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This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 16, 2005.
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May 28, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
June 22, 2005Featured article candidatePromoted
June 29, 2010Featured article reviewKept
Current status: Featured article

Australian Wikipedians
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BRD cycleEdit

According to the BRD cycle,

Cycle. To avoid bogging down in discussion, when you have a better understanding of the reverter's concerns, you may attempt a new edit that reasonably addresses some aspect of those concerns. You can try this even if the discussion has not reached an explicit conclusion.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexkyoung (talkcontribs) 15:37, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

While most editors try to follow most of WP:BRD, in practice if you continue to make edits to an article after your first edits have been opposed your actions will be more likely seen as edit-warring and there is a good chance you will end up blocked. See WP:EDITCONSENSUS. --AussieLegend () 17:37, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Just to add, edit warring in a high profile featured article like this one is taken particularly seriously, especially when there's also a clear consensus in a talk page discussion that the material should not be included. Wikilawyering about this make it that much worse again. Nick-D (talk) 09:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I've responded to your revised proposal above. Let the cycle (not) continue. —Pelagic (talk) 01:11, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

RfC dated 23 June 2019 - Should religion be removed from the infobox?Edit

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Executive summary: We find that there is no consensus regarding the removal of the religion parameter from the infobox. Per Wikipedia:Consensus#No consensus, In discussions of proposals to add, modify or remove material in articles, a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit. We thus find that the status quo, where the infobox includes the religion parameter, should be maintained, since it has been part of the stable version of the article for over a year.

This was a complicated RfC, and parts of the discussion got sidetracked with debates about the removal of the infobox itself, or potential alternatives to the religion parameter, such as labeling it as `secular`. However, this RfC is being evaluated with respect to users points about the question at hand, and their application of relevant policies and guidelines. Due to its size and level of discussion, a committee of three users closed the RfC together.

Generally, there was consensus that the census numbers can be treated as reliable. The biggest point of contention, however, was about the lack of nuance in an infobox statistic. While some users argued that the inclusion of the religion parameter in the infoboxes of other countries suggests a pattern that supports its inclusion here, other editors correctly pointed out that "other stuff exists". Begoon's methodical analysis of the issue, and how nuanced religion is particularly in Australia, which was noted by other editors as the reason for their desire to remove the religion parameter, is quite convincing.

In sum, we can find no consensus regarding whether the religion parameter should be removed, and thus conclude that the status quo, where it is included, should be maintained.


Should religion be removed from the infobox? --AussieLegend () 20:33, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

  • No - As stated above by another editor,[1] religion is a significant statistic about a country so deserves to be mentioned in the lede and in the infobox, which serves as a bullet point type addition to the lede. MOS:LEDE says, "The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the article's topic. It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." Religion is generally included in infoboxes. See for example United States (GA), United Kingdom and Canada, all prominent English speaking countries, which include religion in the infobox, as do many other country articles. I'm not sure of the actual percentage but I have seen elswhere that 90% of readers don't go beyond the lede/infobox so removing it essentially hides the information from our readers or, at the very least, makes them have to search through the article for the information. There is no real reason to remove it in any case. --AussieLegend () 20:32, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
  • yep cygnis insignis 20:41, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
  • As it stands currently, yes but a qualified yes only. I think they are a very important demographic statistic (one of the main three which will appear in any demographics section in world articles alongside language and ancestry/ethnicity, however all other prominent English speaking countries have both religion and ancestry/ethnicity in the infobox, so to be consistent if religion is there ancestry should be too in which case it would be a no - ie if we are going to include demographic statistics we could be more consistent about it - these would both have to be collapsible (as I believe religion is now) though because in order to include sufficient detail and not be misleading they would be include 8-15 items each and require collapsing not to be unwieldy.--StormcrowMithrandir (talk) 23:31, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    The tune is familiar, can you whistle a few more bars :| cygnis insignis 07:45, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes. First, let's clear up a couple of things: the existence of a field in an infobox's code in no way mandates, or even suggests, its use on every article using the infobox. More importantly, the usage or non-usage of that field in other articles has no real bearing or influence on whether or not it should be included here. I might argue against inclusion at the other articles - I might not - that's immaterial because here we decide what is best for this article.

    A lot is made in the two comments before mine of how "important" religious statistics are, yet the article itself says: "Australia has one of the lowest levels of religious adherence in the world". indicating that this "importance" is perhaps not shared by the subjects of this article. In any event, nobody is suggesting that the information is removed, just that it is better conveyed by explanatory prose in the article, rather than a survey result in an infobox without any nuance. A brief glance at an infobox containing roughly 50% "Christianity" does the complex subject no justice. It's rightly mentioned that a high proportion of readers might "go away" after finding that statistic, in which case we have served them badly, or even misled them into believing that it is a clear-cut issue and that is all they need to know about it.

    Above this section the argument was made that "This is an FA so we need a fairly strong consensus, maybe even an RfC" to somehow suggest that we mustn't remove religion from the infobox - however, as I pointed out there, at the time this article was last reviewed for FA, religion was not in the infobox - suggesting that, actually, it should only have been added by very strong subsequent consensus or RFC, which I don't really see anywhere. Anyway, my position is that religion in Australia is too nuanced to be adequately conveyed by the infobox and is better discussed in the article body. I don't believe we are "forced" by either the alleged "importance", or by what some other articles may or may not do, and that it is best removed from the infobox here.

    I could, I suppose, at a pinch, concede one alternative: I'm not personally convinced that anyone actually looking for details on religion in Australia would fail to find its section, but if there is a true concern shared by many here that a reader might go away "without finding" what they are looking for because they "expect it to be" in the infobox and don't look anywhere else, then place a simple link to the section there. I don't advocate this, but it remains as an option if purely "finding" the information is a true concern. Personally I consider the risk of the reader "going away" after seeing a bare, unexplained, undiscussed survey result and thinking that is all they "need to know" about religion in Australia to be greater.

