User talk:Evensteven

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Greetings, oracle. I see that your "pagan" entry was overturned again. And I am aware of the claims that some people want to make about the associations, and why. I thought you should be aware that "Easter" is not really even the name of observance. It is, and always was, the Christian celebration of Jesus' resurrection, which is why it is completely international in spread. And its name almost everywhere is "Pascha", excepting only areas where the English language took precedence in recent centuries due to the spread of the British Empire. That is (therefore) widespread, but it is not predominant, either in region or in history. Variations of "Pascha" are also to be found in a variety of English-speaking areas, although its use has receded (not disappeared), and even in so heavily-influenced an area as Scotland. It's all documented here. So, your opinion is heard and recognized, and many others have expressed similar ones in the past, but there has never been sufficient grounds for establishing more than unobtrusive claims, and nothing close to "exclusively pagan". So please don't be frustrated, but be fully aware that recognized, reliable sources are the basis for making edits, and consideration of recognition or reliability rests with the editing community as a whole rather than with individuals. Thanks.

By the way, although you may see I am a Christian, I am not one who personally gets upset about notions of associations between Christians and pagans, now or historically. It happened, time and time again; it was inevitable, and quite the opposite of a bad thing for all involved, whatever their beliefs. And about that, nothing has changed, either. Evensteven (talk) 22:32, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

@Evensteven:, I'm not too worried about it to be honest. In the UK, it is taught in primary school that Easter was celebrated well before the founding of Christianity. It is taught that Easter is the name of the Pagen goddess of fertility, celebrated with symbols of fertility such as rabbits, lambs and eggs. The goddess Easter also lends her name to the female fertility hormone oestrogen or estrogen. Being a Christian, I don't think you're best placed making contributions to Christian pages as bias would be always be a factor. Perhaps instead you could try to figure out how to fit 3 days and 3 nights between a single event on Good Friday and a single event on Easter Sunday :-) The oracle 2015 (talk) 11:46, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, it took me around 7 seconds to find this article on a very reputable website; Pagan Roots of Easter The oracle 2015 (talk) 20:23, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
My, how secular religion is being absorbed in the UK. Reputable website? Perhaps for some things. But without even a mention of the author of the article? That, at least, couldn't be accepted as reliable. I also can't see how failing to be a Christian makes it possible for one to understand anything about the religion. Oh, dates and other raw data can be memorized and processed, but that's a far cry from understanding. Turns out that is a working principle in every scholastic discipline, also.
As for counting, a little secular knowledge is sufficient. Zero had not been invented in Christ's time; in fact, it was six centuries later that the first notion of it turned up in India, another two centuries to be available to the Arabs, who passed it on to a European or two in the 1200s, where it still was almost unknown for another two to three hundred years. What's the impact? Everyone counted like the Romans - not because of Roman political dominance, but because it was the reasonable way to count when you have no zero. Remember Roman numerals? Ask this: how many days from Monday to Thursday? Roman answer: four. Monday is 1, Tuesday 2, Wed 3, Thu 4. You say, but we don't count Monday! Why? Because we start at zero. Monday is zero with us. The Romans would have said that you are in error because you forgot to count Monday, and when they count, they start at one. For this reason, they would say that Thursday is the fourth day after Monday. I know it violates our modern sensibilities, but scholars understand the principle well.
The Church never said "three days and three nights" between the crucifixion and resurrection, it said "three days": Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And it was not counting hours; it was counting days. Christ spent "three days in the tomb": Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Not 72 hours, but he was buried Friday before sunset (so that it could be done before the Jewish Sabbath began), lay there all day Saturday (the only full 24-hour-type "day"), and arose on Sunday, which began as the sun set on Saturday, making it sometime during the night. The Bible records that the myrrh-bearing women came to the tomb "early in the morning" of Sunday, bearing spices to complete the burial rituals, having waited for enough light to work by on the day after the Sabbath (Saturday). Believe the account or historicity of the resurrection or not as you will, but the counting of three days makes perfect sense for that time. No Christian has ever counted 72 hours, or three days and three nights. The Church's services, 1600 years old in the case of the Orthodox, continue the age-old celebration and observation. But three days is really not confusing in that context because the details make plain that you're not talking about 72 hours, or three nights. Now, if you were a Christian, you would know that out of hand, and would never have stumbled into that silly suggestion. A little understanding is all it takes, and not even religious understanding all the time. Christians are just as able to be unbiased as non-Christians, and non-Christians have no advantage there either. It's about understanding. Evensteven (talk) 07:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Sir, there are no notable secular religions in Great Britain. The only secular religion I'm aware of is Buddhism and there's very few in Britain. Those without religion and Christians make up the bulk of the population here. Whilst I acknowledge that there is not a Roman numeral for zero, I doubt very much that on the adoption of Arabic numerals by the West, the value of Roman numerals increased by one. The Roman numeral III has a value of 3 and always has had. And are you seriously complaining that the authorship of the article to which I referred you is almost as anonymous as the biblical authors? The oracle 2015 (talk) 08:40, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@The oracle 2015: Oh, please; we're not communicating very well here. Buddhism is not a secular religion; it is a religion, pure and simple. By secular religion I am referring to the modern practice followed by many people of rejecting "religion" (by which most mean Christianity first, but all others too). They take their values from the world around them, which makes them "secular", and adopt what they individually find suitable. But they do have values, and they hold these values in much the same way as those who follow a religion do. They believe in them, follow them, and hold them to be true. Many hate it when I say they "have faith in them", but this is what I mean by that. And their predispositions, orientations, and viewpoints are held as the crux points of their opinions. Some people describe that as "bias". I don't. I think bias occurs only when those orientations and opinions become a barrier, preventing people from talking or sharing or understanding one another about those matters, and preventing them from doing an evaluation of them that does not involve either acceptance or rejection. Now followers of a religion, Christians included, have predispositions, orientations, and viewpoints like everyone else, and if they have adopted an "organized" religion (rather than taking an individualized approach), many of them follow a commonly-held set of them. Secularists likewise tend to collect commonly-held sets of values and beliefs and follow them, loosely or strictly. It is the organizing construct by which they make sense of life, just as it is for followers of a religion. And that is what constitutes what is basically a "secular religion". And just as some religious people seem to be unable to separate themselves from bias, so do some secularists. It is not universal among either, but it is common among both.
Some secularists really dislike "religion" (though they may differ as to what they mean by that). So, they also tend to dislike the way I have phrased things in the paragraph above. That bias makes them think I as a Christian am trying to foist some sort of religion back on them, although I am not. Now, I'm not getting a strong sense that you're one of those, but perhaps you recognize the thing I am referring to. What I see as a Christian is that secularists who are strongly "anti-religion" are mostly anti-Christian. That is, they cast all religions aside, but what really grabs them in talking about it lies in rejecting Christianity specifically. It produces attitudes like "Christians are always biased but secularists are not". And those attitudes become commonplace enough to be adopted (loosely) also by the less adamant. The primary flaw in the attitude is not its anti-Christian stance, but its tendency to categorize groups of people as though they were uniformly homogeneous in belief and practice. "People" (in general) just aren't that way, neither secularists, nor Christians, even though certain individuals are. Now when anyone, loosely or adamantly, rejects some belief, or some religion, they tend not to learn much about it; it is of no interest to them. They lose sight of details that make a large difference, and may ridicule what they don't know or understand. They then face a choice: to pursue ridicule, or when presented with an opportunity to understand more, to pursue an increase of understanding.
I respect your doubts (as you describe them above), and have not yet seen you "pursue ridicule". Yet your predisposition is to be "doubtful" to the point of dismissiveness. How have I implied in any way that the Roman numeral III does not have the value of 3, or that any of them increased in value by one? To phrase it again, I have said that because we have zero, we count differently today than was done earlier. Specifically, we use zero as our base point for beginning. Counting the days from Monday to Thursday, for example, we set Monday as the zero-point, and say that Tuesday is one day later, Thursday is three days later. In effect, we do not "count" Monday. The ancients did otherwise. They would have said "you are counting days from Monday to Thursday, so it's an error not to count Monday". So Monday counts as one, and Thursday is described as four days later. It's counting without zeroes. But the ancients certainly were not making arithmetic errors. They knew that the sun, having already arisen on Monday, that when it had arisen three more times it would be Thursday. That's what it meant to them to say "Thursday is four days after Monday". Again, please just check out some scholarship that deals with Roman counting to see if you can't understand this. And check with a computer scientist (I am one) about "off-by-one" errors in algorithms; even zero-based arithmetic requires proper care in counting. Perhaps I'm not saying it in a way that is getting the idea across to you. But I'm not in error about it, and it can be verified, and it's really nothing to do with Christianity.
About the article: without an author's name to verify, sources are not accepted on WP as reliable sources. That's all I meant. It doesn't take the Bible as reliable (in that sense) either. The Bible is referred to in articles as references to items being discussed in articles, as the source for this or that Christian interpretation, etc. It's a reliable reference to the origin, not a source used to verify what's being said about the topic.
I hope things are a bit clearer now. Evensteven (talk) 11:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Let's try this too, an example of counting in computer science. Say you need to process some items from an existing list, specifically items 12 through 17. (Assume the list was once shorter, but is now 17 items long, and these are the new items needing processing which has already been done on the others.) Your algorithm must send each item individually through the instructions that process it, forming a loop in which each pass through takes care of one item. And to know when to quit, the algorithm needs to count how many times it has already completed the loop, looping back until the count is satisfied, quitting the loop when all items are done. What is the count? If you subtract 12 from 17 and get 5, then you have an "off-by-one" counting error. You'd be surprised how often this little thing comes up in programs. The correct count is six. In effect, you must count the items the way the Romans would have: item 12 is "1", item 13 is "2", etc to item 17 is "6". Item 12 is the starting point, and it is not left out by treating that point as zero. It's the "Monday" in the Romans' "four days from Monday to Thursday". The Romans knew how to apply their counting properly, just as we do, but it's just two different systems that are "off-by-one" from each other. Evensteven (talk) 12:21, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't care if people choose to be superstitious, that's not what this is about; if one chooses to believe Jesus died for our sins, that the Koran was dictated to Mohammad by an angel or simply like having their palms read or to read the stars. My only argument is that it is widely believed that Easter has Pagen origins and should be included in the Wikipedia article as per Wikipedia guidelines. Any doubts or evidence to the contrary can be outlined in the article. The Wikipedia should be as accurate as possible and broad and not be used as a tool by Christians like yourself to rewrite history.

