   08:13, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, if there are no sources that say for Trump is president of Canada, there would be no article about "Trump is president of Canada" in the first place. By the way many of these sources already have quotes on them and page numbers so it is easy to see what they claim. It is not like there is hidden stuff there. As long as it is relevant and sourced there is no issue per wikipedia policy. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 17:07, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
"If there are no sources that say for Trump is president of Canada, there would be no article about "Trump is president of Canada" in the first place."
Ex-actly. Yet one might still be able to find some reality-denialism flat-earther-esque sources (intent on 'proving' that their imagined conspiracy is 'real')... and they may even attempt to misuse wikipedia to broadcast 'their truth' to the world through the creation of a 'Trump (president of Canada)' article, then they would be in the same connundrum that we are. In fact, the only way to make such an article acceptable to wikipedia is to make it about the claim and the people who promote it (aka 'Trump, Canadian president (conspiracy theory)'). TP   18:19, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
@Ramos1990: I am, btw, not anonymous. I am participating in Wikipedia since 2006 under my full name. Just to make that clear. My beef is not so much with "State atheism", but with the claim that East Germany was an "Atheist state", that's a different thing, because here we are talking about the system of government, not about politics. To be sure, the GDR was repressive. I know that, and I have never been a friend of their government. But as a matter of fact it simply has not been an "atheist state". What do you think why Enver Hoxha declared Albania the world's first atheist state? Because there were no other that had made this step. That's a simple, dry fact. You can write all you want about anti-religious politics pursued by the central European communist regimes, but unless you find reputable sources, which label them "atheist states", calling them such is not justified. --Johannes Rohr (talk) 19:59, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Well there is already a source doing that. And you don't need a country to self proclaim itself a atheist state for it to qualify as an atheist state (certainly no government officially calls itself "totalitarian" or "theocratic" or "repressive" so these must not exist right?). USSR never did officially, but they are probably the most documented example of an aggressive version of it. Your edit here [7] acknowledged that the government promoted atheism. That is the definition of state atheism. I already showed you the definition from Oxford University's Dictionary. By the way, I did not change the wording you put in except only to fix grammar since I thought it was a reasonable wording. Anyways, I found another source pretty quickly that fleshes out the history of Eastern Germany. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 21:33, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Please all, let's acquaint ourselves with WP:NOTFORUM once more and return to the matter at hand. It seems that there is nothing currently being discussed that is directly relevant to particular edits to the article, so it should be disbanded. Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 01:52, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
The topic - this article desgnating certain countries as 'atheist states' whereas sources do not - is still at hand, although it has been pointed out that the same problem is present in the rest of the article as well, so save the discussion-closing(-attempt) authorative tones until this is addressed.
By the way, what's the hurry? It's funny to see this article's protectors circle the wagons every time it gets a bit of attention. The person who opened this issue has yet to answer (but someone has since 'answered' by adding even more content said comment questioned). Give them time. TP   05:15, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

State atheism[edit]

I'm beginning a new section after seeing the 08:13, 4 May 2019 comment in the section above. This new section doesn't really follow on the discussion above at that point. It is more in reaction to my observation that the discussion in the preceding section, which is headed, East Germany, China, Vietnam, has wandered away from that.

I observe that the lead sentence of this article reads: "State atheism is the incorporation of positive atheism or non-theism into political regimes, particularly associated with Soviet systems.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). ", but I don't think this article is, or ought to be, about governmental religious belief or disbelief -- either with or without a focus on Soviet systems. The article probably should be more about a particular flavor of governmental attitude and policy regarding religion, religious practice, and religious institutions. Beyond that thought, things get pretty messy and I don't have any solid suggestions. Apologies for having raised more questions than I've answered.

The insertion of that mentioned comment in the preceding section brought this up on my watchlist. I probably would have passed it by without comment except that this quote caught my eye earlier this morning, and caused me to look at this. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 12:06, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

