Religion and Wikipedia

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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.
Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.
-- Thomas Paine

As with all human affairs, religion is a vital component of Wikipedian culture. Most Wikipedians are religious to some extent. Each faith adds its own unique color to everyday life on Wikipedia. However, many beliefs are fundamentally opposed, and religious discussions frequently lead to heated debates with no common ground.

NPOV[edit]

Neutral Point Of View (NPOV) is the dominant religion of Wikipedia. It is heavily endorsed by its universalist founder Jimbo Wales, who considers it "absolute and non-negotiable". Wales has successfully established NPOV as a universal religion; nearly all Wikipedians adhere to its tenets.

Much as cultists avoid associating themselves with the term cult (sometimes objecting quite strongly to its use), NPOV distances itself from religion. Its members often refer to the neutral point of view policy; few equate it with religion at all.

NPOV is largely concerned with dissemination of its religious texts.

Quotes[edit]

  • The neutral point of view attempts to present ideas and facts in such a fashion that both supporters and opponents can agree. Of course, 100% agreement is not possible; there are ideologues in the world who will not concede to any presentation other than a forceful statement of their own point of view. We can only seek a type of writing that is agreeable to essentially rational people who may differ on particular points.
[...]
Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic, is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so. If this strikes you as somehow subjectivist or collectivist or imperialist, then ask me about it, because I think that you are just mistaken. What people believe is a matter of objective fact, and we can present that quite easily from the neutral point of view.
-- Jimbo Wales, founder of NPOV

Core beliefs[edit]

  • One should write articles without bias, representing all views fairly.
  • Writing unbiased text is an art that requires practice.

Trollism[edit]

Trollism is another frequently encountered religion. Its members believe certain people are "trolls" (a type of demon). Trollists make considerable effort to interfere with the actions of trolls (trolling) as much as possible, with the ultimate goal of ostracizing them from the community.

Historic parallels to Trollism include the Inquisition and witch hunts of medieval Christianity. Trollists consider trolls to be unreformable. Trolls are frequently encouraged to denounce their "false beliefs"; to this end, trolls are harassed or oppressed until they repent, leave the community by choice, or are forcibly removed (which is called banning). However, there is no record of any troll renouncing their beliefs, nor of any Trollists forgiving them for their actions. In theory, only people having certain specific traits are trolls; in practice, accusations of trolling merely indicate the Trollist has a personal dislike for the troll.

Confusingly, some Trollists consider themselves trolls. These confessed trolls not only share the beliefs of Trollism, but are proud to conform to the troll archetype as well as they can, and may even enjoy their eternal conflict with mainstream Trollists. Confessed trolls frequently accuse other Trollists of being part of the Cabal.

Quotes[edit]

  • Trolling is a disease that may afflict any community.

Core beliefs[edit]

  • Trolls are evil, malicious, and anti-wiki.
  • Trolls actively seek to undermine the Wikipedian community.
  • Trolls are everywhere.
  • Anyone who claims the existence of a Cabal is a troll.
  • Anyone who disagrees with an admin is a troll.
  • As the one true God I must declare this site blasphemus. I also declare all my spellinh and grammar shall be forever correct and used by all.


Deletionism[edit]

Deletionists are those who believe articles with little meaningful content should be permanently censored (deleted) from Wikipedia. Deletionism is a widespread religion; it enjoys greater cultural approval than the opposing view, Inclusionism. Its most sacred ground is en:Wikipedia:Votes for deletion, where deletionists gather in communion to collectively decide the value of articles. Deletionists believe in the power of exorcism, with fancruft being one of the most popular incantations used for this purpose.

Deletionism is generally concerned with the immediate value of objects, rather than speculation on their future value. Deletionists believe a glut of short, poorly formatted, or otherwise unprofessional articles reflects poorly on Wikipedia, which should be deleted to preserve the respect of Wikipedia's readers.

It is sometimes argued that anonymous users are fundamentally uncontrollable and much more likely to produce worthless content than registered Wikipedians. Extremists may call for anonymous users to be banned altogether; see Anonymous users should not be allowed to edit articles for further information about these views.

Core beliefs[edit]

  • Poorly written articles cause Wikipedia to appear unprofessional.
  • Articles which do not meet common standards should be deleted.
  • Your small corner of the world is most likely not notable. You might feel compelled to write about it, but nobody else is ever likely to read it except by accident.

Inclusionism[edit]

Inclusionists are Wikipedians who believe the project is the ultimate repository for all knowledge. Inclusionism has few adherents on Wikipedia, but its members show a strong idealistic devotion to their faith. Inclusionists believe all knowledge is equally important and uphold the continued existence of articles on every subject, regardless of obscurity. They frequently clash with Deletionists, whom they consider to be pessimistic about the possible worth of articles. VfD is the preferred battlefield for such clashes. On VfD, any argument containing the word fancruft is bait that few inclusionists can resist.

Inclusionism is the practical form of eventualism. It is believed that all articles, even the shortest stubs, can be improved over time until they are of professional quality. Inclusionists are commonly wikiliberal.

Quotes[edit]

  • Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. Thus, Wikipedia has no size limits, can include links, can be more timely, etc. It also means that the style and length of writing appropriate for paper is not necessarily appropriate here.
-- unknown

Core beliefs[edit]

  • Wiki is not paper.
  • The wiki process will improve all articles in time.
  • Articles should not be deleted simply because they are incomplete.

The Cabal[edit]

The Cabal is a secretive, elite group of Wikipedians. Little is known of Cabalists. It is well-known that this religion enjoys totalitarian control over all aspects of Wikipedia. The term Cabal is derived from the Jewish Kabbalah; its members are understood to practice various forms of esoteric mysticism, from which they gain their power.

Quotes[edit]

  • Fnord.
  • Certain members of the old guard are becoming weak as the sun's strength wanes, and will soon be in hibernation for the winter, whereas those of the New Blood have endless internal sources of energy and are less dependent on solar support networks.
  • There is no Cabal.
  • Just to warn you, users who refer to the existence of a cabal on Wikipedia tend not to get taken very seriously, irrespective of the force of your argument

Core beliefs[edit]

  • The Cabal rules Wikipedia.
  • There is no spoon.

The Really Reformed Church of Wikipedia[edit]

Main article: Really Reformed Church of Wikipedia

The Really Reformed Church of Wikipedia is the one true church of Wikipedia. We believe in the Holy Trinity of Jimbo Wales, maveric149 and Ed Poor. Our sins of edit warring and personal attacks are absolved by the crucifixion of the one true Chief Financial Officer, maveric149, subordinate to the one true God and King of Wikipedia, Jimbo Wales. By the grace of them and Ed Poor, the Holy Ghost, are we absolved and lifted in our faith.

Catholic Church of Wikipedia[edit]

Main article: Catholic Church of Wikipedia

The Catholic Church of Wikipedia stands in oppostion to the Reformed Church of Wikipedia and the Really Reformed Church of Wikipedia. Adherents believe it to be the embodiment of the "one holy catholic and apostolic Wiki." Its adherents strive to make all edits Ad Majorem Gloriam Jimbo, and to realize the goal of uniting all Wikipedians in the name of the Jimbo, and of the Admins, and of the Holy NPOV.

See also[edit]