Does anybody have any experience editing Wikipedia?

I have made some Wikipedia edits in the past, mainly on Catholicism articles. I have recently run into problems because an article said that pro-lifers believe “a fetus has a right to life” and I changed it to say that pro-lifers believe “a child in the womb is a human being and has a right to live.” It appears I am now in the process of getting banned because someone changed it, and I changed it back.

Does anyone have any experience dealing with the seemingly majority of users that censor this kind of stuff?

Forget about it. I created the Co-Redemptrix article, and ever since its been used as a battle ground for debates on Mary’s role. There are a lot of crazy people out there. You just keep eating those McDonald’s burgers, Hamburglar.

For something of a non-controversial subject it is fine to go in and edit without any problems.

But when something is of a heavy subject you must go into the discussion page and suggest the change. If nobody has any objections to the change go ahead and change it.

If there is an objection than discuss why the change would make a better article or come up with a compromise which would enhance the article.

If I had to guess, your use of the word “child” was probably what set them off. I would stick to purely scientific terms. You could say, pro-lifers believe “a fetus is a living human being and therefore has the right to live.” Even saying something like, “many pro-life constituents believe that a fetus is a living human child” would be better. Keep in mind that in higher profile articles, edits are expected to come with a reason and a source!

Well, I got blocked for 24 hours. I also got condemned and harassed for making this change on the article for Crisis Pregnancy Centers:

CPCs are distinct from centers providing pregnancy options counseling, a non-directive form of counseling where secular, medically-based information about all available choices, including abortion, is provided.

to this:

CPCs are distinct from centers providing pregnancy options counseling, a non-directive form of counseling that offer information about all available choices, including abortion.

I love the idea of an encyclopedia (a resource for facts and supposed truth) would resort to some editors, of unknown expertise or knowledge, coming to a compromise on the information provided to readers.

If that’s not a great example of the idea of what passes for “Truth” in today’s society, I don’t know what is.

yes, on this website you have to “fight” to have your opinion on something edited in. I suggest you find another way of getting the correct opinion in there by expanding the language to absorb both statements. for example

“Pro-lifers believe that the Fetus is a child in the womb and being already fully human has a right to life.”

This inclusive language may help it stick better. It may seem a compromise but it will probally stick because this is very “encyclopedic” language.

I do not believe this is correct because encyclopedias do not present “truth”(that’s not the right way of dealing with them), they present somewhat factual scentific commentary on positions, people, places, birds, belief systems. They are NOT suppose to conjecture on what is or isn’t “the truth” because they are not supposed to be arguementative, they are simply supposed to present “what something is”.

They do not present “Truth”, they present “scientific commentary” on places, names, people, ideas. This is why we must extract ourselves from editing our opinions into Wikipedia, but we must also be vigliant that others do not do the same thing against our position. We must present what the position is, from a scientific study perspective.

Encyclopedias are not supposed to not take positions on what is or isn’t truth…
That is left to the relm of Religion, philosophy, art, political studies and exploratory sciences(all combined together, as in reality, none can truly live without the others). They must work off each other to find what is the truth… None can work without the others, although some people sadly believe this is so.

Encyclopedias are supposed, in such cases as put forth in this thread, present an analysis of the belief of what is Pro-life, but not assert that belief as being “Truth” over the other belief. On the other hand they must express what the belief of a “Pro-life” person really is, without being biased toward the opposing side. The langugage in the statement “a fetus has a right to life” appears to be biased, it is too short and does not explore why Pro-lifers believe that, and it is therefore also not a scientific analysis of what a “pro-life” individual believes.

Facts aren’t truth?

I personally think that anyone who uses Wikipedia as a reliable source deserves to fail but what I found hilarious is how someone in my law class would purposely change information about case law to confuse other students (who of course did not read and were using this as a last resort — another reason to deserve to fail). That way he would have an advantage with the hope the students would use the wrong information on the exam

Oh, this was also double hearsay so it is not reliable coming from me and I’m not possitive it actually occurred, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a student did do this.

Well yes and No,

Truth is a philosophical Construct that can involve the study of facts,

However fact is not of itself Truth. It can be considered a subset of Truth… but Truth is a much much wider philosophical construct. Something can apper not to be a Fact, and be Truth.

For example in the famous 1980s Australian criminal trial of Lindy Chamberlain, the infamous “Dingoes ate my Baby” murder trial(so famous they got Meryl Streep to come out and play her), what appeared to be Factual, that Lindy had killed her child, was later, perhaps by pure coincidence(which I don’t believe in, but anyway), prooven not be the Truth when a Northern Territory Park Ranger stumbled upon a torn up peice of clothing, in a dingo lair, several years after Lindy had been charged. The truth was that she had been telling the truth all the time, but the “facts” lead to a Guilty verdict.

Facts can be a part of truth, but truth is a greater concept than fact.

Encyclopedia’s do not present or debate Truth, they present facts, or at least what was considered “Factual” at the time.

Wow, that’s pretty bad! I wouldn’t be surprised that stuff like that happens.

I definitely wouldn’t use Wikipedia as a solid source for a research paper, but I think it is fairly useful for other things, like finding out which TV shows are coming back next year and which ones are getting cancelled, or finding a complete list of all the Simpsons episodes. You know, the important stuff! :wink:

Not sure where you are going with this, but since you acknowledge that facts are a subset of truth, it is logically true that they themselves are truth, even if only a part of a greater or larger truth.

Taken as such, my point was that an encyclopedia that claims to present facts about a subject should therefore contain truth (even if only in a small sense) and the idea that there would be a 'compromise' between two people in editing the facts/truth of the encyclopedia, is silly.  Its either true or not.  You can't compromise on facts. 

If you want to talk about truth in the largest sense, everything is part of one larger philosopical Truth, that is the One, the only Truth, Jesus Christ.   Therefore, to the extent that your argument suggests that anything other than Jesus Christ is less than the whole Truth, I would agree.  However, I don't think that is what you were suggesting by arguing against my idea that compromising on facts/truth is silly.  

Wikipedia’s Terms of Service specifically prohibit “editing wars” which is what you have just described. As others have stated, you must first enter into discussion.

I like this method as it at least helps to prevent some nutcase from going around and making articles say whatever they want. It’s to help preserve some kind of veracity on the site. The point about these articles is that they are supposed to remain neutral- not make any kind of judgment, simply present the facts. That is very hard to do on a contraversial subject such as abortion. There also has to be a valid reason for the change.

I have edited articles before, but none of them were controversial. It was mostly an article about a book that I run a fansite for in which a lot of semi factual or non factual information had been printed. Since it was not a controversial article I did not have to go through the steps outlined above.

It might be a good idea to go back and read their Terms of Service carefully so that you do not find yourself permanently banned.

It is not silly, it is the art of the encyclopedia. Encyclopedia’s are not designed to take sides on what is or isn’t truth in such debates. They are supposed to be extracted from the situation, to not favor either side at all. They are supposed to Document both sides without bias. If this does not occur, the encyclopedia has failed in answering the questions of “what is the Pro-life Arguement?” or “what is the Pro-choice arguement?” from an extracted study perspective.

The encyclopedia presents the facts only so far as it answers both of these questions without bias. The encyclopedia should not say “the Pro-life opinion is the truth” and it should also not say “the pro-choice opinion is the truth” either. Neither does it point out the positives and negatives of both sides of the debate(this is also taking a position on the arguement too).

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