No worries. Check out the Theocracy article for a parallel. Obviously the core part of state atheism is the active promotion (incorporation) of atheism by any government. Otherwise you have secular states like the US and Japan in which the people have various beliefs, but the government does not actively promote or deny any particular religion (neutrality). Keep in mind that the Soviet Union did restrict the Church while at the same time allowing the Church to somewhat function so the attitude to religion tends to fluctuate even when a government promotes theological positions like atheism. The same could be said of some countries in the Middle East that promote Islam in the government. What they do with religion can be relevant of course and be part of their programs. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 17:19, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Well the phrase " the incorporation... into political regimes..." is kind of vague. Agree. It should simply state the point of interest, which is that it is about the promotion of atheist etc. policies and ideologies by governments.Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 01:55, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Yep. I expanded the definition per the Oxford Dictionary since it covers more variations. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 03:00, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Might I remind you that it is not the Oxford dictionary you are citing, but the 40-page "A Dictionary of Atheism" (a nonsecular-authored e-book published by Oxford University press... (it doesn't even exist in print form!)!) that does not cite its sources (who defines the term? No mention)... and this 'source'-definition (selective parts of it) is the holy grail this article is based upon? That pretty well speaks for itself. TP   05:33, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Nope there are other sources that define the term besides it in the first paragraph alone. Oxford dictionaries are all reliable sources because they are peer reviewed before publication. If you don't like them, send Oxford University Press an e-mail. Heck send an e-mail to the experts who wrote that dictionary - Lois Lee who is one of the top experts in research on atheism, secularism, and non-religion [8] and Stephen Bullivant another top researcher on both religion and nonreligion [9]. Don't complain here on wikipedia over your hatred of Oxford University Press dictionaries by experts in the field. The quotes establish their wording as is. I have never seen an editor complain about a reliable source to such an extent. You want to target Cambridge University Press and Routledge too? These are academic publishers too. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 06:50, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh, so the "A Dictionary of Atheism" e-pamphlet is peer-reviewed and cited? You must provide evidence for that misleading claim, too.
So why can't the term be found in reliable, mainstream references? TP   08:04, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh like these "The Oxford Handbook of Atheism", "State-Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law (Studies in Religion, Secular Beliefs and Human Rights)", "Recognizing the Non-religious: Reimagining the Secular", "Eastern Europe and the Challenges of Modernity, 1800-2000", "Religious Actors and International Law", "Architecture and Armed Conflict: The Politics of Destruction", etc.? The article has dozens of sources with quotes so the usage is very visible for all editors to see. Want to challenge all of them? Can you provide proof that Oxford University Press does not conduct peer reviews for their published works and they rely on anonymous nobodys to make such works? Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 08:15, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
No (the first two are but e-books... kidding who?), but do even those sources use the term 'State atheism' (or 'atheist state')? And why don't any mainstream reliable sources, such as the encyclopaedia Britannica, or even the'Oxford Dictionary' (you claimed contained the term) contain the term? TP   08:46, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
You're asserting here that certain titles are not reliable because they are available in a particular format. One counterexample (from the first one mentioned above): Bullivant, Stephen; Ruse, Michael (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-964465-0. (also, apparently from information here, available as an e-book). I don't see anything about that in WP:RS; are you aware of any WP guideline about that? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
No, that is not what I am asserting: the very testable point I am making is that if a definition of the term is utterly absent from all mainstream reliable sources, and if a source of that kind and format is the best that one can find, then that in itself speaks volumes about the term's origin, uses, and popularity. It's not 'common knowledge' as this article would like to pretend, not even a real 'thing', but it is a concept created, used and promoted by a select demographic. The quality and origin of the sources that do use the term 'as is' only underlines this. TP   13:34, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Again: if it were such a common-knowledge 'real thing', why don't any mainstream reliable sources, such as the encyclopaedia Britannica, or even the'Oxford Dictionary' (claimed to have contained the term), or even the just-cited 'Oxford Handbook of Atheism', contain/and or use the term? TP   13:44, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh. I misunderstood. In looking at this in passing, though, I see that the A Dictionary of Atheism book apparently does exist in print form. See Lee, Lois; Bullivant, Stephen (2016). A Dictionary of Atheism. OUP Oxford. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-19-252013-5. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 14:02, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Please look again: there's a 'get this book in print' link there (to several options), but where do these lead? Nowhere. TP   14:29, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Now, why isn't the term present in any mainstream, reliable references? TP   14:29, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Just to clear the facts here. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism does use the term "state atheism". Two simple examples are in the article right now [10] and [11]:
chapter 39."Central And Eastern Europe" by Borowik, Irena; Ancic, Branko; Tyrala, Radoslaw p 626 of the Oxford Handbook of Atheism "There have been only a few comparative analyses of atheism carried out in the CEE region. One of the few attempts of this kind is that undertaken by Sinita Zrinkak (see 2004). Comparing different types of generational responses to atheism in several CEE countries, on the basis of studies carried out in these countries and based on data from the EVS, he distinguishes three groups of countries in the region. The first group comprises countries in which state atheism had the most severe consequences... This group includes such countries as Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Bulgaria."
chapter 29. "Atheism and the Secularization Thesis" - Pasquale, Frank; Kosman, Barry pages 461-462 of the Oxford Handbook of Atheism "As we look elsewhere around the world, the dynamics of secularization and religionization are even more complex. The largest-scale experiments in secularization — state atheisms — have had mixed outcomes. In the former Soviet Union, as in China, Communist 'scientific: 'militant', or 'practical' atheism has unquestionably had some secularizing effect overall. But the story—or history—does not end there. As the former Soviet countries illustrate, long-term effects of the experiment are uneven. It took hold more profoundly in, for example, eastern Germany or the Czech Republic than in Poland. Armenia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, or Uzbekistan, among others (Froese 2004; see Irena Borowik, Branko Ana& and Radoslaw Tyrala's 'Central and Eastern Europe)."
From the second source one I mentioned above in blue, Temperman, Jeroen "State-Religion Relationship and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance." Brill. pp. 140–141 "Before the end of the Cold War, many Communist States did not shy away from being openly hostile to religion. In most instances, communist ideology translated unperturbedly into state atheism, which, in turn, triggered measures aimed at the eradication of religion. As much was acknowledged by some Communist Constitutions. Militant state atheism is, at least de jure, largely a thing of the past. Those 'socialist states' that have retained their socialist status after the collapse of the communist block mostly have removed direct references to state atheism from their constitutions and policies."
I think you get the idea. Google books is wonderful.
All The Oxford Dictionary of Atheism is written by experts in the field of secular studies and a part of the Oxford Quick Reference Series including: "A Dictionary of Hinduism", "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church", "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics", "The Oxford Dictionary of Islam", "A Dictionary of Chemistry", "A Dictionary of Chemical Engineering", "A Dictionary of Science" and others of similar type. No issues exist from the standpoint of wikipedia policy on reliable sources with any of these Oxford dictionaries as sources. No one has ever disputed Oxford University Press and their academic practices with their dictionaries.
In terms of claims of "mainstream", they make no sense since no wikipedia policy says that nor does it define "mainstream" at all like you are doing. Many wikipedia articles are not found in the Encyclopedia Britannica because wikipedia has wider reach to specialize in depth on topics that they do not [12]. Wikipedia has 5.7 million articles whereas the Encyclopedia Britannica about about 40 thousand. Not comparable. However, we know that "atheist states", "state atheism", and other similar terms like "state sponsored atheism" are used in literature quite a bit from google books. The above examples are easy ones and took me less than a minute to find. The article already has about 100 refs or so. If there were no sources speaking of state atheism and the synonyms, we would not have an article at all. Actually there are more sources here than the Theocracy article. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 23:01, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
The 'Atheist handbook' has no 'State atheism' entry (like the 'Dictionary of Atheism'); one has to work pretty hard to misunderstand that. All that text does a very good job of demonstrating that the term is hardly used, and that one cannot base an entire article on a few cherrypicked 'because word' sources. There are no Encyclopedia Britannica entries on 'Mars pixies', either, for very good reason.
And tie in all the authorative adjectives about unrelated publications you like, but the 'Dictionary of Atheism' is still but an uncited 40-page e-pamphlet that has never made it to press, and if that's the best source that one can find to support a claim/agenda, they've got problems. TP   04:36, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

IMO an answer is to cover those countries or eras in countries which fall under any of the commonly accepted meanings of "State atheism". Starting with a summary of those meanings, which makes it clear that coverage in the article means merely meeting the criteria for any one of those common meanings. Then cover the related specifics in the article. Avoid statemens like "xyz country practices State atheism" because such implies an unsourced opinion that there is only one meaning/definition of the term.