    In any case, I favour removal of the percentage 'survey' figures from the infobox in favour of more detailed and nuanced treatment in the body. -- Begoon 00:28, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Yes. As per Begoon's very well considered comments above. Nickm57 (talk) 01:01, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove – Per Australia § Religion, "Australia has no state religion". While it is appropriate to discuss the demographics in the article, it does not belong in the infobox. Mitch Ames (talk) 01:17, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No. This is important, basic population information, which is why it's on the census in the first place. I can't see any valid reason for not having it there.Mark Marathon (talk) 01:22, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    Here's a sample of what's "on the census in the first place": Religion is there in that list, it's the third note under "People & Communities". I do think, though, we'd have a rather large, unwieldy and potentially unusable infobox if we took "inclusion in the census" as a criterion guaranteeing inclusion in the infobox, based on what's listed there. Again, nobody is arguing for exclusion of information, merely removal of the bare, unexplained percentage 'survey' figures from the infobox in favour of the more detailed and nuanced treatment in the body. -- Begoon 01:45, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
MarkMarathon, you are being a little rude in saying "I can't see any valid reason for not having it there". Several others have given reasons. You may disagree with their significance, but to call them invalid is unhelpful. And I shall expand on my reason to help you. The figures are misleading and inaccurate. We should not include misleading, inaccurate information in an Infobox. Fine in the text, if you want, where we can elaborate on issues such as it being a non-compulsory question, and parents presuming for their children. HiLo48 (talk) 03:00, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
This is important, ... which is why it's on the census... — It's not that important - it's the only question (other than Q60, permission to archive for 99 years) that is optional: 2016 sample census Mitch Ames (talk) 05:11, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • 'Yes as per Begoons detailed analysis, Also the article states Australia has no state religion and so therefore it's rather pointless and unhelpful to have in the infobox. –Davey2010Talk 21:12, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Replace with National religion; for countries that have no official national religion, indicate "none"; for countries that have one, indicate what it is. bd2412 T 21:55, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    No, because this, still, is incomplete, and suffers from the issue mentioned above that a high proportion of readers might "go away" after finding that bare statement, in which case we have served them badly, or even misled them into believing that it is a clear-cut issue and that is all they need to know about it. -- Begoon 22:41, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, the religion should be removed from the infobox for the reasons discussed above. Simple percentages from an optional question in the Census are open to broad interpretation and could be misleading. Jack N. Stock (talk) 22:22, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep this is basic information about demographics that would be included in all reputable encyclopedias. It's certainly a thing that needs to be in the infobox and allows for a quick comparison to the demographics of other countries (e.g. Canada, Nigeria, France, India, etc...). Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:48, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    "this is basic information about demographics that would be included in all reputable encyclopedias." - then thank goodness nobody has suggested it should be excluded. -- Begoon 00:02, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • That's literally what the RFC is about. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:05, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    I think you should read it again - the RFC is about presentation of information, not its inclusion or exclusion. It is suggested that the bare, unexplained percentage 'survey' figures be removed from the infobox in favour of the more detailed and nuanced treatment in the body. There are several detailed arguments as to why this better and more informatively presents the data to a reader, but none that I can see arguing for its exclusion from the article. The question could possibly have been better worded, but that, in itself, is probably a good example of why detailed content is often preferable to a brief, nuance-free bullet-point. -- Begoon 00:20, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Summaries are important. And they are just as important in the case of Australia than it is in the case of Canada or Sudan or Russia or Bhutan or Brazil. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:06, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep The precise numbers are not important, but the relative significance is. The top three numbers are 52, 30, 2.6. Australia would look very different if these proportions were in a different order or were different religions, so this provides valuable information in the infobox. --Scott Davis Talk 00:59, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
How is it significant and valuable, in what way would Australia "look different" if the numbers were? What sources confirm the weight attributed to this factoid? cygnis insignis 05:39, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
The more people stress the "importance" and "significance" of this data the more convinced I become that including a bare, undiscussed, unexplained 'survey' result in the infobox is a real disservice to the reader. As has been pointed out, many readers may see this and "go away" deciding that is "all they need to know" about religion in Australia, never seeing the more nuanced explanation in the relevant section. If it's that important, surely we should do what we can to ensure that we convey a full, nuanced picture, rather than just a snippet which is open to all kinds of misinterpretation, such as those mentioned above with regards to the question being optional, with assumptions made for minors etc... Remember that nothing in this proposal suggests removing any information from the article, merely adjusting our presentation so that readers are more likely to find details of this "important" and "significant" topic and not just an incomplete 'snippet' or 'soundbyte' -- Begoon 06:08, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
The counter argument is "makes them have to search through the article for the information", I suppose when two men at the bar are about to come to blows we are doing a disservice in making them learn something instead. cygnis insignis 06:44, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not personally convinced that readers coming to the article to read or find out about religion in Australia will be unable to find it, or even find it difficult, if it's not in the infobox - the table of contents is fairly prominent. However, in case there was a major, real concern among commenters here that that would be the case, I did touch on a possible solution to that in the fourth paragraph of my "Yes" comment above. I'm not convinced that should be necessary, but it's there to consider if there is substantial, genuine concern along those lines. -- Begoon 06:58, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Every well-developed article about countries has religious demographics in the infobox. Why should Australia be the exception? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 07:22, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't know whether "Every well-developed article about countries has religious demographics in the infobox." or not - I haven't checked all of them (and I don't need to). I'll spare you the "otherstuff" link but, as I said above, what's in other articles has no real bearing or influence on whether or not it should be included here. Nobody is arguing for an 'exception' because there isn't any 'rule' to be 'excepted' from. I might argue against inclusion at the other articles - I might not - that's immaterial because here we decide what is best for this article. We did find out while talking about this that the featured article reviewers didn't note omission here as a problem, though, and they are quite big on "standards" and "consistency" I think... My arguments for leaving the bare survey results out of the infobox are all above, with those of others, so I won't repeat them again. Cheers. -- Begoon 07:32, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes - The data is crap, because it's an optional question. No-one in their right mind could claim that all those who tick a particular religion are actually believers in that faith's god. All Australians know of other Australians who describe themselves as "cultural Christians", or "lapsed Catholics", or similar. We have no idea how such people answered the question. Because it's only the Infobox, there is no way we can explain these problems with the data. As for other articles on countries having the item, I don't really care. Chances are the same problems exist there. Every time I see a claim in Wikipedia about numbers of believers in a faith, anywhere, my eyes glaze over, and I skip that bit. It's a disaster area for Wikipedia. And don't try to tell me about "reliable sources, etc. We must always assess the quality of sources. If they cannot possibly deliver accurate, meaningful data, they are not reliable. HiLo48 (talk) 07:51, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Nobody cares what they actually believe in. I mean it is not for us to do an original research about this. We have an official census data and they have identified themselves as Christians, that's it. If we have another data that states different statistics we can put it in [note] next to the current official reliable census data. I think readers would want to see that information in the infobox.--SharabSalam (talk) 08:08, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
My point is that, despite being official census data, it's meaningless. Readers don't want meaningless data in the Infobox. (I'm a read, and I certainly don't.) And you know a lot of the respondents haven't just identified themselves as Christian. They have identified newborn babies as Christians, and that's simply wrong. Of what practical use is the data? HiLo48 (talk) 08:14, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
The ABS doesn't think it's meaningless. As I've said above, The data is compiled by the ABS, the authoritative source for collection of Australian statistics, it's sourced from everyone in Australia at one time and it's an offence to not complete your Census form accurately. It's the most accurate data that you're ever going to get whether you like it or not. --AussieLegend () 08:22, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
"it's an offence to not complete your Census form accurately" How exactly does that work for an optional question? I'm genuinely asking. It's ok to refuse to answer, but it's an offence to say you're a Buddhist if you're not - or to tick the "no religion" box if you actually have a belief? Religion is a choice, so surely I could choose to say I believe in any religion I like just for the time it takes me to tick the box? I'm not asking this just to be difficult - I'm genuinely confused as to how this "offence" could be assessed or enforced for the particular question at issue here. -- Begoon 08:30, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Not really the forum for it, but almost everything on the census is a choice. I choose my sex, I choose how I go to work, I choose my charity involvement and so forth. It would be much harder to prove to a court that I drove my car to work on census day than to prove that I am an atheist. The latter is a matter of pubic record, the latter has no records. Ditto for my sex, my hobbies and so forth. Nonetheless it's an offence to answer any census question incorrectly. The chances of ever getting charged for answering a question incorrectly are neglible. You would need to loudly and publicly declare that you had done so, or encourage others to do so, to ever be charged. And that is exactly what these laws are likely meant to prevent. By making the act illegal, you also make it illegal to encourage others to do perform he act. Nonetheless this is the best information on the subject available. It's not our place as editors to decide that it is "crap".Mark Marathon (talk) 09:11, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