You're right, almost the whole of Great Britain (especially England) and Western Europe are largely secular. Even most 'Christians' here have never prayed or been to church (half of which have now closed down). Religion, in this modern age, is generally linked to poor education and under developed countries. The oracle 2015 (talk) 08:27, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I understand that you consider religion to be false, and that is your choice. Is it necessary always to be derogatory about it, though? And perhaps you didn't know, but both palm reading and astrology are considered to be incompatible with Christianity.
And respectfully, oracle, no one is trying to rewrite history except those who claim Easter has pagan origins. True, the English name is derived from that of a pagan goddess, not a festival. The Christian feast mostly goes by a different name, and historically it was always Christian, never pagan. Yes, I know you want to make claims about eggs. Pagans used eggs as a symbol; Christians have also used eggs as a symbol, from ancient times. Symbols for what? Are you seriously maintaining that two symbols, just because they use the same object, are therefore the same thing, even though they represent different things? Do you understand the difference between spiritual life and bodily fertility? Your claim is attempting to equate the two, and it's simply a non sequitur and a malaprop. A good education makes it possible for one to distinguish things that are different, and not to confuse them. But I'd say that a choice to reject learning amounts to willful ignorance. Surely that is inclined to lead to superstitious belief, yes? Say, a belief that religion is generally linked to poor education? Or that one can be a Christian and yet not pray or go to church? The source of your information is suspect, and undependable, perhaps because you have looked only at the secular, and have therefore never seen else. That is, however, correctable. Evensteven (talk) 19:16, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
The thing is with religion, most of us are wrong. No single religion has a following of over half the world's population and neither do those without religion make up over half the world's population. In a world where the majority are wrong on the subject of religion, should be enough for anyone to believe none are true. On the subject of Easter, there is no stronger evidence that the festival originated from Christianity than evidence it originated from Paganism. We can only be certain that Easter in modern times marks the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The oracle 2015 (talk) 18:35, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, you're incorrect about the evidence: there is none at all that Easter originated from paganism. That is supposition interlaced with assumption. And since when did it require half of any number of people to determine what is true? Let me remind you that democracy is a (relatively) recent phenomenon. It only appeared once before, in Greece, and then it lasted only a couple of centuries before falling apart. Its state of health and efficacy in modern times is also subject to question. I'm not saying I necessarily prefer another system, but what we have is hardly a political utopia. Just how is voting about religion supposed to indicate anything meaningful? Evensteven (talk) 20:24, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstood or misread. I was simply trying to demonstrate that the majority of the world's population are wrong on the subject of religion. The oracle 2015 (talk) 14:34, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I can certainly agree with that. I just don't see that it has much significance. The majority of the world's population is wrong on most subjects. And that's not surprising in itself, either. We are finite beings, after all, and the world is full of subjects; how could we know them all enough to get beyond the common suppositions that often err? Some people feel dwarfed looking at the night sky. I grant that beholding the universe stretched out is an awesome and mighty sight. But being aware of one's relative size and limitations doesn't mean we need to take a self-limiting view. Often, significance is not demonstrated by quantity or measure. Small things often matter a lot. Our lives last only a few decades and our power to do things with them last only as long as our feeble strength, but what of that? Life matters, more than all that stuff around us. And I surely would not be particularly intimidated to learn that a majority of any population didn't think so. But I'd find it rewarding to find one other who agreed. Isn't that the measure that makes a difference to most people? Evensteven (talk) 16:03, 10 June 2015 (UTC)


Can you please explain the difference of hymn and chorale? I asked several people who couldn't. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:12, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Sure, glad to. First of all, a hymn is the prayer/text, sometimes poetic rather than prose, often so in the west in the last several hundred years. In some traditions, especially western, the text may be written by an individual for the purpose of prayer explicitly, or it may be a poem written in a prayerful idiom that someone found useful for hymnody. In the east, and before ca 1500/1600 in the west, it is more common for a hymn to be a prayer first, often of anonymous or unrecorded composition, or perhaps known to be composed by a prominent saint. The hymn then partakes of the musical practice common to the church tradition, often acquiring it from use in church services, and again often "anonymously". The anonymity is generally purposeful, the contributions, individual or combined, of those in the church, who seek no recognition for themselves, but given of their gifts to the glory of God. You see how very far this is from modern "authorship" in search of publication, and from set arrangements of style, scoring, etc., as supported in the templates.
Next, is the hymn "tune" (for lack of a better term), which is a melody (often nothing more), perhaps with parts, often vocal, in a chordal or contrapuntal setting that may or may not be fixed in relation to the tune when it is used. Tunes are generally written for a specific hymn text, but often, being poetic text, other texts of other hymns will match the poetic scan of the original one, and then the tune will fit with those texts also, and may be used with it in hymnody. Anglicans publish the scan pattern in their hymnals, and choir directors can reference those to select a hymn text (by number), but substitute an alternate tune to be used in a service - a common practice among the more knowledgeable church musicians. In Byzantine hymnody, poetic patterning is less pronounced, and the rhythmic relation to the tune is less strict, with interpolations and improvisations within the tune often used to fill in or bridge inexact fits. Thus, a tune may be more or less fixed, according to the tradition involved and the time of origin.
A chorale is a mostly fixed western-style composition of known individual author, a musical form developed in the Baroque era, for which J.S.Bach and others of his time were well known. It has persisted into the present, with a gradually lessening prominence over centuries and decades as the various churches who continue older traditions have had diminishing funds with which to support music. The chorale was written by such individual church musicians, often in the employ of a noble patron who was supporting the church through his patronage (Bach spent many years in such employ), and there was often a requirement for one or more new compositions for each Sunday's service, and especially elaborate for great feasts. The chorale is one of the many forms that were produced for such purposes. Many of the forms incorporated the growing use and prominence of the organ in western rites, which also developed into a large-scale instrument from what had been much smaller. Of course, the organ was first used to accompany singing, but gradually came to be written for on its own account also.
As you might surmise from the name, the "chorale" was first composed for and sung by a choir, a choral work, sometimes (often) consisting of a hymn tune set into vocal parts (4 or 5 parts were common). J. S. Bach produced hundreds of these relatively simple settings/harmonizations, often studied by beginning students of harmony. However, being both derivative and simple, they are not generally included prominently among his "original" works. (This is more in line with the older traditional pattern among church musicians.) However, for great feasts (like Christmas or Easter), more elaborate compositions were called for. These generally involved organ accompaniment, often written out as a "part", and sung by a large choir. The musical setting was also more elaborate and ornamental, often somewhat contrapuntal at least, or fully so, the vocal parts becoming independent of each other, each sometimes raised to prominence above the others for a span, yet fitting together as one composition - a far cry from a straightforward note-against-note uniform chordal style so characteristic of hymns written for congregational use. Yet this kind of chorale is to most intents and purposes a hymn designed to be especially sung by a professional choir, for the edification and hearing of the congregation rather than their direct participation. The hymn tune employed may have been original, or it may have existed prior to the writing of the chorale, but the whole amounts to an original composition in effect.
With all the effort of producing this kind of music, a new chorale might also be used by the organ alone, perhaps in the recessional music immediately following the end of the church service proper. The organ might play the essentials of the written vocals parts, or (more frequently) the organist would improvise upon the hymn tune and/or chorale parts, including recognizable portions. This led to another related form you may also have heard of or wondered about: the chorale prelude. This was a composition generally for organ alone, used before or after a service as musical fill related to the service. It was elaborate to begin with, and grew more elaborate, and freer and more improvisatory in style. It did, however, still incorporate a hymn tune, often a simple-note version of a tune well known to the listeners, melody only. This tune would appear throughout the composition in the simplicity of its long-duration notes, surrounded by the many interpolations of the "accompaniment" and ornamentations, often also of considerable separate musical interest, but contrasting with the hymn tune so that both could be readily perceived simultaneously. Finally, the phrases of the hymn tune were often presented one by one with intermediary sections that were all elaboration, so that one has the sense of departing and always returning to the hymn tune. Of course, these are considered entirely original compositions.
The chorale and chorale prelude developed within a European tradition after the Renaissance, and were never a part of other church traditions, either earlier or in other churches such as eastern ones. In fact, no similar kind of elaborations, nor instrumentation, form a part of eastern (Orthodox) traditions at all, although some Orthodox churches have been influenced by surrounding Catholic or Protestant traditions where they have met. Such meeting is more common in the modern era than ever before, but the influence is not making large inroads into worship practices integrated closely with church rubrics and canons.
I hope this gives you not just some raw information, but the ability to put it into some perspective. Thanks for asking. It's been pleasant for me to put this bit of material together. Cheers. Evensteven (talk) 06:33, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, appreciated, let's continue after vacation, have a good one, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:00, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll be pleased to. Not a vacation, though, but personal business; not business, though, but personal (if you understand: "business" makes it sound like there would be Internet). Talk to you more in a few weeks. Evensteven (talk) 23:54, 4 January 2015 (UTC)