On the topic of what can be included, IMO you don't necessarily need a declaration by the source of it being a specific term in order to be included in an article titled by that specific term. If you find a source on Great Danes and want to use it for the Big dog article, it's appropriate to do so even if the source said called it a "large dog" instead of a "big dog". North8000 (talk) 15:13, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

That isn't an answer, but 'yea' for finding those 'commonly accepted meanings of "State atheism"' (which again is a (albeit passive-aggressive) claim that it is a common term). And again again, no to the non-sequitur comparing 'state atheism' to 'vague adjective-grouping'... 'state atheism' is a specific designation created by specific authors to target a specific demographic... the evidence for this is already present in the references, but yes, mentioning it in the article would make things clearer (and cut down the article quite considerably).
PS: Actually, come to think of it, even that non sequitur dog example wouldn't fly: even 'large dog' would have to be in the source somewhere. This article can't even achieve that.
Now: why isn't the term present in any mainstream, reliable references? TP   15:27, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
It's quite common and accepted to have contents in an article where the source does does not use the exact wikipedia article title. I could give you examples, but I'm sure that you know that they exist. North8000 (talk) 15:58, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Actually, I'd like those examples, since you claim that they exist. Actually, why -wouldn't- you provide examples?
But that's still not an answer to 'why isn't the term present in any mainstream, reliable references?' TP   16:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
For a real example, IMO you are in essence saying that a Revolutionary war battle in South Carolina would be excluded from the Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War article unless the source explicitly stated that the battle was a part of the "Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War" including using the exact Wikipedia title. North8000 (talk) 16:11, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
No, because in your example 'southern theatre' is a descriptive, a simple locator, whereas 'state atheism' is a designation, a 'thing'. In your example, the source still would have to say that that battle was part of the revolutionary war, and 'southern theatre' is a 'common descriptor' whereas 'state atheism' isn't... which is exactly why the latter term appears nowhere in any mainstream, reliable references. TP   16:29, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, regarding my main points, I've said them. The bottom line of them is that, IMO, a source using that exact term should not be a condition for inclusion in the article. I don't want go get into repetition / seeking "last word". But one question to clarify your point. A basis for your argument seems to be the "State atheism" is a specific defined term, but then you go on to say that no sources use it. Those statements seem to conflict with each other. (?) North8000 (talk) 17:57, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
There's no 'IMO' possible in this - if a source doesn't echo the claim, it can't be used, period. And I said no reliable sources use the term, and I also said that this article attributes events to 'state atheism' (by their inclusion in this article) using references that do not mention 'state atheism' at all - this is WP:SYNTH and WP:ESSAY - and I said that the sources that do attribute said events to 'atheism' and 'state atheism' are very specific in nature (not at all mainstream and reliable), but I never said that no sources use the term. Few do, for sure, and if the article were reduced to these, the origin and authors of the term (and their intended target) would be made very clear. TP   18:22, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm just trying to understand what your argument is in one area, not debate it. So, you are saying that it's a specific term because (only) non-wp:rs sources defined it as such. And, because it's a specific term (not just a general description), only things identified specifically as "State atheism" by a wp:rs may be included, but you say no wp:rs's use that term? Where does that lead, an article which is a blank page? :-) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 19:33, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Anything appearing in this article has an implied 'state atheism' ('atheist state') label... which can be abused as a sort of 'claim without a source' (as it is here). Again telling me what I'm (not) saying, but to clarify, yet once again: no mainstream or reliable reference describes the events or countries here under an 'atheist state' or 'state atheism' label, which is why this article is so hard-pressed to find sources containing the term.
The result would not be a blank page, but the article would be more about the source of the term (and its intended target), that's for sure. No rhetoric required, even: the claims and their sources (using the term) would demonstrate all this, themselves. Cheers. TP   19:49, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
So in essence, you are saying that the article should be about the term rather than covering claimed instances of state atheism? I don't mean this is a negative way. I've taken that exact same posioitn (as yours) at some other articles, but nor am I am necessarily advocating such on this one. North8000 (talk) 22:11, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Came across this article as it was flagged at WP:Skepticism. I must say that like the views expressed in some of the commentary here, I am skeptical of the article's name. From what I read above, it was claimed that to have been coined by the Oxford Dictionary of Atheism. If true, that seems to make it a primary source for the title, which I would not think is OK for the name of a WP article based on the general concept. After reading the comments, I Googled the term myself and the only hits are this article, the Oxford Dictionary, Rational Wiki (not a WP:RS), and a comment on a forum (ditto). See here. So as suggested, this does NOT seem reasonable to use as the name of this article. RobP (talk) 01:20, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Bbbbbuuuuttttt what about Conservapedia? They have ten citations for the term ... so surely it must be legit? Sgerbic (talk) 01:32, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

I think I could make an argument for any of these outcomes:

  • Keep as is
  • Delete the article
  • Rename the article with a descriptive term
  • Reduce it to an article about the term

But I've said pretty much everything I had to say, so maybe I'll step back and watch for now. Sincerely,North8000 (talk) 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Actually, as noted above there are lots of references found in literature. Keep in mind that this type of discussion has already taken place in the recent past quite a few times. Here was an RFC (request for comment) from many editors semi recently [13].
In any case, Google books (for books) and Google scholar (for finding academic journal articles) provide lots of sources on the topic: [14], [15]. I was able to find academic sources in a few minutes and I quoted some above in Green. Of course there are other sources that use synonymous terminology such as "atheist state", "state sponsored atheism", etc so these would yield even more book and journal results too. At the moment the article has +100 references on the topic already on various periods of countries and of course it can be expanded further similar to the Theocracy page. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 05:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
'Drowning' an article with (irrelevant, 'because word', etc.) references does make it more difficult to check up on each and every one of them, but we can clearly see what we're dealing with through that work already begun here (and the section on France removed accordingly). Cheers. TP   06:41, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps this article would be of help in terms of sources/content ideas: State atheism -ReligionWiki.Knox490 (talk) 12:57, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Did you just suggest Religion Wiki? Sgerbic (talk) 16:21, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Maybe we move forward one step by resolving a question which is just one tiny piece of the overall topic. Are there any sources that state that the term "state atheism" has a particular meaning? And a source that merely uses the term when talking about a particular meaning is not this. North8000 (talk) 16:33, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

