Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Category:Ontologically uncertain

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The following discussion comes from Wikipedia:Categories for deletion, where it is currently listed as unresolved. It may be reviewed again in the future in the light of evolving standards and guidelines for categorization. 21:49, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Category:Ontologically uncertain[edit]

This category defines its purpose as, "there is some uncertainty of the existance of the things in this catagory. It may sound odd to have a catagory with members that may or may not exist, but the various beliefs regarding their existance is the cause of many great cultural events." Category is inherently POV, and includes such miscellaneous items as God, Aryan race, and unicorns. Smerdis of Tln 13:33, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • I kind of like the idea behind this category: all things about whose existence we are uncertain, though I think the title could use some tweaking. I don't think it represents a problematic POV to say, for example, that we are, as a species, not certain that God or races in general (not just the Aryan) exist. The topic is heavily debated. Unicorns, I think, we are agreed don't exist. But yeah! I kinda jive with the category its self. Maybe it just needs some cleanup. -Seth Mahoney 22:48, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. Highly POV. The idea can be preserved by making sure that all of the contents are in some way subcategorized under categories that make their status as beliefs apparent (Category:Belief, Category:Theories, etc). -Sean Curtin 01:53, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
    • As everything ultimately comes down to a belief, theory, or assumption, not so good an idea. Postdlf 06:54, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
      • I was going to make the obvious argument that there is a difference between my believing, say, in you and my believing in, say, God, when I realized the category should be deleted for an entirely different reason. God should be its only member, or at least is the only member I can think of off the top of my head. Then I realized that other things can be put there, if we're talking strictly philosophy, like numbers, ideas, thoughts, and so on. Now I'm going back to keep, but maybe with a different title and as a subcategory of Ontology. Also, remove the mythical beasts. I still don't think their ontological status is uncertain. -Seth Mahoney 07:03, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
        • Hi, I've never used this part of Wikipedia before, as I am rather new. I actually created the catagory after discussion with some people on http://www.belief.net (a website where people from a few dozen different religions come together to talk). I was asking them about faries, elves, and the like and the forum posters thought the article was insulting because it assumed that these things didn't exist. All the people in that particular forum do believe (at least some of) the creatures exist. So I attempted to make it more NPOV by putting it in a catagory that says some people believe in this, some people down't. I understand how people can dispute teh existance of anything, but I thought to catagory was useful to show that a significant number of people believe that a thing exists while another significant amount don't believe it does. Sorry if my use of catagorization wasn't apropo. I lean toward keep, but I understand the reasons for wanting to delete. I also don't believe those reasons are good enough. You say that there are too many things that COULD be entered. Lets look at other things in Wikipedia for example. Blue for example. There are an infinite number of colours that could be considered a type of blue. Blue is a part of a spectrum that stops at the equally arbitrary colours green and violet. But the article is useful because it gives a basic concept. Another arbitrary concept is Determinism because it is no more externally verifiable than free will. Yet it is still useful to discuss both because there is human discussion (significant) about both. Similarly there is significant discussion about whether certain things are or are not. It is useful to group the things because a person searching for a way to attempt to prove the existance of (or disprove the existance of) one thing can reference another thing that has been similarly debated. They also gain the advantage of seeing the other sides' rebuttles. I suppose that if you are going to take it down, so be it. But I think it has as much (could have as much) significance as many many other articles and catagories. Dustin Asby 10:34, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Note: could one of you who think this category is POV explain why? It doesn't seem POV at all to me to say "the existence of this thing is contested". -Seth Mahoney 07:04, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
    • Contested by whom? After all, if we really want to remain NPOV we'd have to include Holocaust in this category - the vocal minority of Holocaust deniers probably outnumbers the people who believe in unicorns. And there are still Flat Earthers and non-heliocentrists out there, so all articles relating to space travel and the circumnavigation of the globe should be given this tag. -Sean Curtin 23:23, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
      • Gotcha. Yeah, I can see where you see the POViness now. It seems to me, though, that there is a difference between saying, as Postdlf does below, that this category will have to contain anything anyone ever doubted and things which are actually contested, that is, things over which there is honest-to-goodness debate on. Unfortunately, I think the dividing line would end up being arbitrary, so I change my vote to delete. -Seth Mahoney 22:25, Sep 12, 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete with extreme prejudice. There is no way to make this a meaningful classification, no way to remove POV problems. Do we really want to categorize subjects based on whether some people, somewhere, at some time, had doubted their existence? Postdlf 17:37, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. I doubt this category will every grow to be large, but strange as it seems, looking at the items within it, this weirdo catch-all bucket is actually pretty well suited to them, and substantially more useful for holding them than other categories. --Gary D 06:10, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)
  • In a philosophical sense, isn't everything ontologically uncertain? Delete, one person's uncertainty is another person's offense at even noting it (i.e. Holocaust, as mentioned, or even Gulf War Syndrome, or ADD, or whatever), no need to add to that by creating a catch-all category. Anyway, in terms of categories, how is it helpful to have God and Unicorns in the same category unless you are trying to be controversial/pick an argument? It's a bad idea, it will not help anybody find anything ("Hmm, where can I find a list of things which may not exist?" is not, I think, something that comes up very often), and it's name is a tad pretentious at that (again, if we're going to start talking about ontology and Being, we're going to have to include a whole lot of things in this category!). Delete!-Fastfission 02:51, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • That's insulting. How is it pretentious? I couldn't think of a better (and shorter) way to say the same thing. Dustin Asby 10:34, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • How on earth is this a useful category? Delete - David Gerard 15:38, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)