Re: "nice" replacement of one sentence by two.

I'd almost nominate this as a classic answer to KISS. It's usually better to compress information. Editors are often too wordy. This is the first instance, and one of the best, that I've seen where two sentences were required instead of one; all for the best reasons. Wish I could find a place for it in WP:MOS policy. Student7 (talk) 17:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks much! Really, I was quite happy with how it turned out, too. I'm not always able to hit the mark in quite so satisfying a way, but this one just fell together. KISS can be very useful, although my thought while doing this edit was more on just keeping focus and not introducing more material than necessary. I've always quite liked that engineering adage that says the designer knows he's done not when there's nothing left to add, but when there's nothing left to take away. Works for writing too. Cheers. Evensteven (talk) 23:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


Re your edit [1] : Lewis denied that LWW was an allegory. It would, in any event, have been a very imprecise allegory. He said, rather, that it was an attempt to imagine how Christ might appear in another world and another history. Many things are different; many principles remain the same. But it was not meant as an allegory. -- Elphion (talk) 23:15, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

@Elphion: Indeed, quite right; that was the most problematic thing about the reverted edit. I didn't say it is allegory. Instead, I would say it makes allusions to Christianity in many ways. Lewis was right too, of course. The IP may not have known the difference, as many don't, and the allusions are clear and have been well-known since the books were first published. That is why the IP's edit was not OR. You could probably find sources that confirm the widespread perception (although I wouldn't be the one to burden the article with that). The point of my edit is that the editors, presumably the ones considering the IP's edit to be OR, are also guilty of a misperception on that point. An edit can be mistaken without being OR. Do you understand my point now? Evensteven (talk) 04:41, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I take your point that the IP is not the only person to have spouted this, but OR need not be an opinion unique to one editor. Random unsourced material clearly grounded in ignorance is indistinguishable from OR, and routinely gets treated as such. More to the point, your use of a dummy edit is not an effective way to handle this. Dummy edits are useful primarily to correct a mistake or omission in one's own edit comments. Otherwise they look like drive-by shootings. There's not enough space for a discussion (and I, at least, completely misunderstood what you were trying to say). If you feel strongly enough to correct another editor's misapprehension, start a conversation on the talk page (or better, on the user talk page of the editor you're addressing). Your typical editor won't engage your dummy edits; they will be ignored, and they just clutter up the edit history. -- Elphion (talk) 14:04, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes I tend to be verbose, and have just had another run (elsewhere) with reigning myself in. So when I started a talk page edit, I edited myself and did the dummy edit instead. Well, it can be tough making those choices, and sometimes I don't please everyone. Sorry if this looked like a drive-by shooting; that's precisely what I was trying to avoid. As for WP:OR, we may have a difference of opinion, and it is one I feel strongly about. Like "vandalism", I find it's an accusation made frequently towards other editors, and sometimes without sufficient cause. It's often associated with bad faith editing as well, and I think its use must be made carefully so as not to imply bad faith itself. That is exactly what I saw in the OR reference in the revert of the IP's edit. There's no question of the edit being wrong, unverifiable, if you look at it literally. But sorry, I don't think OR is meant to apply to edits made in good faith and resulting from an intention to fill an informational hole. Look at the actual policy again. It refers to "facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist", and "a reliable source must be provided for ... anything challenged or likely to be challenged". Well, in a literal sense that may be so about "allegory". But on what basis can anyone assume that the IP really knows what an allegory is, or that he was trying to go on a soapbox or something? It is all too plausible to think he was actually thinking "allusion" or something like it when he wrote "allegory", which is why I bring up longstanding popular impressions again. Now perhaps that's a measure of the IP's editing competence, or perhaps his research competence, or perhaps it was even an unintended malapropos, not saying exactly what he meant. I've sometimes used the wrong word in something I've written in quite a similar way, and haven't always caught it in time. We need to have a little perspective as editors on how to apply the policies. They're not rules and regulations, but guidelines. And we also need to weigh them against other policies when we apply them. One of the big ones is also "assume good faith", something that, while being thrown about all over the place in disagreements is sadly neglected at other times. But AGF is the fuel WP runs on. It ensures that people can come and enjoy making a contribution. Editing becomes more fun, even when you mess up. And being corrected no longer feels like a put-down. Well, I have pretty thick skin in some ways, about myself. But I watch all the talk about long-time editors leaving WP, and see newbies poorly poorly treated, etc. And I know WP suffers for that. If it ever gets out of control, WP will die. So I treat that seriously. And here we have a newbie, an IP making a first edit, overturned on implications of bad faith. Maybe he realizes that, maybe not. But we can see it. And we can prevent it. And if we think twice about the whole situation, and start by actually assuming good faith, we should be able to see all sorts of reasons why this editor got it wrong. Then we can also see that OR is overkill, and not the only way to put the edit in perspective, and not the best way to handle the situation. Because we don't just deal with edits; we deal with people.
No shooting being done here, either; just reminding. But perhaps you can now see why I feel strongly enough to say something. It's a matter of emphasis. And it's a matter of choice. It's always a matter of choice how we apply a policy. One can be right in a literal sense, and way off in what matters, unless one takes precautions. Evensteven (talk) 15:06, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, don't agree. I don't associate OR with bad faith editing. Summarized briefly, it means "This might be true, but you need to back it up with reliable sources. Otherwise it's just your opinion." As to what the IP meant: it is not our job to read minds. "OR" is a convenient and appropriate way to prod for more info. Otherwise life is too short. -- Elphion (talk) 16:08, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Well and good, as long as we understand each other. No objections to your attitude about OR; that works. I could join you readily in that type of usage, except that I've seen it used otherwise on WP too many times, with unpleasant results. Life's too short for that too. Believe me, I'm not for mind reading! I'm talking about giving the benefit of the doubt: that it's too easy to assume one thing or the other, so tread gently. But frankly, I'm heartened to see your response. It's good to know that an attitude like yours is still strong and firm on WP, as I've had some doubts. Here's to good faith: cheers! Evensteven (talk) 20:57, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

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Things Orthodox[edit]

Received your comment on my comment. In addressing what is the applied nature of church attendance among the Orthodox faithful I doubt that we would find any citable sources. The observation I posted was on the basis of lifelong experience as an adherent to the Russian Orthodox faith. That observation - that anyone who thinks that counting how many Russian Orthodox Christians regularly attend church services is a meaningful measure of the number of faithful clearly has no understanding of the nature and standard practice of of that branch of Orthodoxy. It is quite likely that that observation applies to all of the Orthodox churches since the Eastern Orthodox Church has never sought to over define the details of its faith practice. There is no concept that ranks sins, as in the Roman Catholic Church, into venial and mortal. A sin is a sin. The Orthodox Church has also never strictly defined the obligation to attend church weekly on Sunday. The commandment, "Keep holy the Lord's day", was considered sufficiently specific. Any attempt at applying western, dominantly Roman Catholic and strict observance Protestant, religious practice is not applicable when one understands the nature and cultural practice of Eastern Orthodoxy.Moryak (talk) 19:07, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Moryak, I have no recollection of what comment of yours I might have commented on. Could you give me a pointer? In any case, you have probably misconstrued whatever I said. I'm pretty well known on WP for distinguishing western attitudes (culture, religious practice, theology) from Orthodox ones. It's highly unlikely I said anything of the sort regarding church attendance. Evensteven (talk) 19:20, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