AussieLegend, what DOES the data mean? (And please stop copying and pasting your own replies.) HiLo48 (talk) 08:53, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
It means that that is the religion that the people in Australia identified as. Just as the ancestry question means that that is the ancestry they identified as, and the occupation question means that that is the occupation they identified as and so forth. People may be lying on any of those questions just as easily as on the religion question. It's all about self-identification. Nonetheless this is the best, most reliable data available on Australian population statistics. If we want to declare that all census data is crap, then we can begin that discussion. But your idea that the religion data alone is crap is the worst sort of argument from ignorance and special pleading.Mark Marathon (talk)
How exactly does that work for an optional question? - That part was aimed more at HiLo48's claims about the quality of the data, more specifically that it's meaningless. It doesn't matter that the questional is optional. For the 90.3% of people who have answered the question it's required that their answer is correct.
it's an offence to say you're a Buddhist if you're not - or to tick the "no religion" box if you actually have a belief? - That's pretty much the case, but it applies to every question.
I'm genuinely confused as to how this "offence" could be assessed or enforced for the particular question at issue here. - Like everything else on the census it would be hard to enforce it but results of the entire census are based on the assumption that people are generally honest in their answers. The ABS does periodically verify census results from random households.
please stop copying and pasting your own replies. - Don't act as if that's something that I've done more than once. If you bother to look at the edit history you'll see that I answered your sill statement in the section above.[2] I then realised you'd made a similar claim here to which the response was almost equally valid and there was no point completely rewriting the response. --AussieLegend () 11:11, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
When you say "It means that that is the religion that the people in Australia identified as", you have highlighted a fundamental problem. When they write an occupation for their children, they will not write the same as for for themselves. They will write "student", or whatever. They will probably tell the truth. But on religion, they write what they are, and it's a lie. This makes the data meaningless. HiLo48 (talk) 02:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not (necessarily) a lie (a deliberate untruth). Most Christians practise infant baptism, by which the child is deemed - by the parents and the Church - to become a member of that Church/religion. It's no different to parents (who've immigrated from elsewhere) applying for citizenship on behalf of their infant child. Just because the child is not old enough to make a decision doesn't mean that parents' decision is not accepted by the Church/religion/community. The child may later choose to reject the religion, but until they do, they are deemed - by the religious community and the Bureau of Statistics - to be a member of that religion. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:56, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Nah. The question on the census does not ask about whether someone is baptised or not. Many people who were baptised near birth, such as me, would have written "No religion". This isn't about baptism. And that's the problem. Figures in an Infobox are not explained. They can't be. That's the point. If they need explanation, they don't belong in the Infobox. HiLo48 (talk) 07:43, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
How you answered the question about yourself is irrelevant to the issue of whether a parent lies when answering on behalf of of someone else (their child). While it's true that the census question is not about baptism, my point stands. A baptised child - of whom there are likely to be a significant number - is considered by the parents and the Church community to be a Christian. You, I and Richard Dawkins may consider the parents delusional, but they are not lying. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:47, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Stop accusing me of things I have never said. At no point did I call anyone delusional. You are becoming abusive, and misrepresenting me, and that never helps. Obviously the point about how I answer the question IS relevant. It highlights that being baptised has no clear relationship to how one answers the question. And obviously I am not alone. Baptism is a red herring, and again, simply highlights that the meaning of the data is unclear. HiLo48 (talk) 10:40, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
I retract any implication that you said or thought anyone was delusional. I maintain my original assertion that parents of baptised infants or young children are not lying when they answer for the child and declare the child to be Christian. Those parents' truthfulness, or otherwise, is independent of how you answered the question for yourself. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:01, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── HiLo48, your argument is nonsense, if someone says support the Melbourne Football Club, they are a supporter. They don’t have to be a member, they don’t need to own a red and blue scarf, they don’t need to go to games, they don’t even need to watch the games on tv or listen on the radio, they may just like to hear that Melbourne are winning (as uncommon as that is). If someone says they are Catholic they don’t need to eat fish on Fridays or attend a church weekly to be such. The ABS data is some of the best in the world. Cavalryman V31 (talk) 07:13, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Not nonsense at all. To start with, you have ignored my point about children. And there are two distinct levels of supporting. As well as what you describe, one can choose to be a Melbourne Football Club member. Now, those people can be counted, quite accurately. Religion is very different from that. HiLo48 (talk) 07:38, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No. Keep the rough statistic. Similar arguments might be made against the census in other countries, but they are still good for rough approximations. Let those who are deeply interested read the article to learn about the special complexity of the question for Australians. Jzsj (talk) 09:22, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Please see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. And if we do have a "special complexity" that cannot be expressed in an Infobox, we must not include it. HiLo48 (talk) 02:32, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No, religion says something about the history of a country, about its culture, international and national politics, beliefs and practices. I'd argue religion is that essential, that if you were to remove it you might just as well remove the entire infobox.--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 13:49, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Absolute nonsense. Everything else is more meaningful. HiLo48 (talk) 02:32, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Says who? Do you really think date format is more important? Cavalryman V31 (talk) 07:13, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Sorry. I don't know what you mean. HiLo48 (talk) 07:45, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Then I suggest you actually look at the infobox that is the subject of this RfC. Cavalryman V31 (talk) 08:58, 25 June 2019 (UTC).
  • No, retain in the infobox, it gives the reader a good initial snapshot of beliefs of the country. Cavalryman V31 (talk) 18:38, 24 June 2019 (UTC).
No it doesn't. It's full of lies about all the children in Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 02:32, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
So who do you believe does speak for all the children in Australia? Cavalryman V31 (talk) 07:13, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Nobody. HiLo48 (talk) 07:46, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
That is not an optional question on belief, it's The Wiggles. cygnis insignis 07:31, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Remove in all country article as with ethnic groups and languages....really no need to have this data in most cases 3 times (we normally have prose and a chart) need for a 3rd less accessible version.--Moxy 🍁 02:54, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
  • yes remove Australia is a secular state and people are free to practice any religion within the confines of Australian law[3] as per section 116 of the constitution therefore the inclusion in the info is misleading.. the infor should actually just say secular state and the demographics deal nuances. Gnangarra 11:43, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
@Gnangarra: "Australia is secular state, and therefore we shouldn't include data about religious identity in the infobox" is such an obvious and bizarre non sequitur. How on earth does the second clause logically follow the initial observation? France is a secular state, so is India—why should that make it inappropriate to list religious demographics? Bizarre. Endymion.12 (talk) 12:41, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, remove per Gnangarra. This field suggests Australia has established religions or similar, when it doesn't. It also suggests that Australia is divided by religion, when there's lots of data which shows that most religious Australians are tolerant of other faiths and religion is generally not a major issue in Australian public life. Nick-D (talk) 11:46, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No I have seen most of the arguments here that support removing the religion section in the infobox but I don't find them convencing, I'm sorry. The census data from Australian government is reliable and we should trust it. The argument that newborn babies religion is chosen by their parents is not a reason for removing the section. If we have reliable sources that explicitly state that the Australian census data about religion includes newborn babies who their parents choose their religion we can add it as a note in the section. That's a better solution than removing the section from the infobox. In my opinion the removal is the worst solution.
Moxy says that we should remove the religion section from all infoboxes of countries. Yea, that might be a good proposal but this RfC here isn't going to establish that. We can ask for this in template_talk:infobox country. However, I still think the religion section in the infobox is useful and benefits the reader. Again if there is a sourced controversy about the religion census data in Australia we can mention it in the infobox.--SharabSalam (talk) 12:11, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
"if there is a sourced controversy about the religion census data in Australia we can mention it in the infobox" How exactly do you propose we do that without making the entry in the infobox huge and unwieldy? I did mention above, and I'll repeat here, that if there is a true concern shared by many here that a reader might go away "without finding" what they are looking for because they "expect it to be" in the infobox and don't look anywhere else, then we could place a simple link to the Religion section there. I don't advocate this, but it remains as an option if purely "finding" the information is a true concern. Personally I consider the risk of the reader "going away" after seeing a bare, unexplained, undiscussed survey result and thinking that is all they "need to know" about religion in Australia to be greater. -- Begoon 12:25, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
... reliable sources that explicitly state that the Australian census data about religion includes newborn babies who their parents choose their religion — The ABS says

