Religions Wiki:Purpose

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Future direction[edit]

Religions Wiki has been 'forked' from a previous instance of the project (the website Iron Chariots), and as such it seems appropriate now to launch a discussion about its future direction. I suggest a discussion about the future scope and direction of this wiki. Gravitywave (talk) 20:01, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

I began contributing to IC while following Russell's vision for the site. While it had quite a bit of material outside this scope, I think he intended it to contain material for responding to apologetics. The wiki also had articles like Sermon on the Mount which provided a critique of certain religious ideas (although what was in scope was not well defined). Now the site has moved into a new incarnation, we can seriously discuss what we might like to do in future.--TimSC (talk) 18:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

The current situation: fragmentary statements of purpose for Religions Wiki can be found in various pages, including these:

Discussion[edit]

Suggestion (1): A unified statement of purpose[edit]

That the fragmentary descriptions of the site's purpose identified above should be brought together into one place, such as this page. Then Purpose talk page could be a location for ongoing discussions after we finish a preliminary discussion here and have come up with some sort of draft Purpose statement. I'm tempted to call it a Mission Statement, but am put off by the religious overtones of that phrase! There would still be a place for the specific pages, e.g. Article relevance guidelines, but their content would be derived from the overall Site Purpose. --Gravitywave (talk) 21:25, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

There is a brief statement of purpose but too short and very outdated. It would be good to clarify it for future contributors.--TimSC (talk) 18:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion (2): Broaden the scope of the site[edit]

That when we draft the Purpose we widen the scope of the wiki beyond 'apologetics'. I think this site was born out of, and bears the marks of, the specifically American situation where there is a vocal Christian Fundamentalist lobby and public atheism is largely reacting to literal interpretations of the Bible rather than being able to start a broader discussion about various ideas of god and ways of life without a god. I hope that this site could actually be a resource for atheists and others who are interested in religions but find their only sources of information are controlled by those same religious viewpoints. Why should there not be a place for atheists, agnostics, philosophical naturalists and materialists to share their views of religious ideas and arguments "from the outside"? --Gravitywave (talk) 21:25, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

I'm certainly open to broadening the scope. There was already some information on specific religions, their history, beliefs and practices and I've greatly expanded those articles (with help). I've started many articles on the psychology of religion, which compliments articles on logical fallacies. At the same time, I've been removing information on general science, the paranormal and pseudoscience as this information was covered elsewhere (this is where RationalWiki is far better). I've also started articles on the state of religion and secularism for each country, but this is somewhat duplicating the Freedom of Thought Report, so I'm wondering if they should be retained. There is also a whole series of articles about religious/philosophical concepts that were added to support and provide more depth than appears on each apologetic article - religious concepts that have little to do with apologetics are generally avoided (but should they be?). Some articles deal with Humanism and secularism but I've given them less attention. In other words, the scope has already grown but without much planning!
Also, there is a case that should only gradually increase the scope because can lead to many low quality stub articles that detract more than they add.--TimSC (talk) 18:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion (3): Find a clear niche for the site[edit]

There are many atheist resources on the internet, and it should be the aim of this site to complement rather than compete with what they provide. Some prominent examples include Rational Wiki and Skeptics Annotated Bible, for example (there are others). Is there a niche that the Religions Wiki can fill that offers something that adds to what these other sites do, instead of trying to imitate them? --Gravitywave (talk) 16:40, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Good point.--TimSC (talk) 18:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Please contribute[edit]

Any other interested editors are invited to contribute to this discussion. You could comment on the Suggestions already shown above (to indent your comment put a colon at the start of your paragraph in the wiki editor), or if you have another suggestion you could add it after the last one and number it accordingly.