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Ethereal being

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There have been several discussions regarding the deletion of the article Ethereal beings at Talk:Ethereal being and more recently at Talk:Ethereal beings. Several experienced editors have stated that the article should be deleted/redirected to Non-physical entity and described the article as "steaming pile of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH". Other editors, however, disagree with the redirect/deletion of the article, so I'm filing this AFD to determine what should happen with the article.

I've listed the topic at AFD because "Articles for deletion (AfD) is where Wikipedians discuss whether an article should be deleted."

There is an SPI case with a few of the editors that was inconclusive, but that should have no bearing on the topic's existence. Smallman12q (talk) 13:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Opinions on deletion or other action

  • Keep -As it stands now, Ethereal beings more completely covers the topic than Non-physical entity, though it needs some serious cleanup.Smallman12q (talk) 13:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete For the love of god please actually read through the previous discussion. I refuse to spend any more energy on this. All of the problems were highlighted and the alternatives (rewriting, moving) were discussed too. We already had a valid consensus. The only person that argued to keep this article was the creator of the article and her various socks. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 13:28, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I am certainly not a sock, and I doubt all the others against deletion it are either. Dream Focus 13:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep No case made in this AFD for deletion. There are ample references for things. Ethereal beings are not always non-physical. Throughout history people around the world have believed in various ethereal beings. Its quite encyclopedic to have an article on them. Dream Focus 13:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
This article has quite thoroughly been examined and one of the various problems brought up was that the "ample references for things" are misleading in that they do not back the information presented: [1]. Note that many of those users high-fiving one another there to try to keep the article as it is appear to be sock puppets of one another. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:05, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I noticed Smallman12q had only contacted three people about this AFD, all of which would support his views, thus violating the rules at WP:CANVAS. I went to the old talk page, and contacted everyone else as would be proper, with the exception of two editors which are now banned from Wikipedia. Dream Focus 14:06, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I contacted the participants of Talk:Ethereal_beings#Deletion: User:Bloodofox, User:Simon Burchell, and User:LuckyLouie. User:Jeraphine Gryphon was already watching. User:BluishPixie hasn't edited in 5 months, and User:He to Hecuba and User:GreenUniverse are blocked. Those I contacted originally voted to redirect/delete. Thanks for contacting everyone else.Smallman12q (talk) 14:27, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the Article Rescue Squadron's list of content for rescue consideration. Dream Focus 14:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete I don't know if anyone has actually read this article from beginning to end. I have. Looking at the dizzy grammatical construction and stream of consciousness style that's consistent throughout, I'm guessing it's an essay written by a single author unfamiliar with WP:SYNTH. There are references galore, but none that actually make the connection between "ethereal beings" and the various ghosts, elves, conspiracy theories, neuroscience, paintings, music, and poetry lavishly detailed by the author. Also there are valid concerns about overlap/duplication with existing articles, since the definition of what is an "ethereal being" is quite vague and entirely dependent on the original author's personal tastes. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I second this. This article is a serious mess. Attempting to salvage it is a total waste of time; if anything like it is going to stand, it's going to need to be rewritten from scratch with another title by someone familiar with Wikipedia policy. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:30, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete as "One Big Pile of Synthesis and Original Research". AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:20, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Keep As well said by Dream Focus. I strongly suggest to all reading the last developments in the talkpage. Excalibursword (talk) 14:36, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Also I have brought up interesting facts starting from Label section. Here are some: 1-the article is very well founded on reliable sources; 2-skilled editors assessed it as "High-importance" and "B-Class" (see WP:CON) in Mythology and Paranormal Wikiprojects, also "B-Class" in Religion, as can be seen here, and 3- Ethereal Beings is a common expression to nonphysical beings (see WP:BLUE) as can be seen in several sources, or in any regular dictionary (see this, this, and this). Excalibursword (talk) 15:09, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I note that the article was not B class but C class in all projects, and still is. IRWolfie- (talk) 21:58, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Excalibursword, can you clarify whether you have previously been involved with this article in any way under another user name? Yours appears to be a new account [2] yet your involvement seems to indicate this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:26, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
      • A new account? November 2011 is when it was started. The contributions list shows this editor was involved in this article previously. If you have any accusations just take it to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations, this not the place for it here. Dream Focus 15:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
      • As you must know, the focus here should be the article itself and not the editors, but let me understand that anyway; are you suggesting that if an editor appreciates a certain article, expands it, and he defends it, something can be wrong? Hum, I don’t think this way of thinking matches the Wikipedia´s spirit. Had I awareness of this talk, I would be here anyway as others are. But I do have contributions, for instance this. I am proud of all them, and I don’t really regard its size to be important to this discussion. Excalibursword (talk) 16:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
        • Ok, I'll ask the question again. Have you edited the article under another user name? In particular, have you edited it under the name Hour of Angels. If so, contrary to what others are saying, you should make your involvement clear, per WP:MULTIPLE. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:53, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
          • I'll second this. We need to know about potential sock puppetry here. Please answer the question, Excalibur. You seem to be dodging the question whenever it's raised.:bloodofox: (talk) 21:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I see one or another editor over here manifesting his keep along with an incompatible recommendation for blanking the article. This is weird. Dear Roodog2k and other editors, likely you should think better before believing in biased arguments aggressively spread all over manifestos here. Have you read carefully the talkpage, in particular from Label section till the end? Dear editors please protect your souls (metaphorically speaking), consider all the circumstances before reaching a final decision. Thanks all for your manifestos; A´ll say no more on this, regards. Excalibursword (talk) 15:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Excalibursword, for the third time, what are your sock puppets? :bloodofox: (talk) 16:48, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep but edit. Ethereal beings are a specific subset of Non-physical entity (a topic that's almost too vague to be meaningful), and they're found in various mythologies/philosophies around the world. The article has problems with tone but it's reasonable to have an article on non-physical beings in various mythologies and theories. The article lead indicates it's not a scientific account. It might be better to make it more of an overview and concentrate on linking to individual articles on the different figures rather than duplicating content (the long section on etymology is irrelevant and could be deleted). However none of this is grounds for deleting the entire article. --Colapeninsula (talk) 16:40, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Reliable sources don't discuss this as a specific subset of anything as far as can be seen, because such reliable sources don't appear to exist (they are as immaterial as the topic). Thus WP:GNG is not met. If the existence of this article isn't based on reliable sources then the only conclusion is that it's based on WP:OR. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:51, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep I don't agree that the article is SYNTH. With synth, you have to come to a conclusion NOT supported by a decent citation/reference. I don't see this article coming to any novel conclusions not supported by a third-party source. Thus, I also don't see any OR. What I am also sensing though, is a little WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Merging makes no sense, since the other article is only a stub, really. I have issues with the name, but I saw the discussion on that, tend to agree about what's the more likely search term. Roodog2k (talk) 17:39, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Sorry, have you checked any of these references? Done a search around for reliable sources discussing "ethereal beings"? What is an "ethereal being"? You'll have a hard time figuring this out, as the editors from the talk page simply made it up; the subjects discussed are far more complex than the simple label of "ethereal being". :bloodofox: (talk) 21:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
