Category talk:Fictional deities

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Aren't they all fictional? I thought that was sort of the point of this site... Would it be cheeky to add the gods of world religions here? Libraryjuice 04:11, 1 September 2006 (MST)

Did you read the description at the top of the category page? -- Kazim 06:47, 1 September 2006 (MST)
I did. ;-) Blu Matt 19:21, 3 October 2006 (CDT)
I agree with Libraryjuice. How was christianity not deliberately invented? How do you know that the "fictional" gods are not "seriously believed by anyone"? How do you know that the "non-fictionals" are seriously believed by anyone? It makes no sense to separate them. Arno Matthias 07:51, 4 December 2011 (CST)
It makes a lot of sense to separate them:
  • Christians today make up a significant portion of the world's population and they do not believe their religion to be a fabrication.
  • The only blatantly-fictional divinity which some (a few) people take seriously that I can think of is The Force from Star Wars, but if you have evidence of an extant major religion of Q-worshippers, do feel free to present its claims for refutation.
  • There are a large number of people who freely profess a devout belief in the deities that comprise the world's serious religions.
Jdog 15:54, 4 December 2011 (CST)
A million flies can't be wrong - that is your argument? Really?There is such a thing as truth, and it is not determined by the number of people supporting it. Arno Matthias 19:51, 4 December 2011 (CST)
No, my argument is that the deities in this category meet the "not seriously believed by anyone" criteria and the other deities we have pages for do not meet it. Jdog 21:40, 4 December 2011 (CST)
I agree, but then the separation is not between "fictional" and "non-fictional" deities, i.e. name of this category is inappropriate. It is now known that the story of Jesus is entirely made up, copying from older stories about Mithra, Horus, Dionysos, Buddha and a few others (see, and that Paul of Tarsus probably intended his work to be understood as fiction. So where is the difference to Douglas Adams? Arno Matthias 10:42, 5 December 2011 (CST)
Oh and btw, how would you categorise Mormonism? Scientology? Heaven’s Gate? see for more. Arno Matthias 10:51, 5 December 2011 (CST)
Yes, but that wasn't your argument. Your argument was "include all deities in this category", not "rename the category". We could call it "blatantly-fictional deities", "deities widely-known to be fictional", "harmless deities", "non-dogmatic deities", etc. Or we could leave it as is and not stoop to ludicrous levels of hair-splitting when everyone here knows what is meant. The deities in this category don't have believers, they haven't ever had believers, they were very recently created strictly for use in parody/satire/fiction, and no proponents of those deities are attempting to force everyone else to follow the precepts of those religions.
You can stop telling me all about how other deities are also false, truth values, etc. This is an atheist wiki and I (surprise!) happen to be an atheist. Jesus is probably made up; yes, we're aware of that. The difference between Jesus and the Arkleseizure is that noone's actually trying to make it illegal to stifle a sneeze or tell children to fear the coming of the handkerchief. The difference between the FSM and Heaven's Gate is that noone's advocating suicide as a way of reaching the beer and stripper factory. It is very easy for any rational person to observe a distinct difference between the religions included in this category and the ones that weren't, regardless of the exact name of the category.
Frankly, I have to ask what you're hoping to achieve here; your second act as a contributor was to decide to agree with someone who made a tongue-in-cheek suggestion five years ago. When replied to, you skewed my reply into a straw man argument. After I explained what my argument actually was, you moved the goalposts. In both of your replies, you've presumed that someone who contributes to an athiest wiki both has never heard these very common atheist arguments before and doesn't already agree with them. Are you new to atheism yourself? Jdog 18:06, 5 December 2011 (CST)

Jdog makes reasonable points but I feel Jdog should put more effort into finding a way to make his points tactfully. Proxima Centauri 03:40, 6 December 2011 (CST)

