Category talk:Atheist furs

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I think this category would be best as a userspace category. Christian furs, too. If we start allowing religious categories in the main article space, would we then start allowing sexual orientation categories as well? Spaz Kitty 01:43, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Category:Christian furs came about largely because of a list of people in the article Christian fur. Categories seem tidier and somewhat more useful than lists of people, to me, and main-space categories for articles contain people who are not WikiFur users. -- Sine 04:33, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

At the risk of sounding like I don't have an opinion because I don't know the details of a particular convention, I don't know the difference; wikifur presents a pretty novel situation in that there are pages about individuals, but it's not, you know, LJ or myspace. If there's an argument in favor of expanding categories on individuals, it probably starts there. Sex-orientation categories? It's a pretty germane category on individuals, especially given the charcter of the fandom. But obviously also problematic. E.g., a "closeted gay" category. Wouldn't that be charming. --Furthling 01:51, 29 June 2007 (UTC)


I'm not clear why this article has been tagged for {{appropriate}}, when, one, it's stood without comment for quite some time, when the equivalent category pertaining to christians, is not so-tagged, and since nobody will be able to respond to the next request I'll now make:

Could somebody please point to a coherent wikifur policy describing what makes categories inappropriate to wikifur?

Obviously a category is content, but it's not an article. As religions and the furry fandom all pertain to the realm of imaginary things, they're inextricably interwoven, and religious stances are of inherent interest both in works (see for example), and of people.

Arguably Wikifur should have a standard of noteworthiness that would leave 90% of all personal pages on Wikifur marked {{appropriate}} and candidates for deletion. Short of doing that, however, it is inclusive of people as such, and religious stance is entirely pertient to understanding a person, in addition to understanding the nuances of the fandom.

The appropriate and deletion categories should be removed. Contrary to the edit comments the category specifically refers to a distinctive outlook, and accusing it of not being a distinctive outlook begs two questions: one, how is it not so if one acknowledges (as I do) that Christian Furs, is, and two, where are the specs on what is "sufficiently distinctive?" This sounds more like an effort to excise unpopular points of view. --Furthling 00:42, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

The length of time an item has existed on WikiFur is irrelevant, and discussion can be begun or continued at any time; see the top of this talk page for some unresolved points about this category.
There is a tendancy on WikiFur to write up policy once a consistent practice has come about, rather than writing policy in order to bring about a consistent practice. There has been discussion of various categories on the talk pages for those categories, or on wider categories in some cases.
Categories serve as a way of organising information. Suggesting that this category is not useful is not the same as suggesting that information pointed at by the category should be excised from WikiFur.
I hope the above has helped your understanding somewhat, and that others will add to discussion here. -- Sine 19:27, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
If you review what you've just written, I trust you'll see there's an inconsistency between saying that the length of time an item has existed without comment is 'irrelevant' and saying that 'consistent practice' is the norm for formulating policy-- it has been a consistent practice of WikiFur to include this particular category as a way of categorizing person pages-- even after its appropriateness was raised and ample time allowed for discussion of its appropriateness.
I'm not sure I entirely agree that convention alone establishes good policy-- at it's basest, convention has led to the disorganization of information that the wide world typifies, and which I think everyone expects a Wiki to improve upon.
But if you think convention should drive policy, how then can you feel that using {{appropriate}} is warranted in this case? Convention already includes other categories of precisely this sort, and person pages are a large part of Wikifur, and the categories that are completely appropriate to them, as such, cover all sorts of things just like this.
Also, in fact, the function of a category is itself to provide information-- information about where items that are members of the category can be found. To suggest the category be removed is very much to suggest removing information. And the question is not of what's "useful" but of what's "appropriate," which at present, with the template used here to express it, literally marks the category for deletion. The template directly proposes eliminating specific information very much germane to furs and identity as a fur. --Furthling 05:57, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I will remove the template at this time. It contains proposal for deletion, and so falls under Proposal for deletion, sub 'Conflicts'. I trust this expresses WikiFur's policy and the view common to wikis that where there is a disagreement about deletion of content, the assumption is not to delete. --Furthling 06:02, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