      • I am going under the assumption that the term was used as a catch-all for what people that believe in this sort of thing would be called on Star Trek "non-coporeal beings". If you have an issue with the term, that's more of a neologism issue. But, I took the term to mean ethereal beings, rather than Ethereal Beings, if you catch my drift. FWIW, I'm pretty open minded in these discussions, and have been known to change my mind. Remember that when you take a certain tone with people... always assume good faith. I don't have a dog in this fight. :-) Roodog2k (talk) 22:44, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I suggest that you dig deeper into the article before voting to keep it then. In addition, when you start throwing around WPDONTLIKEIT, you can expect terse responses. If you care about neutrality, synthesis and article quality here, I recommend that you reconsider your vote. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:54, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • You know, I missed that you posted this, but let me just say this, again: Assume good faith. I didn't mean to insult you. It's clear, though, that you're emotionally invested in this AfD, which is why I said what I said. I am not your enemy. I could be your friend. Roodog2k (talk) 17:06, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm not "emotionally invested" in an article for deletion. Please don't assume that, nor anything else personal about me. I have, however, been around here for a long while now; several years. I regularly rewrite articles from scratch. Over time I've increasingly gotten straight to the point in my editing. Now and then someone will take this facet for what it isn't. I'm all for more friends on Wikipedia, sure, but objectively judge the article on the grounds of its merits, and you'll find that it violates a variety of core policies throughout. It therefore cannot be saved. It is potential that an article about ethereal beings in theosophy (or perhaps specific to individuals involved in theosophy) could spring up in its place, but it would need to be produced from scratch. As a result, this article needs to be deleted and redirected. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:22, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I apologize for saying you were emotionally invested. Also, I grant that you've been around nearly as long as I have. Now, you're trying to build concensus on this. No matter how right you are, it's not just what you say, but how you say it. You have to have some political savvy. For instance, a few hours ago, I said I would reconsider my vote and you thanked me. Then, you snipe at me to reconsider my vote, which I already said I would. You may have an easier time getting people to see this your way if you're a little more, er, subtle in your approach. Roodog2k (talk) 17:43, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete/Merge After reconsideration I agree with bloodofox. I would like to see some of these paintings make it into the relevant articles though. I don't think a clear category of "Ethereal beings" is valid in 21st century usage ("æther" is discredited or disused in favor of words like spiritual). I would strongly request that the good material such as the choice of paintings be preserved and merged. Obotlig interrogate 07:15, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep but Scrutinize. This article is a valid topic, although the use of "Ethereal" is questionable (like using preternatural instead of supernatural). But if we used the more widely accepted term "Spiritual beings" that would include deities etc., and if we just used "Spirits" well, that's also broad. Some of the content of this article does seem like a book written by someone who is not impartial to the topic but there seem to be enough citations and enough work invested in this to justify it. I don't support deleting a whole article simply because there are some questions about the title or content - if the topic is valid even if difficult to label well. Obotlig interrogate 19:03, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Obotlig, this article is unsalvageable in its current state and simply requires a rewrite. It's a patchwork of WP:SYNTH and well below our standards here. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep as per Obotlig. It could use a thorough review but there's enough referencing present to support it as a topic. The article certainly has its problems but that's no reason to completely delete it. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:34, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    • These references are misused, as demonstrated on the talk page. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Hmm. It doesn't look good, does it? I think it could still stand as a topic, but would need a thorough rewrite. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Then why are you voting to keep this steaming pile? If it gets deleted, a new one could be written as necessary. This is standing in the way from any further progress. Further, Obotlig changed his vote. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:59, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Corporations are non-physical entities. But they are certainly not ethereal.--Milowenthasspoken 20:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Cone on, Milowent. We all know that corporations are people too. ;) :bloodofox: (talk) 19:02, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Merge individual chunks into relevant recipient articles and redirect what won't relocate (divide and conquer). I don't see any advantage in denying the ability to browse old versions through deletion. There is good detail within, it's just classified inappropriately at the current time. K2709 (talk) 20:43, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong delete! A steaming pile of WP:SYNTH and WP:OR of the first degree. This article is beyond bad and cannot be salvaged in its current state. Just about everything that could possibly be wrong with it—from failed reference verification to pure synth—is on display here. The references do not discuss any category known as "ethereal being"; they simply talk about the subjects pulled into the category, most of which are entirely and wholly inappropriate for such a made-up category to begin with! There should be zero tolerance for this sort of nonsense; we're trying to build a trustworthy encyclopedia here, not present to the world some anonymous individual's poorly-researched personal essay. Further, there may well also be some sock puppetry going on here with some of the anti-deletion/anti-redirect users involved on the ethereal beings talk page; see the previous talk page where some extremely suspicious activity was going on. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:09, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok I see your point on this. This article is like a very flighty children's book on supernatural creatures, rather than dealing with clear mytholgies and folklore as discrete topics. Tying them together for this article is pretty WP:SYNTH. Also his user seems fixated on an anti-deleletionist agenda which detracts from what merits it might have. I think we had raised the same issue with the Female spirits in germanic paganism article I had started and similar arguments may apply there. Thanks for upholding quality on these articles, as you often do. In a more constructive light, I think this editor could easily start a wiki or some other etext with similar content to this article, and looser standards than Wikipedia on POV and incluson, and develop something many people would enjoy. This is an encyclopedia though.Obotlig interrogate 07:15, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • You know, bloodfox, WP:NOTESSAY actually sort of makes sense. I'll have to take another look at the article and reevaluate. Again, I don't see the WP:SYNTH, since there is no conclusion drawn, but calling it an essay gives me pause. Roodog2k (talk) 13:09, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for hearing me out, gentlemen. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:50, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete as loaded with original research. The separate concepts are notable, but the combination is based on the opinion of editors. Perhaps a merge with / redirect to some other related article might make the most sense, if a suitable target could be found. I would support non physical entity if other editors thought that made sense. Shooterwalker (talk) 22:40, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep -- a great overview of the topic, helpful and full of references. May be further improved as per WP:WIP. -- Nazar (talk) 07:30, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Merge to Spirit as the primary term for this. This thing is a blatant content fork and probably needs to be reduced to a list within the main article. But the things being talked about here are most anciently referred to as "spirits". Non-physical entity ought to be a redirect to "spirit" as well. Mangoe (talk) 12:51, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Redirect to Spirit - these terms are synonyms. SteveBaker (talk) 13:40, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