... rates of having no religion are highest for babies, but drop substantially for children aged 5 to 14. It is quite likely that children under 15 do not answer the question on religion for themselves, so these rates may reflect their parents' views.

The second sentence says that parents are probably answering for their children, but the first sentence (and the remainder of that section of the page) suggests that at least some religious parents are not declaring that the child's religion is the same as their own. This is not definite enough to count as a non-OR RS, but it is interesting, given previous comments about parents choosing their children's religion. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:09, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
How exactly do you propose we do that without making the entry in the infobox huge and unwieldy? Notes, like the one that is in the infobox now and the notes we have for the the anthem, language and time zones. It's not rocket science. Note though, SharabSalam said "sourced" controversy. At the moment the only controversy is HiLo48's opinions and that doesn't constitute a source. --AussieLegend () 16:38, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
@Begoon: ...the risk of the reader "going away" after seeing a bare, unexplained, undiscussed survey result and thinking that is all they "need to know" about religion in Australia to be greater. I am having trouble imagining questions that I would think are satisfied by the infobox but really aren't. If I'm looking for details about religion, the infobox is not going to satisfy me, and it does not tell me details about anything else either. It's a quick overview in a standardised format of some key facts. If you have an issue with it displaying that 52.1% of Australians professed to be Christians in 2016, then raise a proposal that quantities in infoboxes should be to one significant figure (50%, i.e. about half) instead of three significant figures. The way certain politicians carry on about being taken over by Islam, the infobox stats either now or rounded to 1SF clearly would show that 50% Christian, 30% irreligious, 10% not stated, 3% Islam, 2% Buddhist, 2% Hindu show it has not happened, and one would need details of trend to see if it is happening (but it clearly has a long way to go). If the state infoboxes also had religion, it would be easy to see if there was sgnificant regional variation from the norm (e.g. Indonesia 87.2% Islam, 9.9% Christianity compared to West Papua (province) 53.77% Protestant, 38.4% Islam and 7.03% Catholic). --Scott Davis Talk 04:23, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
"If you have an issue with it displaying that 52.1% of Australians professed to be Christians in 2016..." I certainly do, and if you had been paying attention you would know what it is. It is simply not true to say that 52.1% of Australians professed to be Christians in 2016. Chances are that nobody under the age of ten "professed" to be anything. Someone else did the professing for them. If the number is the conclusion you drew from the raw numbers, it's wrong. Thank you for highlighting why it shouldn't be in the Infobox. HiLo48 (talk) 08:40, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
@HiLo48: The question is about "religion", not "faith". If the kid goes to church every Sunday, it is religious, whatever reason it had for going ("Mum wouldn't let me stay at home alone"). Australia being over 50% Christian and less than 3% Muslim means that on average, the country is quite different than Iran (Islam) or North Korea (no religion). It may also be different to the USA (73% Christian, 21% Unaffiliated and only 0.8% Muslim. If you want to argue that people under 14 are by definition irreligious, then you could argue for the age profile to be added to the infobox for the main article instead of finding that 17.75% of the population was aged 0-14 years in the text of a subsidiary page. I don't think the proportion of children would change the relative proportions of the religions by that much, which is what I expect to find from the infobox. --Scott Davis Talk 11:23, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Yet again, the response I get involves considerable "interpretation", or maybe prespctive - religion vs faith, etc. You also suggest adding some clarification - adding the age profile. No. That's not what the Infobox is about. It should provide simple, accurate information at a glance, and for religion, it cannot. HiLo48 (talk) 11:30, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
The uncomplicated, no-interpretation version is to include the census figures to the sourced level of precision (3 significant figures) and cite it with no interpretation. It was you that brought up the idea that children might not have filled in their own forms honestly. Most of the alleged "complications" are attempts to find a compromise that you would accept. --Scott Davis Talk 12:26, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Scott, I get the distinct impression you are mocking my comments, while also misrepresenting them. Completely unhelpful. When people disagreeing with me go down a path like that, I know I have made points they cannot refute logically and politely. Newborn babies simply do not fill in their own forms. Parents do it for them. And we cannot know what they write for their children's religion, but we can guess that in most cases it will be what the parents are. Whatever, it creates imprecise data. And any proposed "complication" is firstly, acknowledgment that I have a point, and secondly, a demonstration that it doesn't belong in an Infobox because it needs further explanation. HiLo48 (talk) 08:16, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Virtually everything in an infobox needs further explanation. Ask most people what Gini is and they'll probably ask you if she was in the Harry Potter movies. --AussieLegend () 13:28, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
OK. I'll come clean. I've thought for some time that most Infoboxes should be abolished entirely, and you've just helped to reinforce that view. HiLo48 (talk) 10:21, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Arguably misuse of a primary source. The debate on how a compromised version can be displayed in the infobox is not the question, that is "Should religion be removed from the infobox?", and is a perpetual hazard of the use of infoboxes: Inclusion is resolved by debate, not by the processes encyclopedic presentation of facts using sources and sentences. cygnis insignis 16:28, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
It looks like WP:PRIMARY specifically allows for us to report the uninterpreted results from the census, but that we have to have reliable secondary sources to interpret it such as determining whether children can have a religion, or exactly who filled in the forms. If you desperately require a secondary source to say that a bit over half of the Australian population self-identify as Christian, then perhaps The Guardian article on the results will satisfy you? If you use the same reference for a sentence elsewhere in the article that the proportion has declined from 88.2% in 1966, then anyone who clicked on the footnote marker will also see that the same reference is used elsewhere in the article and if they are interested enough, can easily click to see where. --Scott Davis Talk 03:58, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @SharabSalam: how more definitive can Section 116 of the Australian Constitution be, the infobox should have Secular with it linked directly to the appropriate section. Gnangarra 11:02, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    • OK, who's going to bring up the Magna Carta? I assume that's next. --AussieLegend () 11:45, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Re Australia is a secular state if this is the issue, then have |state_religion=Secular or something. Or get infobox country to display "Religious makeup/composition" instead of simply "Religion". Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:30, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Secularity is not a religion. Mitch Ames (talk) 00:24, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
My view is that a high proportion of Australians are actually Apatheists, and while I don't expect that to appear in the Infobox, maybe something else from the article should be there, the fact that "only 8.8% of Australians attended church on a weekly basis". HiLo48 (talk) 08:21, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
How is it that I did not know that term, it is a subject I'm very interested in. cygnis insignis 08:41, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes. A great word, isn't it? And naturally, we have an article on it. We should make more use of it. HiLo48 (talk) 09:38, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree that many Australians are apatheists. They check "Christian" or "Catholic" on the census, but they don't own a Bible, only go to church if they are invited to a wedding, and may not believe there is a Creator. Jack N. Stock (talk) 15:42, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep, agree with Headbombs comment just above Atlantic306 (talk) 21:30, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No I think this demographic statistic is germane. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:44, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
You're kidding, surely. Up above we have probably a dozen different interpretations of the data, and as many different suggestions on how to remove the obvious possible confusion for the reader. HiLo48 (talk) 10:19, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment So there was an RFC about religion in country infoboxes. Consensus determined the religion parameter is only to be included in this infobox [if and only if] that nation's government has an official, definite state religion. (It's from 2015, but as far as I know it hasn't been superseded.) Colin M (talk) 04:44, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
This looks like the winner. HiLo48 (talk) 05:20, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Not really. The quote above is 24 words cherry-picked from a 500 word closing summary. --AussieLegend () 05:39, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
"Cherry-picked" makes the (rather uncharitable) implication that I'm coming at this with an agenda. I am not. I haven't !voted, because I'm personally undecided at this point. I chose those words because I thought they were the ones most relevant to this question. I could have also quoted the closer's first two sentences: Consensus in this request for comment has determined several things. Firstly, there is overwhelming agreement that the religion parameter is not to be used in {{infobox country}} if the only reasonable value for that parameter is "none", "atheist," "none official," "secular state," or variations thereof. Which basically communicates the same thing, but less pithily. If you have an interpretation of those 500 words such that they're consistent with keeping the religion parameter, I'd be genuinely interested in hearing it. Colin M (talk) 06:29, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
It is not clear for me what was the proposal of that RfC. Was it about the religion of the state itself? e.g "Yemen"="Muslim country", or is it about the demographic statistical data about the religion in the society of the State/Nation. It presents the argument of that if the individual religion in BLP article is atheist or none religious we should not give any value to the religion parameter, that makes me feel that the proposal was to remove the religion of the state itself if the state is secular/atheist or whatever. I always thought that the parameter |religion= in the infobox country is about the religion of the people of the state not about the state religion. The participants in that RfC seem to have interpreted the proposal in different ways.--SharabSalam (talk) 07:52, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry if "cherry-picked" was taken the wrong way. It was used to point out that 24 words from the middle of a complex 500-word summary had been chosen. You really need to read the whole summary and the RfC along with the associated discussions to work out what was actually going on. Even then, it's as clear as mud as SharabSalam has indicated. --AussieLegend () 08:49, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
@AussieLegend: there is no right way to interpret an assertion of cherry-picking, at wikipedia (WP:Cherry picking) or anywhere else, be aware that it is an insulting thing to suggest. cygnis insignis 13:33, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