To refresh your memory here is your note: Hi, Moryak. I had occasion recently to read a comment you left about 11 months ago on the Russian Orthodox Church talk page about how counting the Orthodox Christians in Russia is a highly problematic matter, for a variety of reasons. That's certainly true for more Orthodox nations than Russia, and there are occasional complaints at the Eastern Orthodox Church article about the Orthodox counts listed there. In discussion with another editor, he had the idea of providing a warning to readers about the soft nature of the numbers and their accuracy, and I had the thought that a little material that covered some of the difficulties in obtaining good numbers might be of use in putting them into perspective. So, I thought I'd come to you and ask if you had any notion where some sources for that material might be found, at least for Russia. I'm figuring that Russia itself might be the likeliest place to look, but I don't speak the language. Would you have any leads? Even better, would you like to lend a hand? Thanks! Evensteven (talk) 05:39, 21 June 2015 (UTC) Moryak (talk) 19:45, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Ah, yes. Now I recall. Thanks for the memory refresh! And now I see what your entry message here was trying to say.
I'm sorry to see that you don't know of any likely places to get sources for your observations, as they do certainly resonate to mine as well. It can be very hard to get non-Orthodox to see that even the very techniques used to make such counts can carry a western bias. Protestantism does not weigh or value baptism as the indicator of membership, and some don't even practice it. So how can they understand that it is the very foundation of Orthodox faith and church membership and participation in all the mysteries? (And as for that, some hold the very sacraments themselves in suspicion, so reception at Liturgy and to communion as the measure of membership can sound like a very foreign idea to them.) But even more prominent is the enormous ignorance in the west on the part of the unchurched who think they have heard it all (when they have heard little), and what they have heard is based on segments and pieces, and those out of context and from unreliable sources. So, of course even the western counting techniques that provide what Protestants would describe as reliable for Protestant churches, they think of as reliable for everyone, when that's just not the case.
For all of that, though, there's still the practical difficulty of getting good counts in political environments where someone or another has something to gain, political or not, plus the power to affect the count outcomes. And that is not to speak of the fears and distrust people are going to have about expressing their religious allegiances for long after the religious suppressions and persecutions that their regions suffer them, some of whom are undergoing them right now. And to get even more basic, I find myself somewhat exasperated at the counters and the reporters of counting, wanting to ask them what huge significance they are trying to understand through them. For again, while Orthodoxy would celebrate the addition of new members to the church, and welcome participation of the faithful, it would regard a count of numbers (and especially, comparisons of counts), as venal and worthless.
It all makes the process of balancing the WP articles a difficult thing to manage in this area. But it never hurts to have a comment on a talk page, where editors can sometimes find useful perspectives expressed that they have never thought of themselves. At least, it's worked that way for me, on the receiving end. So I try to give some back. Evensteven (talk) 22:10, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Some more articles[edit]

The IP has been busy, on these articles:

Essentially the same information is repeated over these three plus the fourth you've been working on. It would be nice to summarize it even more briefly and consolidate the gory details in exactly one place. Elizium23 (talk) 02:51, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree. Would you like to give it a try? I have another fire at Eastern Orthodox Church / Orthodox Church organization, plus the Sabbath work I'd really like to be doing. I must let something go for the present, and this is my least priority. I would suggest "Ecumenical Patriarch" is the best place for all this "honor" stuff, with the merest punt to there from the other articles. Thanks if you can take this on! Evensteven (talk) 07:35, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
P.S. I've also been thinking it would be good to dump these news media sources as not reliable. They never get things quite right, and that's part of what gets people stirred up in the first place. Evensteven (talk) 07:45, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. In the last 12 hours, a number of things seem to be clearing up to some degree, and there is helpful activity from other editors. There's probably still cleanup to do, but perhaps the fires are out? Evensteven (talk) 19:16, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Recent edits to gnosis article[edit]

Hello is there a way I could get you to look at the recent edits which appear to promote a POV that the Orthodox suppressed the Gnostics in around 325? As far as I can confirm the conflict between the Orthodox Church community and the gnostic sectarians was before the legalisation of Christianity under Constantine as these doctrine disputes happened from around 60AD (Simon Magus) to around 280AD (the Death of Mani). I don't think any of the Ecumenical Councils dealt directly with any gnostic sectarian group per se (but rather some of the hold over concepts like with the Messalians) and also allot of the gnostic sectarians where not within the Roman Empire and by extension not suppressed by it. There is allot of speculation and disinformation about the period in history. LoveMonkey (talk) 19:54, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

I see but one edit, at Gnosis, by an IP who seems to want to write about a personal revelation more than anything reliable. I fully support your reversion. That notion of suppression "after A.D. 325" is certainly suspect, as that would mean there would have been condemnations by councils for which we have a much better chance to see historical records. I can hardly imagine that they were cropping up only after Nicaea, especially when the Church was going through so much immediate turmoil over Arianism, and nothing I have read on that time period has ever included major disturbances over the Gnostic heresies. The 4th century church historians don't mention it as current in any way. Whereas St Irenaeus of Lyons composed his well-known tome against the Gnostics in the late 2nd century, and the well-known heretic Marcion (a "semi-gnostic") was excommunicated in 144. No, I think we can be very sure that the reliable sources of those times point out clearly that Gnosticism had its heyday in the 2nd century, not later. As for "suppression" by the Church, sure it repudiated the teachings and excommunicated some proponents. But I'd like to see someone make a reasonable case that they had any power to "suppress" anyone, given that the Church was illegal and under constant threat of persecution itself at that time. "Suppress" is a powerful word, and proof of it requires proof of power. And if an argument is to be made that it happened after 325, then there must be proof, which I expect to be impossible to find, since it's not there in the sources of the day. Whereas hold-over concepts would already have been over 100 years old by Nicea, and even if they still needed repudiation then, it would need to be shown that any action by the Church was significant in contrast to its 2nd-century activities. Most doubtful.
Another thing to look for is anti-Orthodox POV. The Gnostics sprang from the Greeks, so much of the Church's direct opposition also came from the east, but it was, after all, the Church in communion with Rome. What is it then that might cause the perpetrator of this idea to think that it was only the east that opposed Gnosticism? The Romans still recognize Irenaeus as a saint, for example. Marcion did not seek refuge in the west. The Church was the Church, not east or west. So why any expression against Orthodoxy alone? Just another indicator of historical ignorance. Evensteven (talk) 21:43, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

So gracious[edit]

you handled that so graciously here. Thanks! Jytdog (talk) 20:22, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Jytdog, nice of you to say so, but really, it was my bad. I should have tried harder to come up with that source in the first place. I just couldn't resist a little mood-lightening with the French expression, and got carried away. Evensteven (talk) 20:27, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

no it is really beautiful to me. so many people add unsourced stuff to WP and get all upset when i revert as unsourced as i did with your post. a few come back and add a source; very few change what they initially added. this place can be beautiful. Jytdog (talk) 20:33, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, thanks. I do know that drill, too, unfortunately, and I've been on your side of it many a time. But I've also done so much weeding out here (of unsourced material) that I have no cause to complain when someone else wants to see some backing. You picked a particularly good one to do it to me anyway, since it also stymied my error, for which I thank you. Evensteven (talk) 21:53, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I see now. yes, we maybe come from the same, "if it is not sourced it is not really information but more likely noise" style. :) Jytdog (talk) 22:35, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
To a degree, anyway. If I see unsourced material that has been questioned or challenged, or I have reason myself to believe it's erroneous or dubious, I'll make the challenge, or remove, or revert. But if the material is not in an area where I have enough confidence of my own grasp of the subject for me to be sure, I tend to leave it alone, or at most, tag it. I don't really hold to the theory that everything needs a source, as a great many things fall into the "common knowledge" category, at least among more knowledgeable people. If a whole editing community lets something pass into an article, I feel that when they could easily be more expert than I am, their common knowledge is the standard for me (individually) to follow. That may surpass quite far "average Joe's" common knowledge, but really, the sources are there so that things can be verified. Any editor can demand one, and challenge or remove things that don't look right, but I don't take it upon myself to challenge only on the basis that something lacks a source. Neither do I feel compelled a priori to supply sources for material that I think falls pretty well into an editing community's commonly-held knowledge base. When anyone objects, then of course, is the time to ante up with a source, because competent editors should generally have the power to verify what looks dubious to them, and thereby we maintain reliability. It's a gray area, and a reasonably comfortable one when everyone is working cooperatively. We just need to be prepared to be kindly responsive when our comfort is disturbed, even when the disturbance is sharp, because even a whole community can miss some things or get them wrong. Common knowledge is not perfect either. Evensteven (talk) 04:35, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
that is all important nuance - i hear all that. Jytdog (talk) 04:40, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Request for comment - Kids Company[edit]