No they are not. Interestingly I was just talking about the actual synomyms on the articles talk page. Spirit is not a synomym as several types of being discussed in the sources are not spirits (This inlcudes elementals and "Human Artificials" as dicussed in Leadbeater (1900). ) Spiritual being again is not synomynous as from a mainstream religious perspective it would include multi-dimensional beings like regular humans, who are clearly not purely ethereal. FeydHuxtable (talk) 13:55, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Outside of the obscure world of theosophy (he's referring to Charles Webster Leadbeater), such a being is indeed commonly known as a spirit. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:50, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Keep An excellent, well researched overview article on this notable topic. Ive read the invective strewn delete rationales and Im afraid they're a mix of outright falsehoods at worst, imprecise thinking at best. For example, contrary to a claim above, the article does include sources that address the whole topic as a classification. Leadbeater (1900) devotes about a third of his book to talking about the various types of ethereal beings. He divides them into three "great" sub-classes , and talks about dozens of different sorts of beings. As another example, non physical / material entity would be overly broad as per editor Colapeninsula. Such an article would arguably include things like AIs, as well as various types of legal entities. If the less polite delete / merge voters want to slag off the work of superior editors, theres plenty of internet forums available where they can rant as much as they like. This is an encyclopaedia. FeydHuxtable (talk) 13:55, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
    • +1. When I saw this AfD debate, knowing the deplorable bias about certain topics of some very "rational" Wikipedians here, I was thinking about making a personal copy of this excellent article to save it just in case. Hope it won't be necessary. -- Nazar (talk) 14:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, a "deplorable bias" towards "superior editors"? Seriously? Right now this is probably one of the worst articles on Wikipedia. Why? It's a blend of WP:OR, WP:SYNTH, and WP:NOTESSAY; references are miscited throughout, it's horribly written, and the subject matter, as employed, is essentially invented. We can have an expressly theosophically oriented article, but it must be explicitly labeled as such, and this first one must bet orally scrapped due to the reasons thoroughly documented on the previous talk page. That means such-and-such said this or such-and-such said this, according-to-this, etc. and not a patchwork of a bunch of disparate elements from a number of cultures in references that would wisely make no mention of "ethereal beings". As it stands, this article is nothing more than an example of how not to write an article on Wikipedia. Once this mess is gone, you're welcome to write Ethereal being (theosophy). :bloodofox: (talk) 14:45, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep - it's somewhat poorly organized and written, but there are sufficient reliable sources to pass WP:GNG easily. Wikipedia does teset the truth of its articles - we only care about verifiability and notability. Many people used to, and some still believe, in this concept. I'd re-word the lead and clean up the quotes, but otherwise, it's not abad article. I don't see the angst over this one. Bearian (talk) 17:35, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Don't be impressed by the simple fact that the blue notes are there; please go through the references and see how many you find that mention "ethereal beings". I'm assuming you haven't checked any of the references you've here said to be "sufficient". Others have. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:23, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the list of Religion-related deletion discussions. • Gene93k (talk) 18:34, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the list of Paranormal-related deletion discussions. • Gene93k (talk) 18:35, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Merge per Obotlig. Take the good, merge with appropriate articles. After reading comments, it does read as a personal essay, though I wouldn't go as far to say that it's SYNTH or OR. Not sure how I feel about merging with Non-physical entity, since that subject includes mathematical concepts as well. That category may be too broad. WP:NUKEANDPAVE may be appropriate. Roodog2k (talk) 18:45, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Roodog, I have considered your comments and I have two things to say. First, I would like to propose that you and I form a team of good cop-bad cop editors. With our combined friendly-angry approach and long experience we would be unstoppable! Second, let me ask you this; what is there to salvage and merge? I think a redirect may be the only option here. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:59, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Heh, that's funny, although I wouldn't go as far to call you a 'bad cop.' I hope I didn't imply you were doing something bad. I don't know what's worth keeping, since this is 180-degrees away from my education and career as a scientist. But here are some examples: The section on Mesoamerica could be merged with Aztec mythology, since it appears that that section only concerns itself with the Aztecs and no other Mesoamerican culture. As I'm looking now, some content from the 'Eastern' section could be merged with Devas. It's a bits and pieces thing, I think. Looks like a lot of work. Roodog2k (talk) 19:19, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • In particular I think the selection of paintings and illustrations is good. As to the written content, the Spirit article is lacking in a number of ways, but I don't know that much of the material from here would be suitable. Obotlig interrogate 19:22, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Roodog, we'd have to check there references before importing the text over and get rid of the 'ethereal being' business that may be in the text, but I don't see why chunks of it couldn't inspire expansion elsewhere. Obotlig, we can certainly use the illustrations elsewhere; they're here locally on Commons, so there's no problem with that. I love Rackham's stuff. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep, but massively, massively clean up. This article is arguably on a notable topic, but is indeed a whole mess of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH and is about 20 times longer than it needs to be. We probably should have an article on this topic, but this one is going to have to be rewritten from scratch. Robofish (talk) 23:43, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • So what you're saying here is actually "delete and rewrite"? If so, why did you vote "keep"? :bloodofox: (talk) 09:35, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I think at this point we could take the consensus as meaning to boldly go where no person has gone before on this article, remove the nonsense, eliminate the overlap with other articles, and perhaps make sure all the related articles have a uniform coverage and quality (and are cross-linked correctly). There's nothing saying that if somehow this article is not deleted here we can't end up with a disambig page or redirect by consensus. Obotlig interrogate 06:56, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I think that consensus is pretty clear at this point that the article needs to be scraped, agreed. :bloodofox: (talk) 09:35, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Can anyone provide a source that actually describes the general concept of 'ethereal beings' in the terms that this article/essay does? Given the vagueness of the term, it seems impossible to determine what is or isn't an 'ethereal being' in the first place, without resorting to synthesis, and/or guesswork. If the subject matter for an article can't be defined, we shouldn't have an article on it... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:12, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    • A 'bright line' distinction between an ethereal being and a spirit would be nice too. There don't seem to be any strong, WP:RS distinctions that would lead me to believe that they are neither synonyms nor overlap a hell of a lot. SteveBaker (talk) 20:08, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I see no sign of independent reliable sources that cover the topic. Where are the reliable independent sources that cover the synthesis of the seemingly disparate sections into the article that help it meet (WP:GNG)? On the etymology section; why does the etymology section appear to give the etymology of both words separately; does no source refer to them connected together (WP:SYN again)? IRWolfie- (talk) 21:29, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I asked specific questions and I want specific answers. I don't want to be presented a wall of text on all your views in a link. I don't see the answers to my questions there either. So no, it is not "done". IRWolfie- (talk) 21:55, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