In my understanding, the question of the RfC was what should the value of the 'religion' parameter be for nations with no official religion. Pinging @Guy Macon and Ceradon: as nominator and closer, respectively, in case they want to chime in (though the latter seems to be inactive). Colin M (talk) 17:00, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
Just to let you know we have two other parameters under the religion parameter. These parameters suggest that the information there is about the demographic data not about the state religion.
|religion_year = <!--Year of religion data (if provided)-->
|religion_ref = <!--(for any ref/s to associate with religion data)-->
The words "data" and "year" make it feel that the parameter is about the demographic data not the state religion.
In some countries infobox the religion parameter value is the state religion and not the demographic data such as Yemen. I think the right thing to do is to make it clear what should the value of the religion parameter in template:infobox country be.--SharabSalam (talk) 23:36, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No. It is taking up very little space. It can be "hidden" or "shown". When "shown", it contains useful information. Bus stop (talk) 01:04, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
How useful is it? Really? Up above you will see a discussion with a multitude of different interpretations of what it means. How useful is that? HiLo48 (talk) 01:50, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
It means that people identify with a particular religion, or in the case of 9.7% of respondents, do not identify with any religion at all. We do not assume that religion controls such a person's life, but only that an identity is stated when asked a probing question on the subject. Bus stop (talk) 04:29, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Probing? Nah. But perhaps you've highlighted a core problem with the data. It is raw data, from a primary source. It is survey results in response to a question on the census form, so we need tell readers what the question actually was, and that it was optional. HiLo48 (talk) 06:54, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
You write that "Philosophically, it's nonsensical to claim that a new born baby has a religion." Why? Why can't a newborn baby have a religion? Aren't you investing the word "religion" with more significance than is warranted? Bus stop (talk) 11:54, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps, but the word is used as a heading in the Infobox (if we choose to include it). If people can't agree about what the word means, what is the point of putting raw data under such a heading in an Infobox? HiLo48 (talk) 22:48, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
It should be fairly obvious to a reader that a list of five religions with percentages is demographic data not state-mandated religions. Our readers are intelligent too. --Scott Davis Talk 23:07, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to be a response to what I wrote. HiLo48 (talk) 23:49, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
it was a response to what you wrote if people can't agree about what the word means was about whether the heading refers to state religion or population demographics. It missed if you meant that our readers don't know what religion is because the heading might refer to somethign else on Religion (disambiguation). --Scott Davis Talk 02:09, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove stats on religious adherence and simply state Australia's official position on religion (secular). - HappyWaldo (talk) 03:55, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
"Australia's official position on religion"? Who cares what Australia's official position on religion might be? I mean, that is of interest, but the whole country's official position on the one hand and individual religious identities on the other, are two different things, aren't they? And "adherence" is not even what we are discussing. It wouldn't matter an iota if every person professing a "religion" entertained serious doubts about the basis for that religion's core beliefs. We are passing along to readers' a population's stated religious identity—including an almost 10% segment with no stated or unclearly stated religion. Heck—we are not claiming everyone is a saint. Bus stop (talk) 04:20, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
"Who cares what Australia's official position on religion might be?" The infobox is about Australia, not the Australian people. That's why the infobox lists English as the national language, not English as the preferred language of 90 or whatever percent of the population. Holy hell, what a dumb debate. - HappyWaldo (talk) 08:01, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
The entire article is about Australia, not the Australian people. But you do realise that the Australian people are a fairly important part of Australia, right? By this argument, we need to remove the section on ancestry, because the article is about Australia, not the Australian people. And a whole slew of other information will also need to go. Of course most editors realise that an article about Australia-the-state necessarily includes information on Australians, Indeed I think that most readers would be trifle disappointed if an article on Australia was only about Australia-the-state, and contained no information on the Australian people. And if information on the Australian people is vital to an article on Australia-the-state, which most editors accept is true, then your argument that "The infobox is about Australia, not the Australian people" is a complete non-sequitur. Hell, if we are going to adopt this argument with any consistency, we can't have information on the currency, because "The infobox is about Australia, not the Australian currency". And then we drop the information on the system of government because "The infobox is about Australia, not the Australian government" and so ad infinitum. And once again, most editors realise that the currency and the system of government are important features that make up Australia-the-state, just as they realise that the people living in Australia are a somewhat important feature that makes up Australia-the-state. I agree with you, this is a dumb debate. I suspect we disagree agree on why.Mark Marathon (talk) 08:38, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
HappyWaldo see my latest edit in the infobox..I added the two missing parameters that are under the |religion= parameter in template:infobox country. These two parameters show that the religion parameter is about the population of Australia not about the government religion.--SharabSalam (talk) 08:45, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep. This is basic demographic data, and reasonably within the sphere of foremost information readers would want to know in a lead section. Now, I tend to agree that such figures lack the nuance to describe a nation's culture with regard to spirituality or religiosity vs. secular idealism, and I hope anyone here looking specifically for information about Australia's culture would read further and dig into the details. But that's always the calculus with regard to lead sections, infoboxes included, and I don't see outright omitting the general figures of self-identified religious adherence as the appropriate response. Frankly the arguments along the lines of "Well, they call themselves religious, but are they 'really'? [according to whatever subjective, idiosyncratic definition I have in my head as I pose this question]" is just pure WP:OR. The reader has to make their own assessments based on as much context as they are willing to study, experience, or marshal, before deciding how genuine/faithful/sincere/spiritual/whatever the religious character of any given nation or group of people is. But the best proxy we can give them in collecting our encyclopedic content (presented neutrally and without stamping our own perspective on that question with our editorial decisions) is what the people of those nations say that they are. It's really beyond our remit overlay our own ideas about how deep or honest they are being when they report on those facts, even through an act of omission. Again, I hope that our average reader is smart enough to know that, especially as regards religion, you can't know a character of a single person, let alone a massive grouping of people, based upon a label. But neither is that self-identification by any means irrelevant to understanding them. Viewed in that light, this is more or less a WP:SNOW call for me, given the alternative. Snow let's rap 05:21, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
If you genuinely believe that WP:SNOW applies then why didn't you close it as such? If you don't believe it then why invoke it? Obviously, "viewed in the light" of your own opinion and parameters, you are unanimous with yourself, but that's not an assessment of the arguments here, it's... well, I'm not sure what it is, but it's odd. -- Begoon 05:34, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Religious identities are not necessarily about religion. It would be incorrect to think that a member of a religious group believes in the tenets of the religion. And this is hardly a novel thought. This is more like a common understanding. Bus stop (talk) 05:52, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Is that supposed to be a reply to my question(s), because firstly I don't think you can answer for SnowRise without reading their mind, and, secondly, it's not an answer. I don't really disagree with what you said, I just don't know why you said it here... It seems like a complete non-sequitur. -- Begoon 05:56, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I mean only that I think that, insofar as the alternative methodology is for our editors to use their own idiosyncratic analysis of whose faith is "genuine" enough for them to be counted as "real" Christians (or members of whatever faith), which would be a fairly blatant and paradigmatic example of WP:Original research, I consider that a non-starter argument, being inconsistent with community consensus as expressed in that and other of our most basic editorial policies. So, WP:SNOW in that regard, not in the sense that I believe I should close this discussion down a mere week after it has started and the consensus process is just getting under way. That would clearly be uncalled for and WP:disruptive. But if you have a more on-point rejection of some part of the substance of my argument--rather than an issue with my rhetorical invocation of WP:SNOW at the end--you'll have to be more specific as to what that. Because simply saying that you find my perspective "odd" does not really engage with the specifics of my perspective/!vote, let alone form the basis for a solid argument for ignoring our WP:OR in order to omit presentation of statistics for how people self-identify themselves, because those people "aren't really" X or Y. Because where would that kind of insertion of our personal perspectives on the subject matter going to stop, if we were comfortable enough to do it for a topic as major as religion?
Look, again, clearly only a fool would use census figures alone as a means for understanding the spiritual or cultural nature of a country full of people. But as editors here, our job is not to try to think better on the behalf of our readers: our job is to present them with the relevant information (and yes, large-scale demographic data most definitely is relevant and extremely useful information) and let them come to their own conclusions. Deciding for ourselves to be gatekeepers of this information and hide it simply because, from our own perspectives and epxeriences, it doesn't represent an accurate portrayal--that's just not our role here. Even for those in our editorial corps who have inside perspectives on the matter (even were those editors themselves Australian religious scholars/demographers!) that's still clearly beyond our role here as editors. Snow let's rap 06:17, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to "reject the substance of your argument". I disagree with your conclusion that the unexplained bare survey results should remain in the infobox, but you are as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine, and we've both laid them out at great length, although most of mine is further up the page. I had no intention to re-hash that again. I dislike "badgering" and try to keep my responses to things which I don't understand or feel need to be addressed as factually incorrect. Strength of argument and opinion is for the closer to address.