For those who are not familiar with the topic of state atheism, Professor Lee Gilmore of San Jose State University delivered an educational lecture on the topic. [16] I'd encourage you to watch it. Also, when the governments like China have an official policy mandating atheism and barring religion, how much definition of "State Atheism" does anyone need? desmay (talk) 17:36, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Isn't this article supposed to inform us about 'state atheism'? The odd thing, though, is that hardly any of its sources seem to have ever heard of it. TP   18:16, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
What? I just provided you a source by an academic on state atheism and User:Ramos1990 has mentioned several above. Do you just ignore what we say and repeat the same thing over and over like a broken record? Look at this passage from a recent article in The Japan Times for example, which says "David Ownby, a history professor at the University of Montreal who has studied Falun Gong, said cults emerge in China because the officially atheist state has successfully kept traditional religions weak." [17] desmay (talk) 18:51, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
That's about the equivalent of condescendingly pointing to a lone pine tree in an oak forest and proclaiming: "Can't you see that this is a pine forest?" TP   19:20, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
───────────────────────── I'm outdenting this an arbitrary amount, but it was prompted by the question above asking, 'why isn't the term present in any mainstream, reliable references?'. That question prompted a considerable amount of discussion. Another question which might be asked is 'is mention in mainstream, reliable references a requirement for WP articles?' A quick check of WP:AT answers that question -- there is no such requirement. If there is objection to the article title, please present that objection in relation to that WP policy. It seems to me that the current title has the five characteristics identified there as goals for a good Wikipedia article title. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 19:36, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't understand how one can make that claim, when right there in the first sentences of WP:AT is: "Generally, article titles are based on what the subject is called in reliable sources." TP   19:45, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── ThePromenader, do you not listen to the news? Just in the last couple of months alone, several articles have been written about it. The New Yorker says:

Second, the only image I saw more frequently—in elementary-school classrooms, in airports and shopping malls, on billboards on highways and in rice paddies—was the face of President Xi Jinping. Each image was identical: the country’s supreme leader, with raven-black hair and a face fastidiously airbrushed to erase any hint of human blemish, smiling calmly against a sky-blue background: an unimpeachable deity in an officially atheist state. [18]

Al Jazeera reported on the persecution of Ughur Muslims in China, stating:

These concentration camps, which hold more than 10 times the number of Japanese citizens and residents the US government locked away during World War II, are where Uighur Muslims are remade into atheist Chinese subjects. ... At these orphanages, disguised as schools, China is converting future generations of Uighur Muslim children into loyal subjects who embrace atheism and Han customs, pushing them to turn their backs on their families and towards Beijing's vision of destroying the Uighur Muslim people. [19]

Sky News documented the repression of Christians in China, under state atheism, stating:

China is officially an atheist state, with freedom of religion guaranteed in the constitution. State-sanctioned churches do exist, but the power and glory belongs to the party. Worshippers in these churches must register with the authorities, CCTV cameras keep watch. Even the Bible is being retranslated by the government, to ensure what it calls "correct understanding" of the text.

We're not going to allow censorship on Wikipedia just because you don't like it. As I mentioned above, sysops have warned you for WP:FORUMSHOPPING in trying to push your fringe view that is out of touch with reality. WP:DROPTHESTICK and educate yourself on this topic. desmay (talk) 19:45, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

So if the term is so omnipresent as you insinuate (although your examples fail; 'atheist state' description in 1 & 3 != the 'state atheism' 'thing' presented here, and the second is just non sequitur (doesn't use any such term at all)), why do almost none of this article's sources even mention 'state atheism' (or 'atheist state')? It should be pretty easy to get this article in line through providing sources that do talk about the acts mentioned as those of 'atheist states', since this is an 'atheist state' article, right? Because if not, it is the wikepedia authors making the claim that those acts 'are' state atheism, and there can't even be any possibility for any (empty) 'sanction threat' against any concerned wikipedian pointing this out, because that sort of WP:SYNTH demonstrates itself. TP   19:59, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I really don't see what more I can add here in face of a seemingly unwillingness/inability to reason. But to summarise one last time:
  1. Almost none of the citations here say that the acts mentioned are those of an 'atheist state' (or 'state atheism'), but this article, by including them here, (in a weasly way) claims that they 'are' - WP:SYNTH and WP:OR.
  2. Most reliable references do not describe the acts depicted here as being 'of' or 'by' anything 'atheist state' or 'state atheism'... okay, practically repeating #1 here. But this is stll WP:SYNTH and WP:OR, and possibly WP:OFFTOPIC
  3. "Generally, article titles are based on what the subject is called in reliable sources." - thanks for bringing that one up, too.TP   20:19, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

The sources provided seem to point to an answer to my mini-question. "State atheism" appears to be one of several descriptive terms used in sources to describe the same phenomena. In that video session noted, the professor used the terms "State atheism", "atheistic state" and "atheist state" interchangeably to refer to the same phenomena, and generally defined all of them as a condition where atheism is promoted by the state. So, IMO, it would probably be best to treat "state atheism" as a descriptive term (which has many synonyms) for the phenomena which is the subject of this article. In that case, if a source uses one of the synonyms or synonymous descriptions but not the exact term "state atheism" such should not preclude inclusion in the article. However, it would seem that "a condition where atheism is promoted by the state." should probably be a minimal bar for inclusion. This could be a good wikipedia article scope decision and might also prelcude borderline contentious inclusions Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:22, 8 May 2019 (UTC) ThePromenader, what??? A country that enforces a doctrine of State Atheism and an Atheist State is the same thing! That applies for Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. Wikipedia requires this level of WP:COMPETENCE to use. If you want sources that use the exact term "State Atheism" there are also plenty that exist. I should not have to provide them for you since this is an obvious thing, but I will. Reuters says:[20]

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the state atheism it espoused, the church canonized the tsar and his family, and his popularity as a historical figure has grown amid a Russian Orthodox Church resurgence under President Vladimir Putin.

The Guardian documents the persecution of the religious under state atheism as well:[21]

In territories controlled or influenced by Islamic State, for example, the risks to declared non-believers are drastic and obvious. On the other side of the coin, the state atheism promulgated by the leaders of the Soviet Union meant that believers were stigmatised at best, persecuted at worst.

ABC News records the collapse of the USSR:[22]

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the state atheism it espoused, the church canonized the czar and his family, and his popularity as a historical figure has grown amid a Russian Orthodox Church resurgence under Putin.