You can respond most easily by now listing 4 or 5 independent and reliable sources that discuss Ethereal Beings in detail. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:03, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. Clearly a notable and encyclopedic topic and suitable for a summary article and historical survey. Current article would benefit from some pruning, but AfD is not cleanup. WP:SYNTH does not apply because the article is not advancing or advocating a position. Gandalf61 (talk) 08:28, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
It is not clearly notable; where is the significant coverage in reliable independent sources that discuss "Ethereal beings". Demonstrate notability. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:16, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but you are confusing topic and title. The topic of ghosts, angels, spirits, sprites, poltergeists, jinns, immaterial presences, call them what you will, obviously has plenty of sources and so is clearly a notable topic. There may be a case to be made for giving this article a better/clearer/more common title, but is not a good argument for deletion. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I never suggested I am looking for a dictionary definition; the synthesis of ghosts, angels, spirits, sprites, poltergeists, jinns, aliens and immaterial presences into a single grouping needs to be shown to be notable. Showing that each is individually notable doesn't mean the arbitrary combination is notable. Here is an example from Physics: Nuclear Physics is notable, Optics is notable, but "Nuclear Physics and Optics" is not notable as a topic. What paranormal creatures get covered in the article is currently decided by editors based on some arbitrary criteria, not sources; it's indiscriminate. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:29, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
That's precisely the problem I see with it. Historically the ethereal would be considered synonymous with the world of spirits. I can see incorporating a list of particular kinds of spirits in the latter article, but a present this is content fork being used claim a much larger range of extraordinary/mythical/fictional beings. OK, come up with a source that claims the same list, and we can talk. I would prefer the merge, and a lot of pruning, but I could support outright deletion as an alternative. Mangoe (talk) 13:31, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Here we have an editor who glanced at the article, didn't consider any of the arguments about deleting it, and then plunked down a "keep" vote before moving on. This isn't how these votes work. This article is indeed a work of synthesis, as the references employed absolutely do not back its position. There are no "ethereal beings" as described or discussed here. :bloodofox: (talk) 09:35, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear. I suggest you assume good faith and stop pretending to have inside knowledge of my actions and motivations. I see nowhere in the article where it advances a position on the reality of the beings it describes - it simply reports what sources say, which is the correct stance for a Wikipedia article. The fundamental requirement for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, and not truth (and notability then establishes a threshold for inclusion). Whether these beings exist, or whether you or I believe that they exist, is completely irrelevant to this AfD. Gandalf61 (talk) 10:06, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
That's just it. The sources do not say this! I'm sure you wrote this all in good faith, but the sources tacked on do not talk about "ethereal beings". Had you checked the conversation here, you would see that this a major problem, and exactly why this is a big mess of synthesis. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:25, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete - unsalvageable WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. ukexpat (talk) 17:03, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete - obvious synthesis and original research, lumping together things which are only vaguely similar to each other but which derive from totally different worldviews and mindsets. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:40, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete. There is no indication from a random sampling of the sources I checked that this collection of synthesis of disparate entities as a group of "ethereal beings" has notability. Yobol (talk) 17:53, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. AfD isn't the place to fix "synth" issues. "Ethereal being" picks up lots of hits in literature ([3]) - it's a genuine English term for a class of things, notable enough to be worth having an article on. Is "ethereal" the same as "non-physical", "being" the same as "entity"? Answer that and you'll have a Ph.D. thesis in some field that guarantees not to get you a job. For now, I say leave the editors on each article to sort out their own, unless and until one group agrees to merge into the other. The article is interesting, beautifully illustrated (discovering that painting of Nereid by Draper was by itself enough to make it worth reading ;) ), and ... yeah, it has enough issues (most probably unresolvable even in theory) to keep a thousand monkeys hurling typewriters at each other for decades. Fortunately, not our problem. Wnt (talk) 18:22, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Okay, so you're saying that the article needs to be scrapped, but we should keep it because it's "not our problem"? AfD is certainly a place to delete unsalvageable material, which this article most certainly is. The "ethereal beings" you're picking up are either simply synonyms for spirit (meaning that this article should be deleted and redirected) or specifically referring to beliefs in theosophy, meaning that a new article specifically about the theosophic concept needs to be written. And yet we shouldn't delete this article because it's "not our problem"? :bloodofox: (talk) 18:47, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
And the article contains a section on theosophy. AfD isn't for telling the people editing the article how many sentences or paragraphs to cut out of the text. It's for concealing the history of articles that are completely unsalvageable. Your statement that an article on ethereal beings in theosophy needs to be written should count as a Keep vote. Wnt (talk) 19:34, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Needs to be written from scratch, because the current article is unuseable. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:14, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
By the way, has anyone identified a piece of article that could be salvageable as a new Ethereral beings article, or that isn't already covered by other articles? --Enric Naval (talk) 20:17, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
You hit the nail on the head. There seems to be nothing salvageable here; the only option is deleting the material. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:46, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
You should be aware that a number of people believe in such beings.Smallman12q (talk) 20:39, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Uneducated people without a solid grasp of science believe a lot of stupid things. Fringe refers to experts, not to laymen and we shouldn't have articles about subjects that are unencyclopedic and ridiculous simply because a majority of a population believe in them. SÆdontalk 20:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Belief or non-belief have little to do with whether a subject is encyclopedic or not. I don't believe in Kukulkan or Tohil or Awilix but have written articles that are clearly encyclopedic. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Note that I don't think he suggested it was unencyclopedic because it was fringe. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:44, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete needs to be rewritten from scratch. Unsalvageable. I tried to read to the first section Ethereal_beings#Etymology. It's just a quote farm of every instance of "ether" in old primary sources, apparently selected only by editor's personal preference. I love how a 1730 source is supporting a statement about usage in the 19th century. In section #Castaneda he uses one paragraph saurced to Castaned to make a huge list of mythological beings, again with no source saying that they all belong to the same category. A pure dump of information with no analysis. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:43, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Rename or merge or merge and rename I would probably suggest a merge with non-physical entity, perhaps renaming to non-physical being. Suggest rename to Immaterial being, and possible merge afterwards with non-physical entity. But there's just a little problem with that"non-physical entity": The word "physical" simply means "real." If its not "physical" in some way, its not real. So if we are to suppose these "ethereal beings" are real, we can't presuppose that they are non-physical. So for example, those of us who believe God exists regard him not as non-physical (because we regard him as real) but we regard him as non-material - without a material body. Hence "non-material" or "immaterial" is the proper term to use here. Hence the merge would be to Immaterial being. A lot of the problem with this article IMHO is just the title and the lack of sources for this title in the lede intro. Regards, -Stevertigo (t | c) 22:03, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
