Template talk:Criticism of religion sidebar

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Broaden to include multiple religions[edit]

Based on the discussion at the TFD, I broadened this template to encompass religions, in general. This allows "critics" to be more sensibly included, and also makes it less POV/targeted at one particular faith. Plus, it should be more helpful to readers since they get more links on the topic. I think all the original (Christianity-only) articles are still in this new, broader template. If you have any comments, please reply at the TFD. so we can centralize the discussion. Thanks. --Noleander (talk) 18:07, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Of course, if this broader scope is accepted by consensus, the name of the template would be changed to "Criticism of religion sidebar". --Noleander (talk) 18:12, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Narrow vs wide?[edit]

Carlaude: If the template gets too wide, the articles it is used in do not look very aesthetically pleasing. The sidebar should be unobtrusive. I have no objection to adding articles, but we should try to keep it narrow. --Noleander (talk) 21:00, 1 November 2010 (UTC)


Seriously tho? You're gonna put Richard Dawkins at the head of a list of critics of religion, a list of critics that includes Bertrand Russell and Friedrich Nietzsche? 3L3CTRIC 33L (talk) 03:01, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

His being "at the head" seems to be a matter of alphabetical order. However, apart from being a very popular atheist, his criticism is mainly on creationism, not on religion. Hoverfish Talk 09:56, 23 November 2012 (UTC)


The list of critics seem to be awkwardly cherry picked. Some people are notable for their criticisms of religion, others are just famous people who happen to be critical of religion (but not famous because of these criticisms i.e. Stephen Fry or Bill Maher). I think there should be a more strict guideline on who should be included and who should not. -Xcuref1endx (talk) 23:07, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Reasons for inclusion or not[edit]

Vanamonde93 Please list your reasons why some of these are not critics of religion.

Sorry, the burden of proof is on you. Many of these individuals are described b their articles, and more importantly by the reliable sources in their articles, as having criticized specific religions. Others (such as Wilders, or Shourie) are not described as critics of religion; they are opponents of immigration (Wilders) or criticizing the role of rulers of a given religion. If you find sources describing these people as "critics of religion," we can re-add the names. Vanamonde93 (talk) 16:00, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
BR Ambedkar, which you added to the list, is described as having criticized a specific religion. What makes this different to someone like Ibn Warraq, whom you removed?
The criticism of Islam template was merged into this article, as was the template of criticism of other religions
hence all critics of Islam should remain in this article.
The Wilders article includes this template and a section on his views of Islam and the sentence "Wilders is best known for his criticism of Islam." ( Traynor, Ian (17 February 2008). "'I don't hate Muslims. I hate Islam,' says Holland's rising political star". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 March 2009.)
On what basis is Aayan Hirsi Ali included, but Ibn Warraq excluded? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to split into subsections[edit]

This template should be split into subsections

Critics of religion (Karl Marx..)
Critics of Christianity (Nietzsche..)
Critics of Islam (Robert Spencer..)
Critics of other religions (Ambedkar..)

-- (talk) 19:55, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Since roughly a third are critics of Christianity, Islam and of religion in general/other religions, I have added subsections. Makes it much clearer to read.-- (talk) 20:58, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Okay, you really need to slow down a bit. First, after a change of yours was reverted, you should discuss it here before reinstating it. Please read WP:BRD. Second, Please restrict your talk page posts to one section, so that the discussion is easy to follow. Finally, I am not, repeat, not, interested in including or excluding specific examples here. Every example needs to be backed up by reliable sources to justify its inclusion. Most of those examples contain such sources in their main articles. The ones I removed do not. Note that I am fine with critics of specific religions, but we need sources. This is why I replaced your addition of Wilders, because I missed the sources the first time. Vanamonde93 (talk) 22:40, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Here are more examples that contain such sources in their main articles:

Magdi Allam
In his public letter to the editor of Corriere della Sera about his conversion, Allam stated that Islam was inseparable from Islamic extremism. Criticising Islam itself, rather than Islamic extremism,
"Magdi Allam Recounts His Path to Conversion". ZENIT. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
Nonie Darwish (Arabic: نوني درويش‎; born 1949)[1][2] is an Egyptian-American human rights activist and critic of Islam,
Darwish believes Islam is an authoritarian ideology that is attempting to impose on the world the norms of seventh-century culture of the Arabian Peninsula. She writes that Islam is a "sinister force" that must be resisted and contained. She remarks that it is hard to "comprehend that an entire religion and its culture believes God orders the killing of unbelievers." She claims that Islam and Sharia form a retrograde ideology that adds greatly to the world's stock of misery.[13]She claims the Qur'an is a text that is "violent, incendiary, and disrespectful" and says that brutalization of women, the persecution of homosexuals, honor killings, the beheading of apostates and the stoning of adulterers come directly out of the Qur'an.[13] Keeney, Patrick (February 17, 2009). "Book Review: Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law by Nonie Darwish". National Post. Retrieved October 5, 2009.
Orianna Fallaci
After retirement, she returned to the spotlight after writing a series of articles and books critical of Islam that aroused support as well as opposition. Her obituary in The Guardian stated she was "notorious for her Islamophobia".[30] Obituary of Oriana Fallaci – The Guardian, 16 September 2006. "Controversial Italian journalist famed for her interviews and war reports but notorious for her Islamaphobia"
Douglas Murray
Murray is a frequent critic of Islam, and has identified what he sees as, "a creed of Islamic fascism – a malignant fundamentalism, woken from the dark ages to assault us here and now". Murray, Douglas (26 October 2005). "Neoconservatism: why we need it – a talk to the Manhattan Institute". Web Review. The Social Affairs Unit. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
Arun Shourie
He subsequently concentrated his polemicism mostly on issues relating to the detrimental effects of religion on society, producing critiques of Christianity, Hinduism[citation needed] and Islam. With the exception of Gandhi, he has little time for any religious thinker and, says Nussbaum, his books "nowhere ... seek to provide balance; nowhere is there a sense of complexity. All have the same mocking, superior tone."[11] Nussbaum (2009), p. 63
Ibn Warraq
Ibn Warraq is the pen name of an author critical of Islam. Warraq, drawing largely on previous research, provides an "invaluable compilation" of Islam's shortcomings. He "makes a compelling case" that Islam is "flatly incompatible" with "individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state."[2] Antony Flew. "Turning Away From Mecca". The Salisbury Review (Spring 1996).
Well that wasn't so hard, was it? Considering the nature of those sources, though, I'm beginning to think your proposal to section the template might have more merit. Could you spell out whom you would put where? Vanamonde93 (talk) 15:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I would make three sections as here [1]. The critics on christianity and islam should be grouped together in separate sections, because they are both large groups of critics. I would put the critics into the section for which they are best known for. -- (talk) 17:01, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I would be okay with that, with a few exceptions. Naipaul's article does not mention criticism of religion or of Islam, so unless we find some sources for that we should remove his name. At first glance it looks like his book is more of an exploration of Islam than a criticism or even a critique. Nasreen should be in the general section, because that is what the sources in her article suggest. And any other inconsistencies between that version and the current list of names would have to be ironed out. Vanamonde93 (talk) 19:11, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have added the section "Critics of Hinduism" and listed only its most prominent critics. -Mohanbhan (talk) 04:58, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Mohanbhan, is the above IP address yours? I'd like to know whether I'm having a discussion with one person, or two. Vanamonde93 (talk) 17:08, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
No, that's not me. -Mohanbhan (talk) 18:08, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Arun Shourie is an inconsequential hack, don't understand why he has been listed here as a "critic" of religion. To be called a Critic of religion one should engage with religious texts or criticize specific organizational/performatory aspects of religion. Shourie does none of these, his blanket condemnation/hatred of non-Hindu religions, his conspiracy theories about Indian Marxist historians cannot be termed "criticism of religion." -Mohanbhan (talk) 18:47, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
That is your opinion. Others probably have the same opinion on some of the other critics listed here, Pamela Geller for example has been called a hack too, Geert Wilders has been accused of conspiracy theories. For Prof Nussbaum, Shourie's "books have focused on the bad effects of religion in society, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam have come under withering scrutinity and been found utterly without good features." His page lists about ten books critical of Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism, as also Nussbaum notes. Have you read them? -- (talk) 19:30, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The seriousness of their criticism is not as issue. If reliable sources have stated that they have criticized religion in their work, then we should list them. Mohanbhan, I am not seeing such sources for Amartya Sen and Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya. Vanamonde93 (talk) 21:26, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is Amartya Sen's book on the assertion of Hindu identity and how it often leads to violence against religious minorities: Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (2006) Here is a review of the book. He also critically engages with religious texts like The Bhagavad Gita in The Argumentative Indian. This is one of Chattopadhyay's most famous books: Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism, it is both a devastating critique of Brahminism and a reevaluation of the religious culture of ancient India. His other book, What is Living and What is Dead in Indian Philosophy is a critique of theistic Hindu philosophies. In the Preface, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya says his purpose in this book is to present "an analysis of our philosophical traditions from the standpoint of our present philosophical requirements. These requirements, as understood here, are secularism, rationalism and science-orientation". He once again finds the philosophical development – debates and clashes – in ancient India embedded in the class struggles of the time. He discusses the materialist foundation of Vedic rituals, which he finds similar to the magical belief of controlling the natural forces through yajnas, etc. He shows how these rites and rituals that evolved as primitive scientific endeavours were transformed into superstitions and monopolies in the hands of the oppressors with the advent of class divisions." -Mohanbhan (talk) 02:21, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