Hello. I wonder if you could help. I'm turning to you because I would like one other editor to comment on a Talk discussion about reliable sources. My attention was drawn to you over on User:SilentResident's Talk page and I was particulary impressed by your philosophical, middle-of-the-road, edit here. Also because you, "know the Answer to life, the universe, and everything". Full disclosure; I approached one other editor a few days back but have had no response or acknowledgement yet.
Ssso, if you have time and the inclination to comment for a previously unknown editor, I'll be grateful. The issue, as I said, regards reliable sources here. So far, the only editor to comment is the editor that I am locking horns with over the matter. I am thankful for his input but think a third opinion would be more useful. Thanks in advance. Selector99 (talk) 12:23, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Selector99 I've done my best to sort it out, and left a fairly lengthy comment at the preferred notice page. I hope it helps rather than confuses the issue, and also hope I got it right, but it may also be that I messed up. While I think I ended up supporting your position (the study is RS), I have respect for both your abilities as editors. If he tears my position apart, it's also possible I will end up agreeing with his tearing. Depends on his reasons. At any rate, I'll consider my contribution a success if it manages to focus the disagreements on certain crux points, and maybe you'll find resolution in there some where. Good luck! Evensteven (talk) 01:11, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, Evensteven. To be honest, I wasn't looking for support, simply for comment. And your obviously thoughtful, reasoned input is gratefully received. Thank you for spending so much time when a stranger called. If I can ever return the favour, I am in your debt. Selector99 (talk) 08:00, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, you're certainly welcome. I didn't take your request as asking for support, but only as looking for comment, just as you said. But I have had discussions over what is and is not RS before, and felt I had some stake in whatever that portion of the issue was as well. And when I looked at the facts of the matter, my opinion landed me where I expressed it. So please be assured that I didn't respond favorably just because I was asked, or because I found out that I could support you. I think there are lots of areas on WP where this problem of RS wrt news media crops up, and I tend to think there's a whole lot of rather legalistic interpretation of the policy within the wider community that supports the idea that if a creditable news agency reports something, then it must be taken as worthy of inclusion in WP. I couldn't be more opposed to that idea. I think the media routinely take it upon themselves to step outside their expertise, most especially in "commentary", and present themselves as the experts about everything. The less legitimate press use this power for almost purely economic gain, seeking the attention of the public, from whom they acquire payment in the form of sales. (It's legal, but not to my mind ethical.) The more legitimate press consider themselves as the bastions of good journalism (more or less justifiably), yet there is still no question of the economic impact of what they do also. If they are to survive, they must first compete as business, and there is the whole great weakness in our system of journalism in a nutshell. Because it costs too much to research stories, verify content, and gain the attention of their audience, and most of the audience is looking for something sensational or entertaining. A reasoned presentation of a reasonable story doesn't sell well, because people in general suffer from sensory overload already, and it's much more common to find an attitude of "just go away I don't want to hear anything more". So where does that leave WP for RS? Often, in a partial vacuum. I truly think we need to strip news media stories of their veneer all the time. Much that is sensational is created artificially, often through insinuation (although the more commercial stuff also uses exaggeration). But the bodies of stories often contain little solid information, because the basic work hasn't really been done - some easy convenient details have been cherry-picked because that's all there was time and money for. And people fill in the information gaps for themselves. We must be on guard of doing the same. And we must not accept the journalists as experts in the fields they are reporting on. Let them find an expert and report on that expert's findings, and then we can accept their reporting of those findings (I hope). But when you begin to look for application of that principle in actual media stories, you begin to find how seldom it shows up.
Whoa! I didn't mean to go into a whole extra dissertation here! And I pointed to a couple of other flaws I see already, so enough said for now. But you can see that I consider the whole framework within which your disagreement with the other editor to be founded on another framework that is equally problematic, and that it is all far-reaching wrt WP. So, thanks for the invite to the discussion, and I hope I gave some things for people to think about. I'm sure these matters will keep coming up in all sorts of places. Evensteven (talk) 16:17, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
 :-) Not at all. I enjoyed your thoughts and agree with every word - although I can't say I'm pre-occupied with the state of modern reporting. I'm pragmatic about shortening attention spans and superficial concerns by both media and audiences. Also about copycat reporting whereby hearsay trumps evidence and proof and where gossip is subtly and deliberately re-presented as fact. I do, however, think it's a waste of a decent academic degree (and three years of a person's life) if all that journalism studies produces are sensationalist story tellers and glorified précis composers. And on a wider scale, the rise of citizen journalism coupled with blogging means that facts often bow to popularity and numbers of views, likes or clicks.
My own issue with WP RS is with published works. Often undeniably packed with opinion yet reproduced on WP as fact with no route to challenge. C'est la vie and I'm not here to change it. I may yet end up building myself a bunker... Selector99 (talk) 09:07, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, yes! I certainly haven't given a complete description of the ills of journalism itself, and you touch on several more. "Citizen journalism" just isn't journalism at all. Neither is "self-publishing" quite publishing. And not even in academia can one count on scholarship. Well, that's all outside WP's influence too (as it would have to be in any case). One cannot build a shining castle out of low-grade materials, but one must find the materials that can bear the weight. Even if they become rare and costly, it still depends on the workmanship. WP will succeed only to the degree it can retain the real craftsmen (and women). Time will tell. But tell me, are you planning to install a guest bunk? ;) Evensteven (talk) 15:45, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Hahahaha! You are most welcome..... should I end up building one. I'm guessing WP does the best with what's available and I've depended on articles in the past to get up to speed on a subject - which is a good thing. I struggle with articles on subjects I know loads about sometimes, becoming frustrated at inaccuracies or bias or at my own lack of time to do much about improvements. In the end I settle for the long view of constant improvement and refinement. Selector99 (talk) 01:26, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Request for input[edit]

Please see WT:X#Getting together an idea for a possible new WF entity, wikialmanac. As someone associated with the EO church, I think your input regarding that body would be useful. John Carter (talk) 16:44, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Flat Earth[edit]


I noticed you pulled out of discussion at Flat Earth with Signedzzz (talk · contribs · count · logs · page moves · block log) about the time I got involved. I don't know what his agenda is, but he certainly is POV pushing against what (it seems to me) is a consensus. I'd appreciate your comments (either here, at Flat Earth, or privately). --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 20:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Steve. I think I've been quite forthright on the talk page, and I've pushed back at his disruptive editing by reverting all too many times. I agree his agenda is not clear, but I am also sure it is there. He seems determined to refute the idea that the early church was as clearly "spherical" as the scholars say, perhaps pushing the idea that the church was all "flat earthers". I think there are some rabidly flat earthers today who arrive there because of some misguided religious notions, probably misreadings or fringe interpretations of the Bible. Those views are far more out of synch today than they were 1600 years ago, for the early church fathers had no idea of what the physicality of cosmology was. And therein lies the heart of Biblical misinterpretations. The moderns want to interpret the Bible "scientifically", and if science disagree, then it's the Bible that's "scientific". How's that for nonsense?
Well, I'd have a hard time believing Signedzzz is as far out as that, but he may have some literalist Bible interpretation tendencies that move a bit in that direction, because there are a lot of somewhat-fringe notions about conflicts between science and Christianity, many of which have origins and their largest support in the U.S., the nursery of fringe Christianity. Who can say just what it is, or even if that's Signedzzz's problem? His editing just rings in resonance a little. However, I am quite sure he's disruptive and on a soapbox, as I've stated on the talk page. And frankly, I'm just disgusted with that kind of activity on WP in general. I'll stick around fighting such behavior only so long, and then if I don't see editors start coming out of the woodwork to join in putting it down, I figure it'll just come down to edit wars, and then is when I quit. So I did. There are other people around WP who specialize in fighting those battles, but it's not worth my time beyond god faith attempts.
If you're of a similar opinion about Signedzzz's disruption, however, I'd be glad to revert his edits once again. He doesn't talk until forced to do so, and then when he's outflanked, he just goes back to disruption. If two editors feel he's out of line, then they can force the issue to talk by over-reverting him and placing the article in its original condition pending the talk outcome. And I'd be glad to participate in that. If he then gets so bad that it ends up in a trial, I'll have my say there too, and that's worth the time because then it's not just my word against his. That may sound like a plot, but it's not. He may find someone else to support him too, and fine. But the issue still stays on talk and the article on hold until resolution, because four editors two-by-two will end up be disruptive as a group if reversions become the norm of the day. Then an administrator can step in to protect the article, and mediation and arbitration are ready as backups for resolution. My plot would be for the sake of protecting the article, which I don't feel is my sole responsibility when confronted by pushy editors. But it is the way things should work by policy, and I'd be happy to join you in seeing to it that policy is followed here. I don't think it has been since Signedzzz started his campaign. And I don't see signs in his history that he will continue to push much past policy. Let him bring me to arbitration if he wants; he's warned me he'll start pursuing that angle already. But that's ok; I'm not ashamed of the edit record so far, and won't be later either. As for him, we'll see, but I think he'll either find support somewhere and argue his point, or else he'll back down. He may be pushy, but if he goes further he'll begin chalking up black marks for all to see, and there's no historical sign he does that (that I have seen, looking cursorily). Evensteven (talk) 04:56, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed reply. I've noticed that in the past he's run into problems about edit warring.
At the moment I've heavily documented my edits on the talk page and Signedzzz seems to be responding to the documentary overkill. Hope things work out without the need to go farther.
--SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:30, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, my! Well, you see I didn't spend too much time researching him. And I'm glad to hear it's proceeding acceptably now. I think I'll return to the article then, although I don't expect to be very active in responding to every little thing, but rather will wait until his hand has shown enough that it can be dealt with in a clump. Besides, not everything he writes seems so bad. And I have other things I want to do as well. Thanks for the invite back! See you at the article. Evensteven (talk) 18:07, 27 August 2015 (UTC)


