NPOV is an ideal

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Crystal wordprocessing.png This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some wikimedians or Meta-Wiki users, but may not have wide support. This is not policy on the Meta-Wiki, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Wikipedia's NPOV policy is flawed as stated (w:NPOV).

The neutral point of view is an ideal, and should be recognized such. True neutrality is impossible to achieve. Thus, we must remember that every contribution to Wikipedia is biased. Rather than giving up and deleting everything, we instead try to contextualize, and distinguish the sources of knowledge: scientific, historical, inspirational, cultural, etc.

What is necessary for a neutral point of view? In one word, omniscience. Only omniscience allows for a truly neutral point of view. To have a truly neutral point of view about something, you must truly understand it. But nothing exists totally separate from everything else. Thus to truly understand one thing, one must understand everything. This is an impossibility for the individual.

However, Wikipedia is a collective aggregation of knowledge. Thus the knowledge represented within Wikipedia asymptotically approaches total knowledge and perfect neutrality.

It's just wrong to say "This entry is not NPOV. It is bad." There are no articles which are NPOV.

However, it is usually possible to tell the comparative neutrality of any two versions of an article. The Wikipedia Principle of NPOV should be "Pick the more neutral version."

The current NPOV policy is a terrible mess for many other reasons, but its misdefinition of NPOV is at the core.

--w:user:The Cunctator