What I found "odd" was the way you invoked WP:SNOW, a thing usually done to indicate that a proposal should be closed because it could never possibly pass and to continue would be a bureaucratic waste of time - and you've tried to explain it as "rhetorical", for which explanation I thank you.

I would, though, mention that, far from suggesting we should "hide" anything or be "gatekeepers" I do outline, in my "Yes" comments above, a solution if that was a serious concern among many. I can speak only for myself, but I think, if you read all that I have said in this discussion you should see that my hope and aim here is for the reader to be better informed, not worse. -- Begoon 06:48, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Fair enough on all points. I don't know how I feel about the alternative proposal (by which I assume you are meaning to reference the idea of perhaps replacing the figures with a link to the religion subsection). I think there are issues with essentially replacing infobox content with links that already will exist in the ToC. I assume this is part of why you are lukewarm on the idea yourself. But I don't want to dismiss the idea out of hand, so call me neutral on that for now and still favouring keeping the figures, incomplete a picture as they may present. Snow let's rap 06:51, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm "lukewarm" on it purely because I don't think it should be necessary. I'm not convinced there would be a major issue of people coming to the article to find out about religion and going away without finding the TOC. I'm not "lukewarm" because it would be a "non-standard" thing to do - I believe each article should have the best approach to presentation it can, and I don't subscribe to the philosophy that all articles need to be "cookie-cutter" clones in style and presentation.