You were right in reverting my "presumed typo" edit - indeed it was "though" not "thought" in the original. However, please see here about the copyright problem discovered thereby. What do you think?

Zezen (talk) 11:06, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Zezen. I put a comment at the article talk page. Evensteven (talk) 19:21, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

You've got mail[edit]

Hello, Evensteven. Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.

East-West Schism[edit]

You recently reverted my edit in this article. But Theopedia mentions the even as "was". I was of the opinion that the schism ended by the lifting of the excommunications. But after further research, I think the schism is still ongoing. Anyway I think this needs further research/debate. What do you say? ~ ScitDeiWanna talk? 07:00, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Well, discussing is what we do on WP, so I'm open to that. As for research, look where you will. But if you try to tell me that the mere lifting of excommunications (of whom? Pope Leo and Patriarch Michael?) erases the schism, I'd have to say that's nuts. A schism ends when (and if) the two churches that split settle their differences and reunite to become one church again. There is a host of issues between RC and Orthodox that are not going to be overcome in any kind of short order, and meetings or decisions between Pope and Orthodox Patriarchs would not be enough to make it happen, for Orthodoxy doesn't work that way. Time and again in history the Orthodox have repudiated even councils' decisions, and some of those repudiations have stuck for good. You will not find Orthodox acceptance of a union with the RC church as long as the various policies, doctrines, and ecclesiastical practices that are so much at odds with Orthodoxy have been truly resolved. I just don't see much sign that things have moved significantly in recent years, despite the overtures. The schism is not a mere legality. Do you have no notion whatever of what I'm talking about? To me, you seem quite naïve about it, but then, there's a lot of ignorance about Orthodoxy in the west - enough so that even "reliable" sources get it wrong quite often. Theopedia would not be the first. Brittanica comes up short in many respects. They can say what they will, and perhaps we'll have to report it on WP if someone makes a fuss, but surely if you can't find Orthodox sources that back up what they say about Orthodoxy then there's something amiss? And the schism will not end if the Orthodox don't join. That's highly unlikely at present. And I speak as an Orthodox who would love to see reunion, so long as the faith is preserved. But unfortunately, I see no indicators. Evensteven (talk) 16:57, 3 September 2015 (UTC)


In long comments like that, it might help folks like me to include paragraph breaks at appropriate points. I can't really say why that is, but it breaks the thing down into smaller chunks that are more easily dealt with. No white space needed, and I think that's frowned on anyway, but just a <br /> to start a new para. ―Mandruss  06:03, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Well, feedback like that can be helpful, and I appreciate it. Even though I had a son with a measure of ADD (not a severe case), I still seem to be limited to a kind of external view of it. Without internal connections to it, it remains something of a mystery to me.
And I'm built so fundamentally different! I would have said what I wrote was a single paragraph. I still say that, sort of. I could have broken it up, but then it seems like the single thought it all came from becomes a bit disjointed.
I'm sure it's perceptional on my part too. I'm trying to do what you were suggesting right here, and what's coming out feels awkward and stilted, like it doesn't hang together right. Because once again, it seems to me like it ought to be one paragraph.
How does it strike you, though? Evensteven (talk) 17:56, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
It might be useful to use the actual example. I don't think it would change the meaning to break it as follows, purely for the sake of us mentally handicapped folks.
Ok, I'll hold you responsible, but don't think there's reason to assign blame. Let me point out that while those who accept that there is a violation of freedom of religion involved here may be in a minority (I wouldn't like to guess what the percentage is though), I don't think that there are very many who would say that it hasn't been an issue. Most people would recognize how the issue has been raised and how it has driven Davis' actions, whether or not they agree.
So the issue itself is not a majority/minority thing, it is more where people's views lie. And since different people say there is a violation (for different reasons of their own), and likewise those who say there is no violation say that for a variety of reasons, there are not just two sides to the issue, but a much more complex arrangement of perspectives.
An article called "Kim Davis Freedom of Religion Controversy" would indeed have a scope much more like the current article, while "Kentucky Freedom of Religion Controversy" would have a wider one. Similarly, there might be difference in scope for articles similarly titled but with some form of "gay marriage" in place of "freedom of religion", yielding a different set of possibilities.
To settle on a title, I think it is necessary to settle on the intended scope. Maybe they're one and the same discussion.
If that seems unnatural, that's fine. Different people are wired differently, and often the best we can do is mutual trust and tolerance (both seemingly in short supply). (Btw, no need for a line break and indentation colon(s) at the start of each para, unless you just want to make the code more readable; see my code above.) ―Mandruss  04:06, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
I've always had more trouble with breaks getting things to look right, but this looks fine. Thanks for the tip. I must have always been looking for something different before.
Maybe trying to do the splits consciously just felt wrong, and that's why it turned out clumsy. But when I see my words broken as you have (indeed, as I had reconsidered when I looked back at it after your comment), they now look ok.
Having done some writing in my life, I do know how things can look different anyway, a day or more later. There's something about one's internal vision that drives a first draft, but that's all about getting the idea into some kind of concrete form. Real writing comes in the editing that happens later. But in talk page comments, there's nothing but first draft. C'est la vie.
I'm still going to try to remember what you've said. With practice it may grow more natural. Some ideas need binding together, and others can benefit from partitioning.
Btw, have you ever seen that PBS show on ADD featuring Patrick McKenna, "ADD and Loving It"? I think the thing I like most about it is his attitude that "it is what it is", but that the trick is to try to turn it to advantage (or at least to keep it from undermining you). I hear that people with ADD have an average intelligence that's above normal, so maybe there's some sort of compensation that comes with it? Anyway, anything that causes one to struggle some produces strengths one wouldn't have developed any other way. Everybody's got something. Evensteven (talk) 06:52, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
But in talk page comments, there's nothing but first draft. Not so, mon ami! If you browse the talk page history, you'll see that, for anything of significance, I write a first draft, followed by revisions 1, 2, 3, ... I quit when it's right, and sometimes I improve it further a day or two later. I know people are looking at the history and going, WTF? For some reason it looks different in edit mode, and even in Preview mode, so no amount of re-reading there would be enough. This is one of the main reasons my edit count is high for my time of service (the other being that I have no life and spend too much time here). Anyway, you are by no means stuck with your first shot at it (although the refinement becomes more difficult if someone has replied, as you are then supposed to strike and underscore to show the changes).
I found what appears to be that show at YouTube and will check it out.
I have never been diagnosed and have tried meds once to no noticable effect. So it's all my speculation, but I have many of the signs and there's definitely something different. I haven't been able to read a book of any length for decades, except for a very few where I had intense interest in the subject; one of my greatest regrets. Could be Asperger's or something else, and probably it doesn't really matter what you call it; I'm certain it's somewhere on the autism spectrum. As for compensation, I've long said it's both blessing and curse, but I won't say any more about that at this point. ―Mandruss  08:53, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Hope you like the show (you found it); may you even find something useful in it.
You're right about nothing but first draft, of course. That was an exaggeration on my part left behind because it was in an unexamined first draft. Or call it an approximation, maybe, because I just don't go back all the time. It depends on significance, and whether it occurs to me that something was off so far as to mislead someone or to just make me want to reconsider in some way. And in some cases, I spend an hour or even more writing a comment in the first place - not exactly draft speed. But if it isn't revisited another day, then I still count something as first draft, because a new day gives one a different look.
Ah, edit counts. Mine's low for my time. At least it doesn't keep pace with the time/edit pairings for advancing in the WP editorial ranks. But if I wanted high counts I'd just edit a different way. I can think of tons of ways to drive the legitimate count up. I never pay attention to them; it's not worth the time, and not a useful measure of contribution. But when I make an edit that straightens out a confusion or inaccuracy, or say something on talk that makes someone think, or helps sort out an issue, then I feel good about that and count that one as for the record books. Except, of course, I don't keep count. Oh well, moving on ... It's what I do, eventually. No piece of writing is ever "finished" anyway; it's all just abandoned. ;) Evensteven (talk) 16:34, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
No piece of writing is ever "finished" anyway; it's all just abandoned. I like that, did somebody say that? ;) ―Mandruss  16:53, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Well, I think one of the great musical composers of the past may have said something of the sort, about pieces of music; I forget exactly who. But it applies to most human endeavors, doesn't it? Evensteven (talk) 17:06, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
You know, there's another one related to it (again I forget the attribution). But this one came from engineering design: the engineer (architect?) knows a design is complete not when there's nothing left to add, but when there's nothing else to remove. In other words, good work in crafts includes everything you need and eliminates everything unnecessary. Music is a craft, you know, as is engineering, and writing. Art is well and good, until someone wants to burden it with grandeur. But music, engineering, writing, and science too, are all quite grand on their own. Saying more just diminishes them. Those who do so just don't have the craft. Evensteven (talk) 17:21, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but there's nothing left to remove at any point before you begin. Therefore, by that schmuck's definition, you're done before you start. Which is great, as long as you still get paid. ―Mandruss  19:48, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Ah, but that's the catch. A design is not complete before it is a design, which means you must have started something. There is no free lunch. Which is ok, if you do get paid. Evensteven (talk) 03:31, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Guatemalan Vice President[edit]