In a certain sense, it doesn't have to be real to be real.Smallman12q (talk) 22:34, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem isn't just the name, but the very concept itself is not dealt with by reliable sources. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:54, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Bloodoffox wrote: "Obotlig, this article is unsalvageable in its current state and simply requires a rewrite. It's a patchwork of WP:SYNTH and well below our standards here." - Is Bfox contradicting himself here? On the one hand, he says its "unsalvageable" and on the other says it "simply requires a rewrite." Regarding the article as "unsalvageable" is akin to suggesting it be PRODed, while stating it needs a "rewrite" is akin to voting "keep" and reworking the article. Is there a problem with simply pruning the article of superfluous content, and renaming it if necessary? -Stevertigo (t | c) 02:03, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • No, there no possibility of "pruning the article of superfluous content". As has been pointed out here time after time by the vast majority of commentators who have done any digging into this article, this article has deep synthesis issues at its core. This means it simply needs to be scrapped. Parts about the theosophy business could potentially be rewritten and spun off to another article, but it would not incorporate any of the material here whatsoever due to the issues present. The same goes for anything else. This is why it's entirely unsalvageable; the article is about a made-up topic and is a personal essay deep in the WP:SYNTH red. There is nothing to keep here. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:21, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I disagree with your deletionist view. We save what can be saved. We don't simply "scrap" something and make it unnecessarily difficult to start over. I can understand that there are SYNTH issues, but to suggest that the concept of Immaterial beings is entirely made up is simply false. -Stevertigo (t | c) 04:18, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Please, do tell what may be saved! And I'll let you know when I declare myself a "deletionist". Now, again, misappropriation of sources here is rampant; several of us have gone through this article and found essentially every red flag possible. Every source imported over would need to be checked. The writing itself is atrocious and would need to be rewritten before being imported elsewhere. Further, it would need to be deboned from the "ethereal being" synthesis, a concept slapped on to a wide variety of disparate, culturally-specific beings that often certainly do not fit this category. Then you're going to have to ask yourself why it's not over at spirit, which anything that could be described as an "ethereal being" in a non-theosophic context would appropriately fall under. So, again, exactly what do you want to save? Take a step back—you're arguing to keep this festering heap from being rightly flushed. :bloodofox: (talk) 07:07, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree the article has issues, and since you have some insight into those issues, I would hope that you stick around and make some suggestions about how to improve it. I think its clear that there is no consensus for a delete, hence you may as well make yourself useful in doing something constructive rather than destructive. The important point is that, regardless of the article's flaws, there is a real concept that belongs at or near the title "ethereal being." BTW "spirit" is a term used in a few different ways - in its main usage it refers to a kind of immaterial substance, such that immaterial beings may be composed of "spirit." Its lesser usage would be to refer to the immaterial being themself in a colloquial way - ie. "a spirit." -Stevertigo (t | c) 08:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • There's actually a very clear consensus for the deletion of this article, which grows clearer and clearer as the vote progresses. As of today's we've just got three more votes on top of the previous majority of fourteen, and then there's the merge and redirect comments on top of that which talk about deletion. When something cannot be salvaged it needs to be deleted. So I'll ask you again; what can be salvaged? And are you willing to generate all that new content from it? Further, "a spirit" is by no means colloquial. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:37, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete The article is clearly a synthesis of disparate topics into a single article. It seems there are no sources which discuss things like "Ethereal beings" (and before anyone asks, I don't care about the precise title, that is completely irrelevant, I mean the concept) and it is just pure WP:OR to group them together. I would agree completely with the reasoning of OrangeMikey about the OR and SYNTH as demonstrated by the Etymology section as pointed out by Enric Naval. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:34, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment This recent revert reminded me of my experiences with this article last year. I tried to remove that bizarre Etymology section once before and was immediately reverted. Other editors attempting to trim chunks of questionable material were reverted as well, and told that consensus-gathering wasn't finished yet. Tags for OR/SYNTH and RS concerns were promptly removed [4] [5] [6] and dismissed as "inaccurate". There's a reason the article looks the same today as it did when the original author(s) wrote it in Feb. 2011. Good luck to anyone attempting to make substantial changes to it, you will in all likelihood meet "the gang" ;) - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:53, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I note that the entrenched editors doing the reverting there all have just a couple hundred edits to their credit - absolute newbies who should have been corrected. -Stevertigo (t | c) 18:29, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Stevertigo, did you not click this link labeled above as "the gang"? :bloodofox: (talk) 18:49, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
And before anybody complains, the word "gang" was not meant to suggest criminals or thugs. It's an American expression used when introducing someone to a group. - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:56, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete none of the sources seem to be about the topic "ethereal being" but rather about different kinds of metaphysical systems in which there is a possibility of non-material existence. Since apparently the article can only be written by synthesizing sources on other topics the topic of the article therefore seems to be inherently OR and not suitable for an encyclopedia article. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:12, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete Upon re-reading the article, I've changed my mind. This is someone's essay and synthesis. I especially have a problem with using Carlos Castaneda and Alice Bailey as authorities. It has no place in an encyclopedia. Mangoe (talk) 17:01, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete, or at best WP:BLOWITUP. Massive OR and SYNTH problems, and the references seem to give just basic information about the individual subjects, but don't support their categorization as "etherial beings", much less throwing things from such wildly diverse religious and philosophical systems into that category. Basically, what Orangemike and Enric Naval said. Ergative rlt (talk) 18:00, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete. I think Maunus and Ergative rlt are putting it well, among others. Fut.Perf. 20:33, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete per WP:NOTESSAY and WP:COATRACK. Having actually read the article and checked through the sources, I found nothing by pure and unadulterated OR and SYNTH written without the support of any reliable sources whatsoever about a haphazard selection of "ethereal beings" of the creators' own definition and selection. No evidence based on reliable sources that the material presented here is noteworthy or encyclopedic. Frankly, the OR problems are so deep that there is nothing in the article that can be salvaged. The sources used are either toally unreliable, or are totally misused and abused without regard to WP:V, WP:NPOV, WP:NOR and just about every other policy and guideline we have. I won't even go into the writing and article organizaton beyond saying that it's just plain gawd-awful: there's really no point in trying to "improve" what's here, nor anything of value that can be merged or used to rewite anothr article. Consign it to oblivion whence it came, and flush twice lest it slither back up. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 09:00, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete (first choice). Or redirect to something. Calling this a "wp:synthesis" gives it way too much credit. It is more of an incoherent mishmash. Cardamon (talk) 09:35, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Consensus?