I'd like to hear from whomever thinks the appropriate tag belongs on the page as to why articles (or categories, in this case) are considered appropriate or inappropriate, in general. If there's no clear rationale for adding such a tag to a page, I'm a little confused why anyone would in fact add it. And I've asked before where the standard of article appropriateness can be found, but don't recall any clear answers. Incidentally, at this time the {{delete}} template redirects to the {{appropriate}} template. --Furthling 00:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Also, per this policy:
Contested deletions: If anyone, including the article's creator, removes {{prod}} from an article for any reason, do not put it back, except if the removal was clearly not an objection to deletion (such as blanking the entire article, or removing the tag along with inserting blatant nonsense); however, if the edit is not obviously vandalism, do not restore it, even if the tag was apparently removed in bad faith. If you still believe the article needs to be deleted, explain why on the article Talk page.
It really was inappropriate to re-add the tag, since it contains the proposal for deletion. --Furthling 00:27, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
No it wasn't. That proposed policy applies strictly to the {{prod}} template, which I have never actually seen used on WikiFur. Moreover, what normally happens on Wikipedia if you remove that is a full-blown deletion - and that template is not removable until the discussion is concluded. --GreenReaper(talk) 22:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Does Wikifur have an actual policy on this that the proposed policy seeks to replace, then? Does it have a broad body of other actual policies? If "no" to either or both, there's simply a lack of policy, isn't there? Into which problematic vacuum the proposed policy is inevitably drawn?
Meanwhile, the {{appropriate}} tag includes candidate for deletion, and if there's some sort of crucial difference between "proposed" and "candidate" for deletion, I think it goes over the heads of most people who might wish to contribute in good faith to developing wikifur. The proposed policy's been there quite some time; being there purely as a proposal, especially absent any real policy, just increases the already very high ambiguity over what's appropriate on wikifur. It should either be withdrawn or put in place as policy. And if it's enacted, it should apply as a general guideline, not as an arbitrarily narrow formality about the use of one precise template. --Furthling 00:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

There are no clear answers on what is appropriate or not because it depends on what the people discussing it at the time think. Obviously there are some things that are clearly inappropriate, but then almost everyone understands what they are and so they are usually not added in the first place. It's the edge cases, like here, where we have the discussions.
As for the rationale, I think SpazKitty's reasoning was fairly clear - they think that religious categories and sexual orientation categories are not appropriate for the main namespace because they do not have much relevance, and should be restricted to the user space (by which they mean they should be something added to User:Furthling rather than Furthling). Whether they are right or not is the matter under debate.
You argue that "religious stance is entirely pertient to understanding a person". That's fair enough, if you consider religion important. However, that comes back to whether we're trying to detail people's entire lives, or just the furry aspects of them.
The problem we wish to avoid is ending up with huge numbers of categories that are going to be incomplete and which don't have much meaning anyway. "Christian furs" has meaning because they are a group which has defined itself through activities within the fandom. The same is true for Category:Babyfurs, Category:Ham radio operators and the like. All of these have associated articles, because they are topics which we have something specific to say about, separate from Wikipedia's coverage.
This category claims that atheist furs have "a distinctive outlook on the furry fandom" - so, what is that outlook? As far as I know, we don't have an atheist or atheist fur because it wouldn't say more than "a fur who is an atheist" - and perhaps that's why we shouldn't have a category for it. I'm an atheist myself, but I don't see it as particularly relevant to my involvement in the fandom, so it's not on the article about me. --GreenReaper(talk) 23:43, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
It's easy to say we should distinguish between the 'furry aspects' of people's lives and the aspects that aren't, but much harder to do. Or, if it's easy, please explain how, because I'm not seeing it. You realize "Artist" for example, is not a furry trait-- it's just a trait, and can be argued, just as "christian (fur)" can, the same way you've argued atheist fur-- no brand-new-under-the-sun trait arises from a person being a furry and and artist, nor from being a furry and a christian. At the same time, all three examples are of two traits that in persons, exert strong mutual influence-- artists who are furs tend to have the one impact the other. Atheist who're furs and christians who're furs, the two traits are organically interactive in the individual. In part, this goes to the failure of wikifur to have a standard of noteworthiness-- you're essentially arguing that atheist furs-- who do exist (they even have a notable, referenceable LJ community)-- aren't noteworthy. The problem is, as you well know, Wikifur doesn't have a decent standard of what's noteworthy to use, such as Wikipedia's arbitrary but useful "published reference" standard.
Regardless though, the wiki does, by choice, include pages on people. How you can conclude that categories that validly organize people content are somehow inappropriate, if people content itself *is* appropriate, is very unclear. It should have been realized right away that bringing people articles means bringing people categories. If categories on people don't belong in the wiki, then *other* kinds of information on people don't belong in the wiki. Categories aren't even a primary navigational tool-- they're just a form of content. Categories on people are no more obtrusive than or different from sections in people's articles. And if 'consistent practice' is what makes things stick in wikifur, people articles overwhelmingly include not-so-crucially-furry information.
If people articles are approprite, people article categories are appropriate. If they're not, they're not. People articles information other than "this person is a furry," so they have not-strictly-related information in them. Either that information is or is not appropriate to wikifur, and if it is, it should be categorized. If it isn't it shouldn't be there. In fact, it's there, so by the 'consistent practice' test, it should be there. --Furthling 01:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Your reasoning seem better suited to arguing for the deletion of other categories, not for keeping this one. Again, in the past we have deleted stuff in which furries are active, but where their furriness has no relation to their participation (see this example). The simple fact is that furs do a lot of things, but that does not make these things "furry by association".
Wikipedia has lots of categories of people. One thing it doesn't have is a category of people with green eyes - because the fact is not considered relevant to their notability within the world. So, how is atheism relevant to the furry world? Is there atheist furry artwork? Stories of furry societies built on atheist principles? In what way has atheist culture has affected furry culture, or vice versa? Are the furs in the LiveJournal group active in spreading atheism in the fandom? If there is nothing uniting this category other than its atheism, how does an category of furry atheists which is likely to omit a large number of people who really are atheists help our readers? --GreenReaper(talk) 01:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of what the final decision may be, I think we should apply the same decision to both the Atheist Furs category and the Christian Furs category. As George Carlin would say, "Let's not have a double standard. One standard will do nicely." :-) --Douglas Muth 16:00, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