You recently reverted my edit in this article, however Juan Alfonso Fuentes has been selected as Vice president by the Guatemalan Congress. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xanderall (talkcontribs) 12:37, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

See the talk page. All I've been asking is that a source be provided. Looks like you have one; please use it. Evensteven (talk) 14:31, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Article for Deletion/Keeping[edit]

Hey hope you are doing well. There is a page you have contributed to that is being considered for deletion: List of Christian Nobel laureates. You are welcome to put in any input on the issues by going to the page and clicking on the link for that article. Jobas (talk) 14:22, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Article for Deletion/Keeping[edit]

Hey hope you are doing well. There is a page again is being considered for deletion: List of Christian Nobel laureates. You are welcome to put in any input on the issues by going to the page and clicking on the link for that article. Jobas (talk) 15:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Books of the Bible Order (New Testament)[edit]

You stated that the order of the books of the Bible (specifically the New Testament) varies based on the denomination. This may be true, but the statement in the article that the order you have is accepted by most Protestants, Catholics, and Greek Orthodox is not. You can see the Catholic order here. Just on the bookshelf of my office, the same order is used in the NIV, NRSV, CEB, KJV, NKJV, TEV, CEV, RSV, and New Oxford Annotated Bible. All of these versions are used regularly across Protestant denominations. In fact, this is the order found in both my Greek texts: "A Reader's Greek New Testament: 2nd Edition" by Goodrich and Lukaszewski and "The Greek New Testament: 4th Revised Edition" edited by Aland et. al. Every Bible Commentary in my office, including the New Interpreter's Bible and The Interpreter's Bible has them in this order; however, to be fair, they do rely on the NIV and NRSV (former) and RSV and KJV (latter). You can also find this order in Box 1.4 on page 10 of "The New Testament (4th ed)" by Bart D. Ehrman.

I would request one of two things happen. 1) The correct order as cited above be placed in the article or 2) Both your order and the order I cited above be placed in the article with the statement that this order is the one used by most Protestant denominations as well as Roman Catholics. I have been unable to confirm that the Greek Orthodox use this order.

In the interest of learning, would you tell me which denominations use the order you have, and where this can be found? I was unable to find it in any google search.

Pastor Melissa (talk) 16:20, 29 October 2015 (UTC)Pastor Melissa

You appear to be new to Wikipedia. Welcome! I assume you are IP who made the edits I recently reverted.
I wasn't calling into question the accuracy of your changes. I was questioning the editing process. Edit summaries are fine for simple matters, but it's clear that the book order in the Bible tends to be more complex, and moreover, could be subject to partisan rivalries among editors. The article has been stable for some time, indicating its original state has been generally acceptable to the community of editors who watch it, representing an editing consensus (click or right-click on the blue word to bring up the editorial consensus policy). That consensus can change, but my action in reverting you was designed to draw attention to your edits so that sufficient attention could be drawn, and its desirability be weighed also by experienced editors here. The edit summaries could not explain your reasons or approach sufficiently for due consideration to be given (there just isn't room there). Now you have responded, quite perfectly I might add, and everyone can see your thoughts, which also appear to me to be quite reasonable.
The various Biblical versions don't just differ in order, of course, but in content (differences in accepted Biblical canon), and in grouping. Protestants eliminate several books (sometimes differently from each other too), often calling them Apochrypha, while Catholics and Orthodox take them as canonical (the Orthodox accept a couple more than Catholic). Western translations tend to stick with content and order as in the Vulgate, whereas Orthodox used the Greek of the Septuagint (I assume that's the basis for your "Greek" versions). Different orderings might be useful to different people for different reasons, depending on how far they are going into historical development of the canon and collections of original texts. In addition, while Protestant-oriented ordering may be natural to many westerners who speak English, there are also a great many English speakers worldwide of Catholic and Orthodox backgrounds, and all such use English Wikipedia.
I don't really oppose your changes. I hope I merely brought up a few things you may not yet have considered in approaching Wikipedia, asking that you give them what you consider to be proper weight. Then, if you still wish your changes to be made, it's ok with me if you want to revert my reversion. And now all the other editors here can also weigh in with any comments they want to bring, and respond to changes with a good idea of what's going on. Please be aware that we on Wikipedia often get editing from IP addresses (essentially anonymous) who leave behind a very few edits, all too often without merit or appreciation of things they haven't thought about. While yours did not have the earmarks of the less knowledgeable of those, I hope you now have also gained some insight into how valuable editorial review can be, and why we may pause to consider before going ahead with changes. Welcome again, and I hope we see you again in the Christianity pages. Evensteven (talk) 17:44, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I have just realized I've been writing on my own user talk page, when this would be more advantageous on the articles talk page, Talk:Books of the Bible. So, I have copied it over to the Re: reversion of changes to book order section. The talk page associated with each article is the ordinary spot for discussion with all the editors interested in the article, and I myself would like them to look over and consider what you wrote. User talk pages tend to be used more for asides between individual editors, perhaps organizational, or notices. Evensteven (talk) 18:02, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I am new to Wikipedia. Thank you for the explanation and for copying this conversation over to the appropriate page. I will continue this conversation there. Pastor Melissa (talk) 18:10, 29 October 2015 (UTC)Melissa

Template_talk:S-rel#Introduce two new parameters[edit]

There is a dicussion on how to fix the template:S-rel, which has used for many Oriental Orthodox bishops and many Eastern Orthodox Church bishops.
Please comment at Template_talk:S-rel#Introduce two new parameters. tahc chat 17:09, 10 November 2015 (UTC)


What does this message directed at my recent contributions mean? [2] I am confused. If this editor wants a different format then they can change my contributions to be that format. I don't understand the hostility. LoveMonkey (talk) 15:31, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