An argument could be made for Sen, although I am not convinced. I definitely think Chattopadhyay does not belong here. What he is doing is analyzing religious philosophy. He is not criticizing a religion in the same was that the others are. Vanamonde93 (talk) 00:21, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Non-religion critics entries[edit]

As discussed above already, many of these names actually fall under the critics of religion, now recently, Terabar went onto WP:WIKIHOUND edits[2] and misusing the rollback without providing a reason for the violation of WP:BLPCAT with the recent edit that he made. Pinging @TheRedPenOfDoom: for his opinion. D4iNa4 (talk) 05:12, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

A. C. Grayling, Amartya Sen, Meera Nanda, Narendra Dabholkar, Joseph Edamaruku, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, A. B. Shah, Saraswathi Gora, H. L. Mencken (alternative medicine critic), Jyotirao Phule, George Eliot, Kancha Iliah, Pandita Ramabai, Sanal Edamaruku, Tarek Fatah and a few more are not critics of any religion, there are no sources to call them as such. Since many or most of these names are WP:BLP, why we are having them? D4iNa4 (talk) 09:13, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
Do yourselves the favour of reading the wiki articles of these critics before you comment on the talk page. The sources are listed in the reference section of the articles. It is not a good idea to parade your ignorance when you have no clue about the subject. Grayling is the author of the Humanist Bible, Mencken is one of the greatest critics of religion, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya is the author of Indian Atheism, Lokayata and so on. -Mohanbhan (talk) 14:56, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Like it was said before, burden is on you to proof whether they are critic or not. I have read their articles and they are not ciritics of any religion. Furthermore "amazon.com" doesn't support your assertion, you must be cherry picking what anonymous commentors have wrote there, it is not WP:RS. You are claiming that Athiest = Critic of religion. It is incorrect and WP:OR. D4iNa4 (talk) 05:43, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
a WP:VAGUEWAVE "read the articles" is not sufficient, particularly when making claims about living people - it requires specific reliably published sources making specific claims. and no, amazon.com is not a source. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:11, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I have to disagree with this absurd premise. This template is based on the said articles and the relevant information is in the articles not here. and it IS there. For example anyone who reads the article on Sanal Edamaruku and then comes here to say that "I have read their articles and they are not ciritics of any religion" is totally lying his ass off. Simple as that. The only other explanation is that the reader in question did not understand simple English, which of course will lead to competence issues. Furthermore this is not the forum/TalkPage to raise this issue. If you think someone is not a critic of religion, go to his article and use his talk page to get all the material pertaining to his criticism removed. On a side/hilarious note, I have written this reply after almost thirty minutes of unstoppable laughing, for only on wikipedia(which has some great editors btw, no disrespect to them) will you find an editor who can stand up and claim that A. C. Grayling, who wrote a book against 'GOD' is "not ciritics of any religion". FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 04:02, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Still failing to satisfy WP:V and WP:BLPCAT. Sanal is not a critic of religion. Got any source? D4iNa4 (talk) 11:06, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
The title of Grayling's work is "Against ALL Gods" (my caps), so while I agree that he should be in the template, I wonder why he is in the Critics of Christianity section. I have the same categorization objection to many of the entries. There should be a "Criticism of the concept of religion" category. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 21:22, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
@Tiptoethrutheminefield. Yes, I noticed that too, but I did not change it thinking that perhaps there was some consensus on him being placed in the Christian section. Feel free to move him, I will support your move. Regards FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 07:19, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't see any consensus though because it might have been obvious, but I have found that the categorization of specific religions is also objectionable for this template. D4iNa4 (talk) 11:06, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Why is the categorization "objectionable"?. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 16:42, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Because nearly each of them have criticized more than one religion. D4iNa4 (talk) 15:28, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Pamela Geller seems to bash muslims mostly, I am not aware if she was against religion in general. Any RS to backup that claim? FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 03:23, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That's why the template is called "criticism of religion", not "critics of religions". Capitals00 (talk) 11:34, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