GR, to respond here (though I believe I did so at the time elsewhere), yes, there are quite evidently furry expressions of atheism all over the fandom. There're active communities of specifically atheist furs, there is atheist furry art, and there is a persistent interest in the atheist orientation of furries, among furries, who are disproportionately, as a community, atheist.
Moreover, the atheist idea is inherent in the very premise of anthropomorphism-- animals notworthily don't have religious compunctions, and in the view of theists, are not subject to salvation, heaven, or hell, etc, much as atheists view themselves to be. For many atheists, including furry ones, the anthropomorphic figure symbolizes atheism!
Lacking any standard whatsoever of what's appropriate and then leaping to: how other comparable categories (like christian fur) are dealt with is irrelevant, doesn't make a bit of sense. It's a perfectly natural and intuitive position to fall back on, lacking a clearer definition of "appropriate," to look at how other similar things have been done. Indeed that idea is at the core not only of wikipedia, but is the intuitively expected approach for the organization of pretty much ANYTHING organized by human thought. -Furthling 21:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Define "many atheists". Who? Specifically? And the last paragraph made no sense to me whatsoever. --GreenReaper(talk) 21:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
GR, why are you asking me to create a list of atheist furs for you? It's not relevant to the discussion, as it's no part of any standard used here-- you can't just keep creating more nonsense tests to be met for a category you find embarassing, or whatever, to be legitimate. Moreover, you know a number of atheist furs yourself, because you've seen them discuss things in the Atheist Furs LJ Comm.
The last paragraph pertains to your previous comments. You suggested that my arguments were better suited to the view that certain categories (e.g., christian furs) should be deleted, RATHER than to the view that Atheist Furs be kept. Except the one is germane to the other. How things are done on Wikifur IS the standard of how things should be done on wikifur, especially considering the deplorable absence of policy on what's appropriate, and the persistent refusals to discuss it. -Furthling 21:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm asking you to specify people to back up your statement: "For many atheists, including furry ones, the anthropomorphic figure symbolizes atheism!" I don't know who this "many" is that you are talking about, and I'd like you to specify a reference to back it up to ensure that it is not just your personal opinion.
I agree that one is germane to the other. If there's a good argument for one to be deleted, there's a good argument for both to be deleted. That was the meaning of my statement. I want to be fair, so that if we get rid of one we should get rid of the other as well. --GreenReaper(talk) 22:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
But that standard, "who" does not apply here. I suspect this confusion arises out of the idea that wikifur can operate similarly to say, wikipedia, despite having no clear standard of evidence at all, upon which such challenges would necessarily be based.
It is evident that animals don't have religion or religious compunctions and observances. It is also evident that they do not, according to conventional religions, experience afterlife, similar to the outlook of atheists about themselves. It is also evident that features of animals with which fur fans identify is much of the basis of the furry fandom. My observation about the significance of anthropomorphic animals to atheists is self-evident, regardless of how often it becomes a big talking point among furs (and as a matter of fact atheism and furriness are notoriously synergistic topics for discussion among furs). For that matter, I've observed it, and I'm a furry and an atheist, and there need be no further evidence about the relevance of this view, as wikifur does not, pretend though it might, have a notability standard. Furthermore, the closest wikifur could come to a notability standard would necessarily discriminate against unpopular and minority groups, e.g., atheists.-Furthling 22:35, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
The fact that we don't have the same rules as Wikipedia does not mean you can say what you like and expect it to stick. It means you have to find some other way of convincing editors that what you say is true. Nobody is denying you the ability to express your own beliefs, but when you generalize about atheists in furry fandom, it needs backing up somehow.
Animals don't have religion because (as far as we know) they aren't intelligent enough to think about what happens after they die. Atheism requires consciousness. Just because animals don't have gods (the furry representations of them often do; see Digger) doesn't make it of particular relevance to furry fandom.
But let's get back to the issue at hand - this category. The main reasons I oppose it and other faith-based categories is that a) in most cases, a person's religion doesn't have particular significance to their involvement in furry fandom (my personal opinion based on what I've seen), and b) it can never be made complete, or even close to complete, because people's religions are often something they keep private or separate from their furry activities. Because of b) the category cannot be maintained. If we record it at all, it should be as a list on atheism containing those people who have specifically associated their atheism with furry fandom. This would also provide a place for more information to be displayed about the involvement of atheism with furry fandom. --GreenReaper(talk) 00:09, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Addressing your last point, GreenReaper: the category cannot be maintained. If we record it at all, it should be as a list on atheism containing those people who have specifically associated their atheism with furry fandom. There was such a list in the article Christian fur, which I changed to a see also and creation of the Christian furs category. -- Sine 00:17, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, at least now I know who to blame. ;-) Seriously, though, if we have such categories I think they should be marked as restricted to those who have made it a significant part of their involvement in furry fandom (not just "Furs who are atheists/Christians/communists"). I believe this information is better represented as a list because it allows this interest/involvement to be explained in more depth. See the list of notable babyfurs for an example. --GreenReaper(talk) 01:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Category:Christian furs has been a pretty easily populated one since there was that list to start things off, and people's about themselves tend to say "Christian fur" in so many words. I've had more issue with such categories as Category:Photographers and Category:Programmers for the significance / relevance bit.
Re representation in category versus list, I'm not a fan of the notable tag and I feel lists get unwieldly. In the Christian furs case, I think the baldness of the list (names without any specifics of involvement or relevance) made the change to category make sense to me.
And, of course: you can blame me for many, many things. :)-- Sine 02:19, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