I do, however, prefer it to what I think is the real possibility that readers will see the bare, unexplained survey results and potentially "go away" believing they have now found out "all they need to know". If that seems to be self-contradictory, it isn't - I design help systems and interfaces, and people will follow links or do minimal searching to find what they are looking for - however, they will also often stop that search as soon as they think they have found an "answer", even if it is, or might be, incomplete. I said all this above, so I've broken my "re-hash" rule, but there it is anyway. -- Begoon 07:11, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

I also do not have a problem with atypical solutions if they serve the needs of the article well. However, I would say that your proposed solution (directing the reader to the relevant subpage) begs the question on the original issue here: placing a link in the infobox, even if the editors here could be convinced to do something so at variance to how we typically format lead information, can be done regardless of whether we include the figures themselves, so it doesn't resolve the underlying advisability of presenting the demographic data in the infbox to begin with.
Personally I am somewhat neutral/leaning doubtful, as to the ultimate utility of placing a link to the subsection in the infobox (I agree with you--those looking to review the religiosity issue in that detail are likely to have little trouble finding it), if it is in addition to the figures themselves (as a kind of shortcut to clarifying content to give additional context for the demographic data). However, if the idea is to omit the data itself and instead present a link to the section alone, I think it's clear that sort of thing is the function of the ToC, not an infobox field, and the proposal begins to consequently look like a backdoor means of achieving the end of removing that content, and so becomes an argument that does not address the concerns raised here for why the figures are broadly useful information with no policy-consistent reason for omitting. And thus it is unlikely to be seen as a reasonable middle ground solution, but rather something likely to be rejected by those on both sides of the editorial divide here, albeit for different reasons. I think including both the figures and the link is perhaps something that could gain traction, but I can't imagine many people being won over to the idea of removing the figures so long as we replicate a ToC header in the infobox field. Snow let's rap 07:41, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Inaccurate information itself isnt and cant be considered broadly useful, the recommendation to link a more accurate, or nuanced detail isnt an end run around the issue. Australia is secular in such circumstances its inappropriate to represent it as anything else, the inclusion of poor simplistic statistics presents a false conclusion to the casual reader about the status of religion in the country and borders on original research by doing so. Gnangarra 10:54, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
There are a vast array of readers out there and they are unknowable to us. I think ScottDavis made a very good point—"The precise numbers are not important, but the relative significance is.". Bus stop (talk) 11:09, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Begoon—you say That's probably because, contradictory though it sounds, if you ask the question "Do you believe there is a personal God?" (whatever 'personal' means in that context), there are a fair number of people who would say "No", even if, when asked "What is your religion?", they would answer "Christian", "Muslim" etc. Correct me if I am wrong but aren't you assuming that "religion" equals "belief in God"? This is a crazy topic to be arguing over. The present Infobox field is collapsed by default. Some of you seem to be stepping on a cockroach after it has been run over by a steamroller. Leave the thing alone. Readers should be assumed to be smarter than us. We aren't here to prevent them from accidentally misunderstanding something. I don't accept your argument which seems to be saying that the "religion" Infobox field actually represent a potential pitfall for the unwary reader. In general an Infobox is a potential pitfall what with its brevity of presentation. I'm not calling for the removal of the Infobox. I consider this an unnecessary fuss with a more-than-sufficient number of editors supporting allowing the "religion" field to remain in the Infobox. Bus stop (talk) 11:24, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Australia is secular. Nobody is representing it as anything else. Australians are not secular. Nobody is representing them as anything else (although removing religion risks doing so). Mark Marathon (talk) 11:26, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Bus Stop: Erm, I was responding to this: "For example, based on those figures, about 55% of Australians would be expected to believe in the existence of a personal God, an essential core belief of monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Islam. However, the National Church Life Survey in 2016 found only 24% of Australians held this belief". from Jack N. Stock to try to explain the difference between two surveys he was quoting. It was a side discussion not really relevant to much else. The rest of your comment doesn't seem to have much to do with what I said. You do seem to be taking a lot of things out of context here today. -- Begoon 11:34, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
But you are asserting that there is something contradictory in a respondent affirming an identification with a religion and yet when separately questioned on belief in God, asserting non-belief. As I've been trying to point out, this is no big deal. We are discussing a subject with an inherently slippery slope. We aren't here to resolve all questions. Reasonably-valid information should be allowed to stand. Bus stop (talk) 11:43, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not asserting anything of the sort. You have completely misunderstood the exchange. I'm explaining why two different surveys might seem to have contradictory results, when that apparent contradiction can be explained by context or wording of the question(s). I'm actually saying that it is not contradictory, although it might seem so (as it did, for example, to Jack, who I was replying to). Really. Read it again. And it's utterly irrelevant here. It was an aside. -- Begoon 11:47, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
"It was an aside" but it reveals the fundamental problem, which is believing that religion equates to belief in God, which is a commonly debunked belief. Why are we even arguing over this? It is not utterly unfounded that some of the people of Australia claim an affinity of one sort or another to one religion or another. We don't have to beat this question into the ground. It is a collapsed field in an Infobox, and Infoboxes themselves are notoriously problematic—nevertheless I think Infoboxes serve semi-valid purposes. Bus stop (talk) 12:05, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
"Why are we even arguing over this?" Erm, because you brought it up, out of context, doubled down when I explained it was out of context and you had misunderstood it anyway, and then tripled down when I explained both those things even more carefully. Quite frankly, if I wasn't an AGF kind of guy I'd probably just assume you were deliberately playing dumb when you didn't like an explanation or having your misunderstanding(s) corrected. Either way, I'm done responding to you - it appears utterly pointless. -- Begoon 12:23, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
When I say "why are we even arguing over this" I am referring to the whole RfC. Yes, anyone can question anything. But this is quite an involved discussion over what I perceive to be a minor point—a "religion" field in an Infobox for a country. It is doing no harm, in my opinion. Bus stop (talk) 12:26, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
And, as I said to Snow above, you are perfectly entitled to that opinion. What you're not entitled to do is to build a strawman out of one of my comments and then repeatedly try to keep putting it back together each time it's very clearly explained to you that that is what you are doing. I don't know if you were doing it to try and "win" some kind of debating point, out of genuine lack of understanding or you were just embarrassed at having read it wrongly, but either way it's a shoddy way to discuss things, particularly when your mistake has been clearly spelled out, repeatedly. -- Begoon 12:37, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Begoon—you were part of an exchange with Jacknstock. I'm sorry but when you interact with someone who has just asserted that The statistics provided by self-description in the Census seem dubious. For example, based on those figures, about 55% of Australians would be expected to believe in the existence of a personal God, an essential core belief of monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Islam. However, the National Church Life Survey in 2016 found only 24% of Australians held this belief" you are to some extent accepting the premise of what they just said. You did not for instance say that you do not accept that identification with a "religion" equates to belief that there is a superhuman being. Part of your reply was "it's contradictory, but it's a real phenomenon, which is why you need to take great care when assessing surveys like this and consider exactly what was asked and its context". Perhaps the reader needs to "take great care" but I don't think that is really our burden. Our readers are not known to be stupid people that need to be protected from possibly misleading information by wise editors like you and me. It is better to err on the side of considering our readers smarter than us; we can't trip them up. We provide them with valid facts and they know how to use those facts. And furthermore it is not "contradictory". Religions take on many forms, not all of which even mention a superhuman being. And those that do mention a superhuman being are often followed in name only. Bus stop (talk) 13:05, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Remove for simple style reasons. As it currently is, the infobox displays information about the nation state Australia. The infobox focuses on technical information about the state as a structure, such as GDP, governance, currency, time zone, occupied area, etc. As other people above already said: if there is a state position on religion, then include that, but keep demographics to the demographics section. Otherwise there is no reason not to include other demographic statistics, which would make the infobox incredibly overblown. Even more so than it already is. The religion statistic is already hidden for this exact reason. It takes up too much space and you cannot summarize it in any shorter form, like only mentioning the most popular position, without distorting the facts and giving the reader a false impression of reality. Hecato (talk) 15:42, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "It takes up too much space" It is barely a sliver in its collapsed form. It is axiomatic that "a state position on religion" is an entirely different matter from the religion that people name when asked to check off a box for "religion" (or in 10% of cases "no religion"). Bus stop (talk) 15:53, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make was that I see it as a problem that it had to be collapsed in the first place. It is supposed to be a concise infobox, which provides a quick overview of technical stats that are shared by all nation states for quick comparison. If you have to open some collapsed forms to see the data, then you might as well jump to the relevant section in the article and get a proper chart and text outline. Would you be okay with including all other relevant demographics (ethnicity, political persuasion, languages abilities, education levels, etc.) in the infobox as collapsed forms? If not, why not? I would not because I see it as bad style. I agree that a state religion and demographic statistics about religious persuasion of the population are two different things. I am okay with including the former, I am not okay with including the latter unless the infobox is expanded to include other relevant demographic information as well. Which is a change I would also disagree with since it makes the infobox overblown. Therefore I am for removing it. Hecato (talk) 16:27, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Ethnicity, political persuasion, languages abilities, education levels can be argued to be important but I think they enjoy lesser status than "religion" as a simple form of identity. I think it is its simplicity that is both the reason some of us favor its Infobox inclusion as well as the reason some of us oppose its Infobox inclusion, but I can't speak for others. It is in many cases a meaningless thing but occasionally it divides people, especially stupid people (just my opinion). It would take a different RfC to address the hypothetical question you are posing. Bus stop (talk) 18:36, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
I would argue that political ideologies and ethnic identities often had a similar impact in modern times as religious persuasions had. But I agree this question probably exceeds the scale of this RfC. Hecato (talk) 07:34, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Let me ask you this—what do you see as the most important reason(s) Australia should not include this component of the Infobox when the Infoboxes of our articles on the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, all include this component of the Infobox? Bus stop (talk) 11:58, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
I suspect I don't have to remind you that "but we do it in other articles" is not a winning argument in its own right. HiLo48 (talk) 22:55, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't really have anything to add. I have explained it above. Those country articles also include ethnic groups and not just religion by the way. Hecato (talk) 15:34, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
You say "I have explained it above." You have explained above that "It takes up too much space". I am aware that other stuff exists but in the articles on the United States and United Kingdom the Infobox religion fields are uncollapsed whereas in the Australia article the Infobox religion field is collapsed by default, taking up very little space. And now you are arguing to remove the religion field entirely from the Infobox of the Australia article. I am assuming you perceive some distinction between the Australia article and the United States and United Kingdom articles vis-à-vis the religion field of the Infobox. If so, what would that distinction be? I am not meaning to be unnecessarily argumentative. I am just trying to understand the reasoning behind the initiative to remove the Infobox field under discussion. Bus stop (talk) 16:38, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
I hold the same opinion about those giant infoboxes on the US and UK articles. This RfC is about this article though, so I am talking about this article. Still, if an infobox needs to include demographic data, then it also needs to be consistent about it and not just include religion, unless there is some justified reason for doing so (and preferably some consensus). So in that regard I prefer the infoboxes of the US and UK articles, since they are at least more consistent about it. Though still I would want to know why these two demographics were picked and not others, what is the principle here? Regarding style, please take a look at the following policies, I happen to agree with them in particular. WP:RAWDATA: Statistics that lack context or explanation can reduce readability and may be confusing; accordingly, statistics should be placed in tables to enhance readability, and articles with statistics should include explanatory text providing context. There is a proper place for complex information like demographic data and it is the demographics section. In my opinion the infobox should just be for simple information that can be expressed as simple data points. Also look at MOS:TABLES#Size: On the other hand, overloading tables with too much detailed statistical data is against policy. Careful thought should be given to how a reader would use a table, and what level of detail is appropriate. And just hiding the bloat away in collapsible forms is not a proper fix in my opinion. I hope this cleared things up. Hecato (talk) 20:52, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
So the religion data in the infobox is a table (not flowing prose). and the article contains explanatory text for those who want to read it. It seems like this infobox content meets the requireents of WP:RAWDATA that you quoted. --Scott Davis Talk 23:07, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Given the large number of interpretations above on both what the data means, and now, what the word "religion" itself means, there is clear potential for misleading readers with raw data in the Infobox. HiLo48 (talk) 23:52, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
We don't have to agree on what religion is to be able to report that the people of Australia described themselves as relating to particular religious labels. The table in the infobox has a footnote to indicate the source, and the article has a deeper discussion on it further down. The summary in the infobox is useful to many readers as an overview, even if it doesn't satisfy your need for details. --Scott Davis Talk 02:09, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I submit that without the details, it is very likely to mislead some readers. This is especially true since there is no obvious definition of religion, and we don't tell readers what the question was. HiLo48 (talk) 05:57, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
HiLo48—the problem is that you believe that those who express an affinity to a particular religion believe in a superhuman being when that is not invariably the case. You write "No-one in their right mind could claim that all those who tick a particular religion are actually believers in that faith's god." Bus stop (talk) 02:35, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I do not "believe that (all) those who express an affinity to a particular religion believe in a superhuman being". Your second sentence, quoting me directly, naturally explains my position better. And yet again, I have concerns with a word being used - affinity. The census question does not ask what religion a respondent has an affinity with. That is yet another interpretation of the responses. It's YOUR interpretation, and we have no idea if you are right, yet again showing how problematic this data is. HiLo48 (talk) 05:57, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
HiLo48—you are writing "there is no obvious definition of religion". I think anyone fluent in English is aware of the breadth of meanings associated with the word "religion". Bus stop (talk) 13:00, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, but some are writing here as if there is one unarguable, universally agreed definition, meaning raw data will always be interpreted the same way. It won't, and that's why it's dangerous to include it. HiLo48 (talk) 23:49, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
It is a list, not a table. And the data in the list is an abridged version of the data in the actual table in the demographics section. But if it was a table, then that would open another can of worms. Since having another table nested inside of an already complex table is a horrible idea and in violation of that MOS:Tables section.
Regarding the WP:RAWDATA section, Statistics that lack context or explanation can reduce readability and may be confusing; is the important part of that section, because it provides the premise. From this follows statistics should be placed in tables to enhance readability and statististics should always be placed in their proper context with text explaining it as required. Taking the data of the table and removing it from its proper context is bound to mislead the reader. And there is no link to the demographics section which provides that context. The infobox is simply not the right place for any statistics beyond short one-liner summaries like population and HDI, overloading tables with too much detailed statistical data is against policy. Hecato (talk) 08:01, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