@Capitals00 why are you removing figures who are known critics? Regards FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 05:23, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
They are not critics, who in the world recognize Meera Nanda, Tarek Fatah, Amartya Sen, etc. as critic of religion? List looks fallacious that way. Since these people are living, it is libelous to call them critic of religion. Capitals00 (talk) 05:30, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
@Capitals00 Meera Nanda wrote "Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India". A person who writes a critical book about a religion is a critic of religion. If you want to remove anyone you should first discuss. Tarek Fatah has an entire section on his wikipedia page about his critique of Islam. Clearly you have not given anything much thought. Also why are you removing categories? These are from long standing consensus. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 06:09, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
Nationalism is not equivalent or similar to religion. Tarek Fateh has criticized rulings of middle eastern nations and Pakistan. Again that is not criticism of religion. Find a source claiming these figures to be critics first. Discussion is already over up there, recognized by both D4iNa4, TheRedPenOfDoom, and finally the policy of biography of living people. Don't bicker anymore unless you fulfill the criteria I have already emphasized. Capitals00 (talk) 06:27, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
@Capitals00 Tarek Fateh has criticised Islam. You have emphasized no criteria. I will just request a third opinion FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 06:32, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
We already had opinion of five people here. Only if you can gather reliable sources that explicitly state them as "critic of [religion name]", or "critic of religions", no one will stop you from adding their name. D4iNa4 (talk) 08:07, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
And I already told you, and so did an admin that this is a template, we do not source things HERE. We source them in the articles of people occupying this template. Sources given in the articles of these critics show that they wrote critique of various religions and therefore they have been included here. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 08:18, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
There are no sources on their articles either that would prove them to be critic of any religion. So if you believe that they are critic, show the source that convinced you. D4iNa4 (talk) 11:01, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
D4iNA4, Many editors have agreed that they are the prominent critic of religions and they have reverted your edits. Just go to their respective Wikipedia articles or just do a google search and you will find they are critic of religion. Why don't you provide a source that they aren't a critic of religion? Terabar (talk) 11:04, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Pinging User: Mohanbhan for his opinion. Terabar (talk) 11:10, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Shoebat definitely shouldn't be included. He's often miscited as a reformed extremist, which is dubious, especially given that he is currently an extremist. A Christian one. Very different from, say, voltaire. --Monochrome_Monitor 22:09, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Remove WBC[edit]

I propose that the Westboro Baptist Church be removed from the criticism section. This is not a significant denomination of Christianity, rather it is a single (relatively small) congregation which has gotten a lot of media attention in recent years due to its radical tactics (e.g. protesting a funerals). Its inclusion in this template, which is present on numerous articles, gives undue weight, and also goes against NOT News and Recentism. So it should be removed. Is there any objection here before I go ahead and edit? - (talk) 16:18, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

After taking another look at the template, I can see your objection: WBC is listed as a "religion," when it is a religious hate group. I agree that it is out of place and should probably be removed. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 17:57, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Bloated list of "notable critics" - deleting[edit]

I'm removing the lengthy, bloated, "grab bag" style list of "notable critics" from this template. There is no commonality among the names on the list, which includes extremely disparate figures (e.g., Pat Condell and Voltaire have nothing in common):

  • Some criticized a particular religion (i.e., no fewer than seven individuals on the list are critics of Islam specifically), whereas others criticized religion in general
  • Some are philosophers, others are scientists, others writers or political activists
  • Some are specifically atheist figures, while others are not.
  • Some figures are of high importance, while others are extremely marginal figures.
  • Some are ancient, whereas others are modern.

At least some of the linked biographies also make no mention of the subject's criticism of religion.

In sum, this is an indiscriminate list. I note that Template:Irreligion doesn't have a list of "notable individual figures" — probably for the same reasons that having such a list in the template is a bad idea. Neutralitytalk 05:24, 1 August 2016 (UTC)