No Resolution?[edit]

The recent reinclusion of the "appropriate" template and deletion category was inappropriate; there isn't anything to resolve, and readding it was contrary to wiki guidelines. If the person who made the edit felt there was a reason for it, he would make a positive case for it here RATHER than using inappropriate templates to "encourage discussion." Because I don't want to further this edit war, I have taken the opportunity to solicit feedback from any interested parties in the AtheistFurs LJ community. -Furthling 21:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Significance of Religion[edit]

GreenReaper said: The main reasons I oppose it and other faith-based categories is that a) in most cases, a person's religion doesn't have particular significance to their involvement in furry fandom (my personal opinion based on what I've seen), and b) it can never be made complete, or even close to complete, because people's religions are often something they keep private or separate from their furry activities.

I'd disagree with that assessment based on the content of the wiki itself. References to Totemism, Otherkin, and Theriantropy seem to point to that there's a quite significant amount of spirituality involved. Should Category:Otherkin cease to exist as well, then? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DaleGlass (talkcontribs) .
Yes. I'd prefer it if we had [[Category:Ancient Lodge of Otherkin Believers]] for those who had some specific association, rather than just "Otherkin", which could mean anything (and isn't specific - is it about people who are otherkin, or topics on the subject, or . . .?). --GreenReaper(talk) 20:54, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


I think I'm already the bad cop in this discussion, so I'm going to go ahead and delete this category. My first step is to depopulate it by removing the category from articles which have no indication in the article text (such or other information can of course be added to the article subsequently text) and from other articles. -- Sine 19:50, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I hope you're going to be consistent. Remove all references to all religion, every last one. If you're going to remove one, you need to purge everything, including 'otherkin' which is even less defined than Atheist or Christian. I think you're using a shot gun, everywhere. You're purging and removing information all over. I though the point of a wiki was information and more importantly cross referencing. You're doing nothing but destroying information now. Pathia 13:47, 28 December 2008 (UTC)