IR Wolfie wrote: Vote count speculation is contrary to WP:NOTVOTE and only serves to mislead.
  • Count: At this point, there appear to be 29 votes, 2 of which were recanted, 1 of which was struck out (user blocked). Of those remaining 26 votes, 14 appear to support keep, typically with a stipulation of "cleanup", "fix", "rewrite" or "merge." There appear to have been 11 delete votes, but at least one "delete" vote also stipulated "merge." Please feel free to check these numbers and post them here. -Stevertigo (t | c) 02:10, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I am getting a very different count here. Here's my count of votes with "keep", "delete" or "merge" or "redirect" bolded:
  • Keep: 11 —where are you getting 14? Frankly, any user who voted "keep" here with the reasoning that they believe that the article is well referenced should not be counted here; they obviously haven't bothered to dig into it. With that restriction in place, it reduces these votes down to a couple at most. To make these "keep" votes even more confusing, some of them flatly say that the article content needs to be deleted, but vote "keep" anyway.
  • Delete and/or Merge, which should be considered as in the same category as both of which would require the destruction of this article:
  • Delete: 11
  • Redirect or merge: 5
In other words, there is a strong consensus that this article needs to go. Given the policy violations, it simply needs to be nuked. If someone wants to come by and create an article about ethereal beings explicitly about theosophy, then let them, but there's nothing that can be salvaged here, unfortunately. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:42, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Bloodofox wrote: "Delete and/or Merge, which should be considered as in the same category as both of which would require the destruction of this article" - I can see how you might want to make the distinction between "keep" and "merge" such as to tally "merge" separately, but I don't see how anyone can sensibly argue that a "merge" vote is equivalent or in any way similar to a "delete" vote. In other words, there is strong consensus that this article needs to be kept in some form, either as itself, or as a merge. -Stevertigo (t | c) 04:11, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Bloodofox wrote: Frankly, any user who voted "keep" here with the reasoning that they believe that the article is well referenced should not be counted here; they obviously haven't bothered to dig into it. - Remember to WP:AGF. People who voted keep clearly outnumber delete votes, and they do so because they agree that the article is a notable subject, even if its improperly titled, and even if it needs heavy editing to bring it up to standard. -Stevertigo (t | c) 04:15, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
"Keep" and "merge" were made distinct by the voters. Please do not conflate the two. "Delete" and "merge" have a commonality, which I commented on. I assumed good faith with some of the voters who claimed that the article was "well sourced", but they are simply incorrect. Your comment does not hold up in the light of those specific votes. Further, there's nothing to "clean up" here that would work with policy; the references are ridiculously abused. The vast majority of votes have made it clear that the article must be deleted in its current form and redirected or deleted. The question is this; simply redirect or outright delete? :bloodofox: (talk) 04:55, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah yes, the usual problem when counting AfD !votes - is a merge/redirect really a closet keep or a closet delete. Of course, the closing admin should/will be judging the quality of arguments, not just counting !votes. But FWIW this looks like a rock solid "no consensus" to me. Gandalf61 (talk) 08:06, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
No consensus is a closet keep vote, as you are clearly aware. IRWolfie- (talk) 08:47, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Wow, yet another editor claiming to be able to read my mind. This AfD is just full of telepaths. For the record "No consensus" is not a !vote at all, it is one of the possible outcomes of the AfD, and it simply means that the closing admin gives the article the benefit of the doubt if there is no clear consensus for deletion or other action. It also often means we will be back here again in a few months time. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:15, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

It's not a vote count, vote counts are completely irrelevant (WP:NOTVOTE). This side discussion appears purely aimed at muddying the water. IRWolfie- (talk) 08:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

I suppose if one were judging the quality of arguments, this one would have to be considered on its own merits. - LuckyLouie (talk) 19:37, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Title

  • Title I don't see a clear consensus for an action right now. All the proposed titles have problems ("immaterial" just as "non-physical" implies not literally existing). I would propose a title being "Spirit beings" or "Spirit creatures" but not including deities in there is difficult to justify. The biggest question is: is there a widely agreed upon title and topic of "Ethereal beings"?