AsiaNews talks about the repression of the religious in China:[23]

These traditions have defied the millennia and survived all of the country's revolutions, in particular the Cultural Revolution, the most iconoclastic episode towards things religious. Now however, after decades of militant state atheism, urban and rural Chinese are going back to their ancestral beliefs.

Vancouver Sun also mentions the state atheism of China:[24]

Obedience seems to be much more important to Indian parents than Chinese ones (56% to 16%). as is religious faith (42% to 2%). The latter is not much of a surprise given China’s official state atheism.

desmay (talk) 22:26, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

All of your examples are from articles/authors talking through a religious perspective, but that bent is clear in those articles: not so, here.
Yet this comment, and North8000's just above, once again pretends that most of this article's sources do contain the term 'state atheism' (the thing this article is about), but they don't. If the term is so commonly-used in reliable sources (as your choice examples seem to be trying to insinuate), there should be no problem finding sources that attribute the events cited to 'state atheism' too, to fix this article's very demonstrably WP:SYNTH situation... right? Right? TP   04:43, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
That's not what I said, in fact it's pretty much the opposite of what I said. I said that "state atheism" was just one of many synonyms and synonymous descriptions of the phenomena which is the subject of this article.North8000 (talk) 11:25, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
"The sources provided seem to point to an answer to my mini-question. "State atheism" appears to be one of several descriptive terms used in sources to describe the same phenomena."
That 'vague indication' can be interpreted many ways, but what exactly is the phenomena that most of this article's reliable sources describe for the acts mentioned therein? The answer to that would be the most suitable title for this article.
But really, vue the persistant 'pretend that the evidence right in front of us (the, not those sources, look at these sources (not in the article)) doesn't exist' rhetoric just above, talking about it here is futile: only a source-by-source examination can result in an honest answer to this question. TP   11:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Answering your question, that would take a long sentence or two, too long for a title. "The practice of a national government promoting atheism, and instances of such" And I think that sources have been reviewed enough to know that sources use different terms for that, and that one of those many terms for that subject is "state atheism". We seem to be going in circles here, but I wanted to at least answer your question. North8000 (talk) 13:05, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
As if there is no other option; false dichotomy. And I'm not the one going in circles here, as I am but underlining the same doggedly butwhataboutthisotherthing-unaddressed point again and again and again, but, again, a source analysis, in showing what terms reliable sources use for topics such as these (as the topics are many, here WP:SYNTH-grouped under one dubious premise not echoed by sources), will make everything demonstrably clear. TP   13:39, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Reuters, The Guardian, ABC News, AsiaNews, and Vancouver Sun are now religious publications ThePromenader? Seriously? This is a strong case of denialism and I am going to dismiss anything you say further. desmay (talk) 14:34, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

I said articles talking through a religious perspective, so thanks again for that purposeful misrepresentation, and this talk page is a pretty good indication that that dismissal has already been happening from the get-go. TP   14:43, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

ThePromenader; I took the time and effort to learn and understand your view and argument, I don't think that you have done the same. IMO while there are some good points in your logical construction that your argument is based on, IMO you have constructed it too far so as to create requirements that do not exist. Yes, presence of something in a particular places is an implicit statement. And, even if the rules don't literally call for it, if the veracity of that implicit statement is sincerely challenged, sourcing should be required. Where IMO you have built too far is that presence in the article is an implicit statement merely that the instance falls under the subject of the article. IMO you have taken it too far to assert that the provided source has to use the exact words of the title chosen by the Wikipedia editors. As detailed previously there are many possible titles for the same article subject. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 15:24, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