@LoveMonkey: Sorry, I have been away from WP for a while, and only came back momentarily even now. I've had considerable interaction with BoBoMisiu, a Protestant who has a very non-Orthodox outlook, and seems to get upset easily when countered by an Orthodox outlook. He not only does not understand a thing about Orthodoxy, but he seems to try to make sure that he never will, as though understanding or accepting what an Orthodox says about Orthodoxy will somehow be interpreted as if he has come to believe it himself. I don't think he understands what it means to understand something without being convinced of its truth, or he mixes up "simple truth" with "what is true about Orthodoxy". And he is often directly opposed to Orthodox views, and therefore edits and talks as though he must defend his own belief in the articles. Whatever you did, you simply walked over his sensitivity, not necessarily anything that is remotely against WP policy. And his expressed irritation here is simply his accusation that you were not careful in your editing. I call that comment of his to be verging on incivility itself, though not really crossing the line. And to give him the benefit of the doubt, he is so fixed in his own ways of thinking, that he truly may not see what it was that you were doing. He may just have absolutely no idea. I have found that to be the case before. So I'd just write the comment off (dismiss it from your thoughts), but pursue the editing as you think it needs, with accompanying talk page comments, and see if you can at least make your point there. Other editors may see. And I'll look at it when I return, but I don't know when that will be yet. Evensteven (talk) 02:53, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
P.S. If the whole thing was merely about format, then take the hostility as being directed towards Orthodoxy, unless you have other indicators. We've both been there before. Too bad he feels that way, but don't let it disturb your editing. Evensteven (talk) 03:02, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I have to step away from the article. I will however ask you to look at some of the content editing as there appears to be a cultural misunderstanding on his part about the role of asceticism in the theology of the Eastern Church and also the use of obscure authors that are not common and or held in position that are treated as the those that represent Orthodoxy to the rest of the world. John Romanides had a degree in theology and he was the chosen representative of the Orthodox to the World Council of Churches. Romanides was not just someone who wrote books he was chosen to represent Orthodoxy to other Christian denominations. It seems that people know very little about Orthodoxy but have a very strong opinion of it. LoveMonkey (talk) 14:14, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Well that talkpage to the article page appears to be a collection of ad hominem attacks which is a complete fallacy on how to properly source and collaborate on content and article creation. This however is part and parcel to why people are not contributing as this behaviour is very hard to get addressed. However I am wondering something else, from an EO perspective, Islam is very much a continuation of the the early gnostic and sectarian movements. I recently read an article that kind of eluded to this by way of carbon dating. I remembered this because of some of the POV material that got reverted from the Bogomil article that is based on complete speculation and distortion [3] (even Steven Runciman is now finally seen as horribly biased and flawed). Anyway here is a link to the news article [4]. Thing about this is that the area that Muhammad started from was an area that allot of the sectarian diaspora had settled into and the works of Islam reflect these various sectarian's beliefs. As such it is odd to see people make statements like what was reverted on the Bogomil article when in view of history and what is happening right now in say the Middle East that only one side can be intolerant when in hindsight the East Roman Empire fell because of sectarianism (Islam) and it fell to sectarianists. Such movements in the early church were themselves intolerant and totalitarian in nature, hence even back to the works of Nikolai Berdyaev two wrongs makes no one right. Also some other problems 1 there is the mystical and those that seek true gnosis and have nothing to do with the religious philosophical systems bearing the names of those that created them. As that goes these seekers whom seek knowledge of God but not through rationalizing these sectarian cosmology system have at times been called gnostic (Like Clement of Alexandria) but not followers of gnosticism (as a theology or set of theology systems). And 2 the entire gnosticism episode happened while the Christian Church was illegal. I wonder how this incorporates into the scope of these article in a more concise and current way. LoveMonkey (talk) 20:58, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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Precious anniversary[edit]

A year ago ...
Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
Eastern Christianity
... you were recipient
no. 1089 of Precious,
a prize of QAI!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:22, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Schism edit[edit]

Hey I am here asking for your opinion. This edit [5] removed a very small passage about the Time of Troubles. The passage referred to the time that Poland invaded and conquered Russia killed 10 of thousands of people and tried to initiate a large scale forced conversion of the Orthodox to Roman Catholicism. This caused Russia to unity and establish the Czar under the Romanov family dynasty and actually make a holiday that is still celebrated in Russia today. It is one of the ugly historical set of events that informs the Orthodox as they struggle against various historic campaigns at different times throughout human history where their country or allies were invaded by European forces attempting to assimilate them into European Culture and Roman Catholicism. If there is an issue of space and constraint then mentioning the Struggle between the Ukrainian Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox in the Ukraine seems to be of even less important than the mention of a full scale war and invasion and conquest of Russia by the country of Poland. LoveMonkey (talk) 18:12, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

As usual, I agree fully. I'm not sure what the best technique would be to restore some balance to the section topic, but it's clearly Catholic POV as it reads presently. It seems a lot of editing of this article (and section) has been undertaken in the past couple of days, so I don't see the track to a simple restoration. Evensteven (talk) 19:54, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Your short essay[edit]

It was a nice read and generalizable to, in my opinion, religion as a whole and not only Christianity. Yaḥyā ‎ (talk) 23:09, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, Yahya. The attitude it describes certainly can be applied widely, any religion, all sciences, and more. Yet I think it does not apply to all religions, at least not as essential characteristics of them. The difference in Orthodoxy is simply that it ties tightly into its fundamental precepts. But would that all, Orthodox or not, understood those principles better, for then there would be much less fighting and strife over religious matters! Evensteven (talk) 13:48, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I think (my opinion) each [major] religions do have specificities and compensates for something lacking elsewhere. I left a comment in the original sin article talkpage (that's from where I got access to your userpage). A feedback would be helpful, because it is the whole point of original sin and the fall of man in Christianity. The persons wish to see himself as the center of everything and dominate others. Pride is included in the article Seven deadly sins as the father of all sins and the worst. I find weird that nothing is written about it in the main article about original sin. Yaḥyā ‎ (talk) 15:02, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

RE "each [major] religions do have specificities and compensates for something lacking elsewhere.": At one time, I might have agreed. However, western Christianity is incomplete Christianity, having forgotten some important things. In addition, it is not completely Christianity, having adopted some incorrect things. And while other religions do not lack insight into humanity and universal truths, yet do they have their flaws also. The key is that humanity is not the active agent in any true religion. God is transcendent, or else He is not God. And being so, humans cannot reach Him or understand Him unless He bridges the gap, becoming the active agent in our understanding of Him. Orthodox Christianity understands this, and other religions have hold of truth only insofar as they understand it too. God is available to whomever He chooses to reveal Himself, but He does also have a history of such revelations and a sure path that He established. We humans (*all* of us) need to quit doing so much overreaching, and instead to extend ourselves to where He reaches. By this, original sin would have been avoided, and by God's grace, can it be healed.
I posted this commentary by mistake on original sin talkpage. I think the problem stems from the fact that what religion convey mostly escapes the barrier of spoken language. The way written text is interpreted change according to the culture, era and personal experiences of the reader. This is why in Western Christianity (particularly Catholicisim) they rely on updates, new material being published regularly to take in account changes in society. By doing such one might forget the initial premises. Here is where Eastern Christianity complement by preventing the Western school to deviate from the initial principles. Those religions (major five) work by complementing eachothers rather than oppose. Take Islam for instance, it means surrender, surrender of the ego to someone above oneself. While Muslims generally reject the concept of trinity, the opposition is more due to the barriers of spoken language than anything else.
In the core, those religions act as if they thermoregulate each others. And quite often texts and interpretations in one explains elements in others (because they relate to human experiences and are universal). One example is what seems to have been forgotten in the West was extensively documented in the 19th century by what was initiated by the German orientalist Max Müller (along with Kuhn, Welcker, Lauer, ect). Interpretations of religious texts was only made possible by the meaning of each characters name. Note that Roswell Dwight Hitchcock Bible names dictionary still reedited today was mainly aimed to be used as such to decipher scriptures. Islamic scholars initial adherence of Judas sacrifice in the place of Jesus was more than the confirmation from the said Barnabas Gospel. This would have been obvious several centuries ago, as to what role Judas (which means pride, to praise) was playing, restrained by the meaning attributed to his name. The said original sin of pride defeated by the last words of Christ (according to the New Testament): Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (surrender). Doing away of the physical ego and substituting it with the transpersonal which surrenders to something above and become one with it. From then on, it's the barrier of language playing its tricks. The way Christians view Christ is more like the concept of the Child of the Heart in Islamic Sufi texts, the Sufi called the child of the moment. The part of us which is divine and one with the creator. Real differences between religions are all name derived, semantics and intellectualism. But they all convey the human experience that transcend cultural boundaries. And that's what is important.
For now, I am going to take a brake from wikipedia and will be answering only after my return (including the comment left in the talkpage of original sin). Thanks for this fruitful exchange. Yaḥyā ‎ (talk) 18:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Sure, Yahya. I'll answer something now, though, because I've been on break for a while and will soon need to extend it, not commonly having Internet access.
Human language is indeed a "problem" in that it is limiting and cannot contain the fullness of truth. It also changes over time. Thus, it is not by language or words that the Christian faith is transmitted from one generation to the next. Rather, it is by life itself, lived in faith, and experienced daily in the worship and fellowship of the Church. Much more than that, it is living in the presence of God Himself, who continuously inspires and teaches. Without that continuity, one loses meaning (as you have said). And without the Church, one loses even the meaning that others are able to remember and transmit. Then one is alone and must begin again at the beginning. God is always able to find us and woo us to Himself, but your observations are the reason why the Church exists and is necessary for our support, for the Church are the branches and Christ the vine, and the branches cannot remain alive when severed from the root. So again I say, humanity is not the active agent, nor his devices and tools, like words or language. If God is not present, we cannot know any true religion, neither to begin, nor to continue. It is not ultimately about our concepts, semantics, intellectual activity, or ego. It is about our relationship to Him Who is the author of Life.
Thanks for this interesting discussion. Evensteven (talk) 21:12, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Article for Deletion/Keeping[edit]

Hey hope you are doing well. There is a page you have contributed to that is being considered for deletion: List of Christian Nobel laureates. You are welcome to put in any input on the issues by going to the page and clicking on the link for that article. Jobas (talk) 20:10, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

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The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

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