    • Ethereal : "1a : of or relating to the regions beyond the earth b : celestial, heavenly c : unworldly, spiritual 2a : lacking material substance : immaterial, intangible" [7]
    • Immaterial : "1 : not consisting of matter : incorporeal" [8]
    • Incorporeal : "1 : not corporeal : having no material body or form" [9]
    • Intangible : "not tangible : impalpable <education's intangible benefits>" [10]
    • Tangible : "1 a : capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch : palpable b : substantially real : material 2 : capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind <her grief was tangible>" [11]
    • Spirit : "2 : a supernatural being or essence: as a capitalized : holy spirit b : soul 2a c : an often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible; specifically : ghost 2 d : a malevolent being that enters and possesses a human being" [12]
    • Material : "3 a : being of a physical or worldly nature b : relating to or concerned with physical rather than spiritual or intellectual things <material progress>" [13]
    • Supernatural : "1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil 2 a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature b : attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)" [14]
    • Æther : "2 a also ae·ther : a medium that in the wave theory of light permeates all space and transmits transverse waves b : airwaves" [15]
  • All those labels have problems, and that creates a fundamental problem for this cover-all article, whereas any of its individual topics (about particular varieties of "ethereal beings") do have a clear agreed upon usage, regardless of the general credibility of the fields where they are used. I like this article personally, but I'm not sure it can logically exist like this, within the policies of Wikipedia. There does not seem to be a strong consensus so perhaps we should move on to some detailed plans for what to do. I would hope that the editors who have contributed the most to this article would be interested in distributing the work here to other articles. I think the most fundamental problem with label this article is whether "material" vs. "ethereal" vs. "spiritual" is taken to mean natural vs. supernatural or matter vs. energy, and other such semantic distinctions, which, since they are not resolved by general usage or societal consensus in our language, prevent any appropriate neutral label for this topic as a whole. Æthereal beings would not be supernatural, they would be Energy beings (electromagnetic). Spiritual often implies something different, existing even less than that. Since these are matters of opinion, conjecture, religion, etc., they need to be clearly categorized and labeled as such. Obotlig interrogate 03:53, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • The solution is to simply delete the article. Most of what is talked about here can be or is simply handled at spirit or at articles specific to the topic. There's nothing salvageable here and thus nothing to merge. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:57, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
We've heard your deletion mantra before - there's no point in you repeating it. There does not appear to be sufficient support for a delete, nor for a keep without some major changes, hence its now time for us to find some kind of compromise like a merge and|or rename of some kind. If you want to call a merge a victory for the delete side, that's your business, but its obvious that the article is not simply going in the trash. what matters now is that we save what we can. -Stevertigo (t | c) 08:15, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "Does not appear to be sufficient support for a delete"? Weren't you keeping track of votes earlier? Three more "delete" votes were added to a "delete" majority this morning, and that's without counting the "redirect" or "merge" votes! And you keep talking about saving material, yet you're well aware of the deep synthesis issues and rampant source abuse here. So what is there to save? If you want to try to salvage anything from it, you'll simply be generating new content as you'll find the references aren't appropriate. And if you're not aware of the issue, someone else will be when they call you out on it. Are you willing to generate all that new content? If so, that's your business, and you can do so outside of this vote. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:41, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
The title is completely irrelevant to this AfD. This only serves to distract and sideline the AfD. This sort of discussion is done on an article talk page. IRWolfie- (talk) 08:41, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:41, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Looking at the !voting pattern - it's clear that nearly everyone feels that some kind of drastic action needs to be taken here. The "delete", "merge", "rename" and "keep - but make into an overview article" votes all boil down to the same thing - a serious reorganization of this entire topic is needed. That's great - but AfD isn't the right forum for that. On the other hand, for this consensus to simply declare that we don't have consensus to delete or to merge is to ignore the clear result that something major needs to be done in this entire area of Wikipedia. If we simply declare "No consensus to delete or merge" - then that's to ignore the wishes of almost 100% of respondents.
I think it's very clear that we mostly agree that Spirits, ghosts, ethereals, imaginary beings of all kinds are poorly categorized on Wikipedia - and neither this article nor Non-physical entity does a good job of delineating the types of entity and providing bright-line distinctions between them.
That question in turn raises the issue of how at least two other articles (Spirit and Non-physical entity) overlap in content with each other and with this article.
IMHO, what is needed is a summary-style article that covers all of the kinds of "beings" that are "not a part of mainstream biology". Ghosts, fairies, gods, spirits, ethereals, the whole lot. From that should derive articles about more-or-less non-overlapping subsets of these entities. I'd say that "gods" (because they are worshipped by believers) and "ghosts" (what remains of a person on earth after they die) are easy enough to peel off - and there are already reasonably good articles covering those topics. For the rest, it's much harder to draw broad categories around them. Sure, there are authors (mostly from long in the past) who have attempted these kinds of categorization - and Ethereal beings uses some of those as sources - but is there a solid consensus amongst those authors as to what these categories are? I think not. More importantly can we come up with reliably-sourced, encyclopedic bright-line definitions for them (like we have definitions for words like "Mammal" or "Planet") that would allow us to separate these entities cleanly into articles. Right now, I don't see anything like that to say whether a particular class of imaginary being should be a Spirit or an Ethereal being. That's a bad thing because a reader who is interested in a particular kind of fuzzy, imaginary, supernatural 'thing' has no idea which article to read in order to get the information they require. So having two completely separate articles makes no sense whatever - even if both articles were notable, reliably sourced, NPOV, NOR, beautifully written and illustrated...(which they aren't).
This is a tricky subject because, like most pseudo-sciences, the taxonomy of things that are just a part of human imagination with no empirical measurement of what they are is an impossible task because everyone imagines things differently and every primary-source author on the subject was free to say whatever the hell they wanted about it - so no two are in complete agreement. This is a problem we have with pseudoscience throughout Wikipedia. I'm currently embroiled in such debates everywhere from Homeopathy to Indigo children - where authors are free to roam free with their imaginations - so you cannot pin down the subject with encyclopedic precision.
So - what should we do?
My feeling (and what I !voted to do only after long, hard, thought) is to require a merge with Spirit in order to force the authors of those two articles to come together to write a decent summary-style article which will subsequently divide the territory into manageable articles with clearly described, more-or-less non-overlapping, subjects.