"there are many possible titles for the same article subject" - But, strangely, again and again, 'state atheism' is the only 'appropriate' one, because...(insert word-salad non-sequitur whataboutism rationalisation here). Yet, and for the last time, the problem is simple: this article's sources don't indicate the acts depicted here as being 'state atheism' (as this article tacitly does by including them here under that title).
The continued replies seems to indicate a consensus against a detailed claim-source examination (as though such a thing could be 'forbidden')... now whyever would that be? Again, that's going to be a lot of work, but it's the only way to demonstrably expose and resolve this article's WP:SYNTH problem, especially for objective eyes. TP   15:53, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
No one opposes making the article better because sources are already available for that in google books and google scholar alone. I think most have show good faith, but you are quite different. The problem seems to be that you are consonantly trying to dictate to others what is and is not acceptable for this article and making really odd criteria and claims that are not supported or even suggested by Wikipedia policy. This is probably why no one will take your comments seriously because you are in a frenzy of denial of sources, the topic, and also you seem to just be pushing your own view on the subject and ignoring the input and sources by others. (What the heck is up with your hatred and rage against Oxford University Press and their dictionaries by experts in non-religion? You seem to demand that sources show their sources for every thing they say and that they should speak in a particular way as if you are talking to the sources themselves for saying what they say. Send e-mails to the authors of sources you don't like. Also, apparently you seem unaware of the growth of academic journals, newspapers, and periodicals that exist as online only - even the "Encyclopedia Britannica" exists only as an electronic source now and has not been in print for almost a decade [25]) Please listen to others. You seem to show no interest in making this article better since you only seek to prove that it is all a conspiracy by "religious" people when you have never produced an academic source that says such claim. I think you cited some random blogs last time as your basis for your views... If you have an academic source can you provide it? Most of your analysis on the topic and sources is WP:SYNTH and does sound supremely repetitive. That is why quotes are available - they speak for themselves. User:North8000 has shown top class patience with you. Perhaps you should do the same to North8000 and others who have been listening and trying to have a dialogue. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 23:19, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
All the empty insinuative speculative acccusations once can make won't change the fact that this article's claims don't match their sources - and it's as simple as that. The motivation for that wordy protest is a bit puzzling, too, because if it turns out that this article's claims -do- match its sources, this woud demonstrate itself (and all the work examining them would be for nothing), and that's it. So, no need for imagined 'hatred' or 'us and them'-ism... let's see what comes of that examination. TP   01:12, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree this article is problematic. The claims about various countries are questionable. The definition of the topic is unclear.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:37, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Is the argument that every source must specifically explain that they are addressing "state atheism," with those two words, for it to be admissible in the article? Does this also mean that, for example, the policies of state atheism of X country ruled by a Communist Party (China, let's say) can only be described and discussed if the sources specifically refer to "state atheism" rather than simply describe the actual enaction of state atheism? I'm rather confused. Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 04:52, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Just for example, Victoria Smolkin's "A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism" does not mention "state atheism" even once. So does that mean her book cannot be cited in this page? Trying to make sure I really understand what's being argued here. Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 04:54, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
'State atheism', this article's title, is a designation. So if that book does not designate 'X event' as state atheism (in its text describing that event, or at least in the title of the section or chapter containting that account), then no, it cannot be used as a source here: because if the source isn't making that 'state atheism' designation, only this article is, and that's WP:OR, WP:SYNTH and perhaps even WP:ESSAY.
I know that a sophist some would try to make the term seem but an 'adjective', but that is demonstrably not how it is being used here, and were it but an adjective, there would be no point in even having an article about it; one can't have it both ways. Cheers. TP   05:21, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Glad to get that out of the way. So a book about Soviet Atheism could not be used in an article about state atheism (even though the Soviet Union was obviously a state). Nor, I suppose, could a book about "Communist Atheism" (let's say) in China, if it didn't explicitly expound on the concept of the precise words "state atheism." If that is your stance, the question becomes exactly who is practicing sophistry here. I suspect editors will come to different opinions. Fascinating problem. We should probably consult other subject areas where this problem comes up. In the meantime you may wish to purge all mention of Aristotle on the Political Philosophy page, because (I just checked) the Politics does not actually ever use the exact term "political philosophy." Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 19:45, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
That's not what I said at all. Again, if that book about 'Soviet Atheism' (sic) does label an event as 'state atheism' (in the same phrase, section or chapter title, at the least), then it can be used as a source, because it is doing the labelling.
'Political philosophy' is an almost-adjective (see above) label so widely used that it can be found in most any mainstream reliable reference, whereas 'State atheism' is none of this.
By the way, if that absence from mainstream sources is because the term is the creation of/is used mostly by a specific demographic, that demographic should be mentioned in the article, too. TP   20:15, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Political philosophy is an almost-adjective, but state atheism is not an almost-adjective? Not sure I follow. Gonna have to go with User:North8000 on this. The Soviet Atheism book seals it for me, because it's so obviously an example of the phenomenon this article addresses, yet it doesn't use the term of the article, and so on that basis you would disqualify it. This simply makes no sense to me and indicates that the argument was not particularly strong to begin with. Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 20:35, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what there is to misunderstand 'one is common use, whereas the other is not' - that even demonstrates itself, even. So common that I'm sure that it's dead-easy to find Aristotle's name in a 'political philosophy'-titled book, chapter, or description (sources that do the labelling), whereas 'state atheism' is so rare and specific that it can't even find a decent source for its own definition (in this case, a 40-page e-pamphlet that's not even in print).
And making one 'seem' the other (in a scoffing tone) is indeed sophism: can 'convince themselves' of only-declared 'obvious things' all they like about anything they like, but not in wikipedia articles... either the sources say it, or the article can't. Period.
And if one can't find sources that speak of events using (anything near!) that label, that's a problem that demonstrates itself. TP   21:10, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
@Cleopatran Apocalypse: Your example and points about Political philosophy and Aristotle are correct. This article is not about a term at all or about who uses a term, but about a phenomenon of atheism incorporated in governments (which go by many different terms like "atheist state", "state sponsored atheism", "atheist regimes", "scientific atheism" and many others).
Any reliable source that discusses this phenomenon and its variations or dimensions using any relevant terminology is acceptable here for the article. There are no Wikipedia policies that limit or restrict using sources the way ThePromenader is suggesting. No article is bound to using sources having an exclusive vocabulary because all sources on any given topic do not speak using the same terminology. Look at the diversity of terms used in the Atheism page: nontheism, atheism, agnosticism, nones, irreligion, secular, secular humanism, etc. It is ridiculous to limit sources there to only those that use the term "atheism". It is pretty obvious to most editors here that as long as the phenomenon is discussed, there is no issue in terms of WP policy. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 22:40, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

OK, basically everyone agrees except ThePromenader. The article isn't going away, so we should just improve it. Cleopatran Apocalypse (talk) 23:13, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

More 'convenient' sophism. A "because the page contains other words, too" attempt-at-an-argument conveniently skips the demonstrable point that when they are used in that page (and many of the 'examples' provided are in an infobox leading to other pages), it is to demonstrate the usage of that term or demonstrate how it is different, for example:

Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies (e.g. secular humanism),[1][2] there is no one ideology or code of conduct to which all atheists adhere.[3]

But the 'beacause words' failed-argument is even more non sequitur (and possibly disingenuous) in the light that my point is not about 'words', but acts and events only this article lables as 'state atheism'.
A few like-minded POV-sharing wikipedians 'agreeing' to do something wrong does not make it 'right'. TP   03:11, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference honderich was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Fales, Evan. Naturalism and Physicalism, in Martin 2006, pp. 122–131.
  3. ^ Baggini 2003, pp. 3–4.
@Cleopatran Apocalypse: Yep. Agree with your conclusion. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 03:34, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Cleopatran Apocalypse and Huitzilopochtli1990 I agree with both the correctness of your points, and that they are the important relevant ones for the question at hand. North8000 (talk) 03:49, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Like water off a duck's back. Everything is clear now for anyone who can read and reason, so thanks for that: I rest my case. TP   05:35, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Sourcing the Human Rights section[edit]

The current version of the Human Rights section does not cite any sources that connect it to the topic of State Atheism. I'm not sure what it's doing here, or what to do with it. Do we have any sources that join the two topics in any reasonable way? —ArtifexMayhem (talk) 03:32, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

The first part seems very relevant and important to government efforts to stifle religion. The later part seems to wander from that. North8000 (talk) 17:14, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Address the point made, and answer the question asked, perhaps? TP   18:23, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Stop being rude. I made a point addressing inclusion in the article. North8000 (talk) 19:23, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
In totally ignoring the initial comment's points (which is the very reason this section was opened); we can read, you know. If one is not going to address a comment's points, then there's no point in answering - that sort of 'whataboutism' poisons discussions (and sometimes, purposely so). TP   19:31, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
You are being rude again. I don't participate in (continue) discussions with people who are behaving in that manner. North8000 (talk) 21:12, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
One has to demonstrate that a point is wrong before a(n empty) complaint about its 'tone' counts for anything. TP   04:32, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