The first drafts of my posts are considerably less tactful than the ones that get posted. As long as I believe the position I'm coming from is correct, I don't much care about further sugarcoating it beyond 2-3 rewrites. After all, the people I reply to clearly didn't put enough thought into their post in the first place or I wouldn't feel a reply was warranted. Jdog 08:34, 6 December 2011 (CST)
Jdog uses fallacies and personal attacks to avoid the real issue, which made me think that he probably is a cleric, only posing as an atheist. The real issue is the meaning of the word "fictional". Arno Matthias 10:22, 7 December 2011 (CST)
Please point out anywhere in our discussion where I've been the one committing a fallacy or making a personal attack, because I'm not seeing it. My previous reply to you was a direct explanation of why it is unnecessary on this wiki to explain that all gods are fictional, why the category contains the deities that it does and excludes the ones it does not, why it is patronizing and unneeded to explain common atheist arguments to a contributor here, and to point out the fallacies (straw man, moving the goalposts, and now ad hominem attacks) you yourself are using in your arguments. The current name of the category is both concise and accurate enough to be easily understood by contributors; if you have a more accurate (yet equally concise and clearly understood) suggestion for the name that still communicates the description of the category, feel free to suggest it. If it's better than "fictional" in those regards, I'll support it. Jdog 18:45, 7 December 2011 (CST)
The article Jdog started, Laminin argument is very good, it would be great if Jdog spent more time writing that type of material and less time making other users feel uncomfortable over their contributions. Proxima Centauri 03:57, 8 December 2011 (CST)
All contributions are not equal. I'm comfortable with my activity here in the time I'm willing to spend on the wiki, especially since a very prolific person here seems to think that even bad contributions should be encouraged. As I've stated before, I only criticize a contribution (or suggestion, in this case), if I find it to be irrational, incorrect, and/or useless. Letting such things stand brings down the quality of the wiki as rational resource on atheism and counter-apologetics. Incidentally, copypasting Arno's blurb about the non-Abrahamic origins of the Jesus myth to the category page and Arkleseizure page just makes the pages less intelligible; there's not actually any reason to have them there except to make an attempt to appease him and - much like a theist arguing that intelligent design should be accepted as a middle ground between creationism and evolution - I see no reason to appease someone when they're the one who is demonstrably wrong. If I'm the one who is wrong, they're welcome to prove it through rational discussion. Arno has yet to offer any. Jdog 05:00, 8 December 2011 (CST)

@Proxima Centauri: Thanks for your support! @Jdog: Not everybody who stumbles upon this wiki knows that it is a dedicated atheist project. And, I'm sorry to break this to you, nobody knows what you may already know about the subject. If there is a category called "fictional deities" then that automatically implies that there are non-fictional deities. If it were true that "it is unnecessary on this wiki to explain that all gods are fictional", then why this category? You contradict yourself. Spoof deities were often invented to show how the official religions have the same ontological status (yes, Jdog, I'm sure you already knew that, but other people might be reading this too). So, something along the lines of "satirical deities" is probably a good categorisation. If there is a category "fictional deities" then all deities belong here. If we separate the satirical gods from the official ones then the category names should say that. Arno Matthias 07:32, 8 December 2011 (CST)

I think this link improves the article. Proxima Centauri 08:51, 8 December 2011 (CST)

@Jdog: As requested here is an excerpt from the list of your bad arguments:

  • all three points you make in your first post are true, but completely irrelevant to the name of this category
  • You suggest We could call it "blatantly-fictional deities", "deities widely-known to be fictional"..., which indicates that you don't understand what fictional means, and "harmless deities", "non-dogmatic deities", etc.", which indicates that you don't understand the function of the spoof deities.
  • "Or we could leave it as is and not stoop to ludicrous levels of hair-splitting when everyone here knows what is meant" --two mistakes here: the first part (stoop to ludicrous levels of hair-splitting) is a personal attack, the second part "when everyone here knows what is meant" is just stupid.
  • "The deities in this category don't have believers, ..." -- true, but irrelevant
  • "You can stop telling me ..." -- as I said, I wasn't telling you, I was making a point
  • "we're aware of that" -- majestic plural? We the People?
  • "your second act as a contributor..." --irrelevant ..."was to decide to agree with someone who made a tongue-in-cheek suggestion..." --you get to decide what other contributors really think? "...five years ago" --irrelevant
  • "Are you new to atheism yourself?" --arrogant, personal attack, irrelevant
  • "The first drafts of my posts are considerably less tactful"-- are we supposed to be grateful that your tone could be even worse?
  • "the people I reply to clearly didn't put enough thought into their post in the first place or I wouldn't feel a reply was warranted" -- personal attack, extremely arrogant. It is possible that you are wrong sometimes.

The list goes on, but I hope I have made my point. Arno Matthias 10:44, 8 December 2011 (CST)

There’s a serious problem here, some contributor writes something that has potential but is, perhaps not perfect. Jdog slams that user over real or imagined imperfections and sees no need to be tactful. The user goes away and we lose a possible good contributor. Proxima Centauri 11:00, 8 December 2011 (CST)
Unless this flame war is actually contributing to any concrete plans to change this article in some way, I request that you put a lid on it. In any case, it's clear from the header that the purpose of the this category is to differentiate between gods that were written with the intent of being part of a fictional universe, as opposed to gods that are seriously believed by major world religions. If you have a better title for the category then let's talk it over. I'd propose "Deities in fiction," but that's potentially subject to the same problems. --Kazim 11:06, 8 December 2011 (CST)
Readers cannot see the (only recently improved) header of this category on the individual pages. That was the reason for me to get involved: I followed a link from facebook to Invisible Pink Unicorn and was unhappy to find it had been categorised as "fictional deity". Arno Matthias 03:25, 9 December 2011 (CST)
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