SteveBaker (talk) 12:43, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
First, when you consider merging, you're ignoring that the material here cannot be saved. WP:SYNTH is rampant in it; the sources do not discuss "ethereal beings". Further, many of these beings were not considered "ethereal beings" in the cultures that the concepts sprang from. In addition, they simply cannot be defined as "non-physical entities"; deities are deities, specific figures are simply specific figures. If there's an etymological relation that's one thing, if there's a regional relation that's another, but some sort of fuzzy category like "non-physical entity" or "ethereal being" for, example, an elf, is completely and totally inappropriate. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:49, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

"divide the territory" is quite contrary to merging ;) SteveBaker was discussing similar matters with me in the Indigo Children article, and what I noticed there was that his final aim seems to be the elimination of any diversity and variety of information as well as of multiple views on the subject, narrowing it down to the simple linear definitions, and, since in the field of simple "scientific" and "rationalistic" definitions the views of skeptics and debunkers on that class of subjects seem most prominent and well manageable, they eventually become the essence and dominating content of the resulting article. The rest is simply happily chopped off by people who despise the very ideas in question, because in their view it's either "contradictory", or "lacks precise definitions", or "is not of sufficient weight".

My general view is that for that class of subjects (i.e. spirituality, beliefs, mystics related) the best Wikipedia can do is provide a platform for collecting and organizing to some degree the available information. And that is what the Ethereal beings article does very good. For example, I'm a reader generally interested in the issue. I really don't need the article to narrow the topic down to the strict delineation of "what is what" in terms of conventional logic. I know full well (like any reader with some experience in that area) that such delineation doesn't make any sense for this area. It only cripples the concepts, which are by definition not compatible with ordinary logic and are beyond it. Moreover, such delineation is basically a rather ugly example of WP:OR. So, just like in a library catalogue rubricator, we should faithfully compile and bring together related information as best we can. Further inter-linking and cross-references may be added for convenience (between Spirit, Non-physical entity, etc.) Respect and value what has been gathered. Keep. -- Nazar (talk) 17:01, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

You've already voted above. And have you no concern for reference use? Wikipedia is not just a place to dump information with some random reference attached that doesn't back it. On Wikipedia, we may not indulge in original research and material absolutely must be referenced to reliable sources or it may be deleted by anyone for any reason (WP:PROVEIT). You appear to have a vision of a very different Wikipedia than what policy allows. Perhaps you should consider getting involved in a non-Wikimedia blog out there that covers the sort of thing you're interested in. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:49, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
The only real concern with keeping the article is the issue of entrenched editors who reject major changes and cuts to the article. If the article is kept under a more NPOV title, as I suggest, I will personally deal with these editors, taking them to DR if need be. -Stevertigo (t | c) 18:07, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps "the only real concern" for you, Stevertigo. The numerous delete votes above cite major WP:SYNTH and WP:NOTESSAY issues; this is the argument for deletion. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:25, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

"You've already voted above." -- but this is not a vote. I've expressed other views and reasoning (different from what I said above) to back up the keep position. Therefore, I've designated it.

"You appear to have a vision of a very different Wikipedia" -- well, that does not prevent me from expressing my vision and participating in Wiki-discussions, within the framework allowed by the policies currently in force. Those who have a vision are generally encouraged to go to those darkest places where their vision can make a difference, and make it heard there ;) -- Nazar (talk) 18:59, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Bloodofox has a point, in that the article is a poor mixture of New Age-y elements, even if its essential premise is valid. I think Bloodoffox has stated before that the premise itself is valid, but he tied this validity to theosophy - an extremely narrow context which IMHO doesn't even begin to make sense as a foundation. Anyway the idea of immaterial beings is quite valid, but its somewhat corrupted by the "ethereal" title and all of the New Age handwaving that follows. Still, I remain of the thinking that the article should be salvaged somehow, by carefully pruning all of the sources - all 259 of them. On the surface it seems rather improper that an article with so many sources should be on the chopping block, but that's the issue with deletionism - its always an easy and lazy thing to delete than it is to edit and do actual work. Its true that there is some entrenched editing at the article - editors with only 200 edits to their name making reverts smells of course like sock puppetry - but that's what dispute resolution is for, not AFD. Still again no reason to delete. The SYNTH criticism is valid, but once we knock the entrenched editors aside and start cleaning up, its still again no reason to delete. -Stevertigo (t | c) 22:04, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
It's an inherent synthesis to create this non-notable topic, it can't be dealt with because the sources don't exist: this is the longest AfD I've seen where people have been unable to produce a single source. As Jimbo Wales (name dropping) noted on this particular article [16]: "This is a classic type of article that I have seen many times in the past, in which someone has a new idea to lump together a bunch of related things under a new name, and tries to justify the existence of the article by noting all the valid references to the underlying related things". If you break the synthesis in the article, there is in fact no article because the topic isn't discussed in reliable independent sources; it's not notable. Sometimes things just aren't notable and the sources just don't exist to make an article that isn't a synthesis and OR, no matter how much you think deletionism is the easy way out. I will also point out that it's also easy to vote keep and make no effort to improve the article. Perhaps you'd like the article userfied to your userspace post-AfD so you can fix it? IRWolfie- (talk) 22:19, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
The idea of God is "not notable?" The idea of angels is "not notable?" Your bias appears to be against the very idea of such an article, rather than against its actual content. It seems as if the criticism of SYNTH is just a disguise for a criticism of the actual topic: vote "delete" if you don't think there is such a thing as an 'immaterial being.' Its interesting that you quote most of Jimbo's comment, except the part where he actually recuses himself "I will steer clear of this one." -Stevertigo (t | c) 23:52, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
The fundamental problem is that it is not possible to come up with a neutral and sourced article title (hence topic) to cover all of these ideas. They are being lumped together on their individual merits under a title that is far from universally agreed upon. "Ethereal" is not how most sources would refer to these concepts. Most of these belong in the "Spirit" article which should have links to the main articles for each type of "being". As to the title being irrelevant to whether to delete this article or not, that could not be farther from the truth. If there is no valid title for the article it must be deleted (and merged if anyone wants). Obotlig interrogate 00:22, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

""Ethereal" is not how most sources would refer to these concepts" - this is not an area of settled terminology and standards. "Etherial" is used widely enough, and it's substantially different from "spirit" in its spectrum of meanings (although some ideas do overlap). However, different authors may use a variety of other names to designate related phenomena. The solution is keep, improve structure and cross-reference. If you want something general to refer to different articles and names, this could be some kind of summarizing list with short overview of how the meanings of names and their usage overlap in different backgrounds, cultures and works of certain authors. -- Nazar (talk) 08:31, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Articles for deletion/Ethereal beings, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Cardamon Search for "Articles for deletion/Ethereal beings" on Google
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