I can't find any "State atheism"-istic sources for anything there, either. Looks like another WP:SYNTH section, but best verify the sources all the same. TP   19:36, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

The second paragraph looks very relevant since talks about the government leaders like Regan and Carter engaging with leaders on religious repression in places like China. State atheism is usually a very strong form of secularism (heavy attempts at secularization) and so instances of religious repression are quite relevant. Perhaps the section could be renamed to something like "religious repression" or something like that instead of Human Rights since there is much more to it than the idea of human rights. An easy academic source on religious repression is "Forced Secularization in Soviet Russia: Why an Atheistic Monopoly Failed" [26]. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 22:25, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Again, this answer has nothing to do with the demonstrable point that none of the sources classify or describe these events as 'state atheism' - only this article does. TP   01:46, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
The partial basis from your previous argument (that presence in the article sort of implied that it was a form of state atheism) is not present in this case. There is no rule that says that in order for material to be present in the article that you need a source that says that the material is related to the title of the article. In short, your argument is based on inventing rules that do not exist. BTW, good editorial practice may still dictate leaving something out due to insufficient relevance or other reasons. I suspect that some material should be removed form this section on that basis. North8000 (talk) 12:58, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Distract to ambiguity; that is only trying to sound like it makes any sense, something akin to:
Question: So it is perfecty acceptable to include characters and events unrelated to Pixies on Mars in a Pixies on Mars article (as doing so would tacitly label them with a Pixies on Mars label)?
Answer: "I (emptily) claim that 'there's no rule against it', so it must be allowed!"
That pretty well speaks for itself. TP   13:13, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh, and:
Question: How does one determine/demonstrate that something 'is' a designation/term?
Answer: The wikipedian can't (that's WP:OR and/or WP:SYNTH), the sources have to.
So, whoever starts an article using such a select-demographic-origin mainstream-reliable-source-absent meme as a title, if their goal is trying to name certain events and characters ('types') with that label (while making it seem 'common knowledge'), has pretty well hoisted themselves on their own petard. TP   13:29, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

So, to bring things back on topic, the still unaddressed question is:

The current version of the Human Rights section does not cite any sources that connect it to the topic of State Atheism... Do we have any sources that join the two topics in any reasonable way?

TP   13:36, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

What I said is relevant here and you completely mis-stated it. And what it also says that the question that you keep pulling this back to is not relevant regarding inclusion. With you completely mis-stating what I said and completely ignoring what I said, I think we're going in circles. I've put in my thoughts and don't intend to respond to anything that looks like a circle. North8000 (talk) 18:54, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Not only is a wikipedian claiming relevance not a source, not only does that answer avoid the question (once again - and that is not 'going in circles', it's 'constant deflection'), it doesn't even make any sense (I have addressed every answer... 'not accepting on faith' is not 'ignoring') - just poisoning the discussion at this point. If you can't demonstrate sources that tie the "Human Rights" section claims to a "State atheism" topic, then there's no point in answering further, for sure. TP   19:00, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Odd reformatting of sources and claiming sources inaccessible when they clearly are[edit]

ThePromenader, Wikipedia articles have to follow the guidelines on referencing in WP:ASL. The arbitrary division you made today of a wired "Quotation" section separated from the rest of the "references" or "notes" [27] is not one I have ever seen on any wikipedia article. Here is the differences [28]. It is very bulky and does not follow the guidelines. This odd double division change is not two days work since it was done barely today. I will revert this soon because the division makes no sense and does not follow wp guidelines. The quotations are part of the "Notes" /"references" section like in every other wikipedia article.

Furthermore, you have a weird habit of not looking up the existing sources yourself when they are clearly are there and then claiming that you cannot find a quote or source, even when the sources and page numbers are clearly there. For example, you wrote "- text inaccessible, quote not provided" [29] when all the quote has been there all along in the line before the citation. Furthermore, I am not sure how you can be so sloppy by saying that the "text inaccessible" when here it is [30]. Can you not see it? It was there all along even before you made the edits on citations. It took me a few seconds to find the source and page number and quote like it said originally in the article. Please pay attention. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 04:09, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

You did it again right now [31]. Can you really be that sloppy? It also had the line about how the Khmer Rouge Banned religion. I will restore it now. This has happened multiple times before and I have been restoring sources that you removed because you did not bother to look up the source. For instance, I did some restoring in the Soviet Union [32] since you had "no quote provided" on 'Kowalewski_1980_p426-441' when if you bothered to look up the article, the quote was on the very first page which I extracted because you apparently did not bother to look up. Please do your research first before making claims like this when I was able to find it easily. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 04:11, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
WP:ASL is but a guideline, not a rule, and that section makes no mention of the footnotes groups described just a bit further down:

If an article contains both footnoted citations and other (explanatory) footnotes, then it is possible (but not necessary) to divide them into two separate lists using footnotes groups. the insinuation that some rule has been 'offended' is an empty one (made by a single wikipedian, so even less call for (contentious) reverting). It is clear that the change has intended function, but that has not even been addressed yet - and not every other article drowns itself in irrelevant sources (to 'mask' WP:SYNTH) - the Paris article has a reference section just a bit longer than this one, and that is a -super- -long article. This one 'drowns' single claims in multiple (often non-sequitur) citations, and that is a problem.
Thanks again for misrepresenting a single instance as a general, intentional, ('offensive') behaviour pattern (and those examples in how many sources formatted over the past days?).
But hunting down the source (and providing an access to it) is exactly is what one is supposed to do when one encounters a 'claim not supported' or 'quote not provided' note: the burden is on the contributor making the claim, not the one formatting it. Cheers. TP   04:39, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
And to further underline that misrepresentation, I did indeed look for access to the text, and provided a link to the source work (where none existed before) [33], and here I not only provided access to the source work, but provided the required (out of reader courtesy) quote [34], and all that just before the contentious reverting and above accusation.
All of that speaks pretty well for itself about what's going on here. TP   04:55, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
And the diff you provided after your "you did it again just now" was one to me removing the 'quote not provided' text (after providing the quote myself)? This makes no sense - perhaps think before 'reacting' (on an apparent in-group out-group attitude that has no place here). TP   05:03, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The guideline says "With some exceptions discussed below, citations appear in a single section containing only the tag or the {Reflist} template." There is no "Quotations" section mentioned in the guideline at all so obviously it is not one of the exceptions. Also, nowhere in the guideline does it say to split the references by an arbitrary and made up section called "Quotations" from the "References"/"Notes". It will be reverted because your made up format serves no purpose. The quotes are part of the notes/references like in every other article on wikipedia. Even the Paris article you just cited has no "Quotation" section either.
Keep in mind that you have been reformatting the sources and adding the comments like "no quotes provided", "citation needed", etc. If you did your due diligence before writing those comments then you would have easily seen the quotes from the sources themselves since they all have page numbers too. Obviously if you would have just reformatted the sources without adding such comments in the refs, this would not be an issue. Moving around sources is one thing, but inserting claims about sources in the references (like "no quote provide", ""text inaccessible") when they are clearly well cited and easy to find and verify with the page numbers being there already, is another thing.
Look at what you wrote on your edit summary for the diff: "text remains inaccessible all the same - 'justtakemyworforit'-ism - but removing 'quote not provided'". You just removed the "quote not provided" in your edit but you still claimed text was inaccessible even though I was able to access it through google easily. Please pay attention to the sources and look them up before making claims on the sources. I have not had many issues finding quotes in this article because I look up the sources since they have all the essential information like page#s. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 05:12, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

And after examination, the accusatory behaviour makes even less sense: you seem to have found the google books reference in apparently using text you already have as a search, but don't replace the reference link to the work (the only 'un-searchable' one I could find, where there was no link at all before), all while claiming that 'the text was always there'[35] (where?)? I will at least provide the link you managed to find to the reference (doing your work for you!). Please stop with the decidedly contentious behaviour. TP   05:24, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

And again, you are but 'wikilawyering' selecting 'interpreted' bits of wiki guidelines to rationalise an 'I don't like it' attitude: I already provided a link, and quote, to the very intent and purpose of the footnotes groups function. Otherwise, why would it even exist? TP   05:29, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Having a link or not for a source is not an issue nor is it a requirement for any source (sometimes it is not possible). But that is why Page numbers, ISBN, title, etc are all basic stuff needed for sourcing on wikipedia. It does the job. Also, I quoted the guideline in green by the way. Your division is what I am questioning as it serves no purpose. All other wikipedia articles have quotes integrated into the References/Notes section and that is how this article always was til today when you made your edit. The previous way was better and made sense. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 05:37, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
'No purpose' is just an expression of your opinion, especially in the light of my just providing (three times now) a link to the very reason the footnotes groups method was created and exists. Cheers. TP   05:52, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
And again, few other articles are 'reference-drowned' like this one is (in an attempt to 'mask' (from who? Its authors?) its widespread WP:SYNTH - why aren't we addressing that issue?). Thank goodness that it's a relatively low-importance low-traffic article. TP   05:58, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

I just replaced the existing unsearchable reference link with the 'easily accessible' (by -the person making that claim-, not the article) with the 'right' (searchable) link [36], so let's hope that's an end to that. Since you do seem to have access to article-concerning texts and sources that others don't, it might be useful to look for other citations that may have the same 'no access' (thus 'quote required') problem (and save everyone else a lot of (mind-reading ; ) work). Cheers. TP   05:45, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Ok. Cool. That is what I have been doing in this article mainly. I already extracted numerous quotes since all sources are searchable and the internet makes it easy to do so. I will say that the book and journal references section looks better overall. I know you put in lots of work (it was tedious) and that is appreciated. Thank you for that. Just need to go back to the way the article was before with quotes in the references section instead of two different sections. Huitzilopochtli1990 (talk) 05:55, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
That 'need' is only yours. Again, the article state almost requires that sort of separation-formatting, but perhaps it won't be required if the article state changes.
Thanks for the thanks, and yes, it was tedious, but it needed to be done - getting rid of source ambiguity makes improvement-discussion easier, too. Cheers. TP   06:03, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
No other article has an obnoxious "quote" note in each reference. The quote is already accessible by clicking on the citation number. I am reversing this tendentious editing. desmay (talk) 16:52, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Without fail, a revert followed by a condescending, empty 'from-(empty)authority'-toned tu quoque accusation: it's those who revert without discussion who are being tendentious, disruptive, bullying, and WP:POISONing the editing atmosphere. But hey, some like things messy, because ambiguity is another form of obfuscation (to distract to)... especially when one has no other defense (for a WP:SYNTH-based article).
Oh, and @Desmay:, in your blind haste to revert, you also reverted other edits by User:Ramos1990 and I - I expect you to reinstate those, at the least. Cheers. TP   17:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Done, in your stead. In the future, I suggest you take another tack: in just one edit, you ticked of pretty well everything in this list]. TP   09:16, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

IMO the simpler the better regarding reference formatting. We want an article which a mere mortal :-) can understand enough to add references to and not be intimidated by a more complex approach. North8000 (talk) 20:39, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

I'll grant you that adding a 'group=q' tag to every 'ref' tag (and repeat thereof) is a PITA (and probably would be missed/skipped/ignored/misunderstood). But it did look pretty. Oh well: one has to try and test before one can say 'no'. Cheers. TP   20:51, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Cool North8000 (talk) 11:37, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I did manage to 'compact' the references section, though (looks nicer, makes for less of a long page). TP   13:34, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Source reformatting, suite.[edit]

Thanks for the source-formatting appreciation, much appreciated. That quite tedious work wasn't without purpose, though, as throughout the discussion above, I referred to the need for a source-by-source evaluation (to actually demonstrate that most of this article's sources in fact don't match the article claims (that the events it contains 'are' the topic-designation-categorisation its title denotes))... that cleanup is a first step in that process. And if all the sources do check out, then the result will just be a cleaner article... win-win, what. So cheers. TP   06:53, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't want to re-ignite a long exchange, just to summarize my opinion and then step back. IMO this could successfully and legitimately be either an article about the term State atheism, or about the phenomena covered by that term which is (roughly) promotion of atheism by the state, including instances of such. The latter seems to have been chosen for this article, the former would involve nuking the article down to about 1/4 of it's current size. There are other terms and descriptions that could refer to the same phenomena. In order to include an instance of the phenomena which is the topic of this article, there is no requirement to have sourcing that says it is an instance of the particular term which was chosen as the title for this article. IMO not only is this not a policy/guideline requirement, such a requirement should not get imposed by editorial decision. I think that this falls within the possibilities covered by your post. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:39, 23 May 2019 (UTC)