KEEP. It's a good overview for our readers reference. We also need to keep the conversation concrete and practical HiLo48 and the data is not problematic at all. That's nonsense. Merphee (talk) 09:26, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Oh dear Merphee, I have been trying to avoid playing where you play. Your problem with me is clear from the fact that you explicitly named me in that comment. I recommend you stick to discussing the issues, rather than me, responding sensibly to all the concerns raised, not just by me, AND BLOODY WELL LEARN HOW THESE PAGES WORK!!! You have posted in entirely the wrong place. (One reason I gave up trying to be where you go is that you seem unable to learn.) So, don't mention me again please. HiLo48 (talk) 10:12, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Note: I have moved your comments to the right indentation. I hope you two don't mind. Hecato (talk) 10:25, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I do a little bit. It hides part of the reasons for my comment above. I tried for months to educate Merphee about correct practices here on Wikipedia, then gave up after being taken to ANI by him for my efforts, and it's depressing that he has learnt so little in his time here as an editor. And anyone interested in the issue can look at the History. HiLo48 (talk) 10:34, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't mind at all Hecato and cheers for being respectful about it. That's totally cool. I'm not up my own arse like HilO48 seems to be. You have no idea HilO48 what policy means. None. Your arguments here on our country article make no sense at all. Please watch your big mouth with me. Anyone can take a good look at your appalling editing history HiLo48. It is a complete mess. You've been blocked countless times and for very good reason. Anyone who disagrees with your POV gets attacked like you've done again here. What a joke! LOL!!! Merphee (talk) 13:32, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Just to clarify for other editors, Merphee hates me because I dared to assist him as a new editor by pointing out that The Australian was not going to universally accepted as a balanced source on Australian political matters. He actually didn't know that, being part of the Murdoch stable, it is widely perceived as being somewhat on the political right. I was not alone in my attempts. He argued for months that he was right, including taking me and others to ANI, with no success of course. He is still fighting the left/right media battle elsewhere. I suspect he came here to attack my position because I recently dared to post on a discussion where he wants The Guardian declared a hard left journal. I did not mention him in my comment there, and this is hopefully the last I will mention him here. HiLo48 (talk) 23:45, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't think I have met any editor over the past 2 years which loathes Wikipedia and the hard working Wikipedia admins and is more narcissistic and delusional than you. You were almost BANNED, not just blocked from Wikipedia altogether as you know on two occasions as many editors wanted. Nobody came here to attack you HiLo48. That is ridiculous and typical of the true narcissist. Just because so many editors here disagreed with your POV on this religious tag in the infobox, don't go sulking and attacking other editors. That's very childish. Your gibberish here and complete and utter lies shows how little respect you have for Wikipedia. Your view on the above matter makes no sense. Please learn or policies. It is not all about you. Grow up! Merphee (talk) 00:26, 3 July 2019 (UTC)  
Oh yea I remember what happened in that article. And I was wondering where did I see your usernames before... Anyway, this RfC is already full of comments. The last thing we need is personal attacks. Please stay on the topic. Thanks.--SharabSalam (talk) 04:16, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Upon reflection apologies for using further space here on the article talk page by retaliating to HiLo48's personal attacks. Should not have taken his bait. Merphee (talk) 08:31, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes At the very least, if kept, it needs to state there is no official religion. Oman for instance just lists Islam under religion. SportingFlyer T·C 16:58, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable ask to me. Personally I feel that if you have statistics like that, it's pretty clear that you are talking about demographics and not an official state religion (I mean, there's no such thing as a state entity that's defined as a "'52.1% Christian/30.1% Non-religious/2.6% Muslim/2.4% Buddhist/1.9% Hindu/1.3% Other/9.7% Not stated or unclear' state", in the same way another nation might call itself an Islamic Republic or some such. But to the extent that other editors think there is likely to be confusion about the issuee, I really don't see what possible harm could be done by including a brief statement explicitly saying that Australia has no state religion. I mean, I don't know that anyone is not assuming that to begin with, but what are a few extra words in that field really going to hurt? Personally, I wouldn't oppose adding it now, before we even resolve the issue of whether or not to remove the demographic info. Snow let's rap 03:11, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
  • No religion is a significant statistic about a country--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 17:13, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
So you would support including the figure of 8% for regular church attendance? This discussion should not be only about those ABS figures with the multiple interpretations. HiLo48 (talk) 23:23, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Of course it is about the ABS stats and what the reliable sources HiLo48. Merphee (talk) 23:38, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
Mostly, but there was a little discussion a few days ago about the figure I mentioned. HiLo48 (talk) 02:25, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes its about the ABS data, and the fact that there are very significant issues with how its collected and presented. When you take into account the issues the information box is not the place to present those as it causes a misrepresentation. When one considers religion as a whole nationally and constitutionally we are a secular society, as per the other examples where the box carries information its about a national religion not demographics. Gnangarra 09:49, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
"we are a secular society" That only means that religion is not mandated. It does not mean there is no religion. In a secular society inevitably there are religions as religions are a common feature found amongst human beings. I doubt that Australia is different from other societies in this regard. Bus stop (talk) 13:30, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
I can't imagine where we could ever find comparative figures for different countries, but I suspect Australia would be at the extreme apatheistic end of the scale when it comes to people answering the census question with a religion, but in fact not being believers or practising any religion at all. (Confessed OR based on working in church based schools.) HiLo48 (talk) 03:59, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, remove The "religion" parameter is intended to signify a state religion. An RFC established consensus that for states with no official religion, the "religion" parameter should be left blank. Maybe there would be consensus to overturn that RfC, or to add new "religious demographics" parameters to the infobox, but it would have to be determined at a wider venue than the talk page of this particular article. Aside from stare decisis considerations, I'm neutral. I see value in the arguments that it's an important piece of information that readers might want at a glance, but I also think there's a reasonable argument that the table is too verbose (and lacking necessary context) to be appropriate for an infobox. Colin M (talk) 21:52, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
"An RFC established consensus that for states with no official religion, the "religion" parameter should be left blank." Ehhh, I'd say you've conflated two very different issues here by not looking as closely as perhaps you should have at the actual discussion of the RfC, and thus mischaracerized it as applying to the issue we're discussing here. As the RfC prompt and the vast majority of the !votes that supported that consensus make clear, the issues there was both of a different and a more narrow nature: if the state itself is expressly atheistic/irreligious by nature, should "atheistic" be listed as the official state religion, or should the parameter just be omitted altogether, absent any other use for the field (consensus found for the latter). The RfC had nothing to do with if (or when) to provide demographic information about religion in the lead, the issue we are asked to address here--although admittedly, the way the closer phrased the consensus was ambiguous to this point, so if one read only that part, I can see where the confusion would arise--still the community !votes that form the consensus themselves make it abundantly clear: they were addressing a very different issue than is presented here.
"Maybe there would be consensus to overturn that RfC, or to add new "religious demographics" parameters to the infobox, but it would have to be determined at a wider venue than the talk page of this particular article." Actually, the process works in exactly the opposite fashion on this project: so long as the parameter remains in the infobox, WP:LOCALCONSENUS here can override whatever general principal/advice was established on the template talk page: talk page RfCs that touch upon an issue applicable to multiple articles function as WP:ADVICEPAGES to groups of local editors working on individual articles, and the local consensus on an article is always free to completely reject the general advice if they feel a different approach would better suit the needs of the article. In order for the outcome of the RfC to become controlling over all articles, such that the suggested approach must generally always be followed my editors accross all articles, the rule must go through a WP:PROPOSAL process and be codified in a WP:guideline or WP:policy page (or, at a minimum, the WP:MoS, though MoS guidance remains subject to veto by local consensus, albeit with a higher burden of proof) as formal community consensus that have been vetted by a more rigorous process (which has to take place in a central community space or on the talk page of the policy being altered. So, the conclusion of the template talk RfC is advisory guidance, not a default role that cannot be deviated from (since you're familiar with legal terminology, consider it dicta, or guidance from a non-controlling source: we can look to it for an indication of possible approaches to the issue, but a local consensus is free to reject, in whole or in part, any general advice in the outcome if it doesn't suit the needs of a particular article or best resolve a particular issue). Now, if we wanted to remove the religion parameter from the infobox altogether or (as you contemplate above) add a "religious demographics" parameter, that would need to take place at the template talk page, because those are issues which are within the purview of that talk page's local consensus.
Anyway, that second paragraph is largely academic and for the purpose of clarifying a point of community process: as I said in the first paragraph, I don't think the outcome of that particular RfC even addresses the issue we're talking about here to begin with, even if it was controlling over local consensus on this page--which it's not. :) Snow let's rap 03:57, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
I was mostly going by the closer's summary, which says among other things Therefore, the religion parameter is only to be included in this infobox iff that nation's government has an official, definite state religion. Looking at the question and skimming the !votes, it doesn't seem like that's a misrepresentation of the consensus. There was discussion of what to do with countries with explicitly anti-religious policies, but also lots of discussion of cases like this one, where the country lacks a state religion, and is also not officially anti-religious or atheist.
I do appreciate the clarification on consensus 'power-levels'. The direction of my !vote still stands in that, I still think the advice of the RfC is a fine tie-breaker given compelling arguments for and against the parameter. But I guess it's a little less strong now. :) Colin M (talk) 04:35, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough: a reasonable interpretation of the close, if one I personally happen to disagree with. My feeling is that the closer merely spoke imprecisely there and did not mean to suggest that the consensus was for the field to be omitted whenever a state that controls a nation's affairs is irreligious in character, regardless of whether there are other possible uses for the parameter (such as demographic figures): rather I believe the point of the consensus was that, when a state has an expressly irreligious character, the field should not be used to place the description "Religion: Atheist" in that field, but rather if the state is irreligious there is no point in describing its religious character at all, and therefore, if there is not other purpose for that paramater (such as demographics) it should just be omitted. Of course, no offense intended to the closer, as they were not contemplating our present discussion and thus would not have thought to have made it clear as to the issues we are grappling with. Nevertheless, numerous of the !votes do make clear the narrower context upon which they meant the principal to apply, so I have to feel that the consensus reflects as much implicitly, whatever the deficiencies of the language of the good-faith close. But I concede that it is a very nuanced question upon which reasonable people could easily disagree, so there you have it! Snow let's rap 05:55, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Australia is explicitly neutral about religion, the state neither having nor opposing any religion. Section 116 of the Constitution says "The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, ..." Mitch Ames (talk) 10:59, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm aware of all of that. Actually its rather a cornerstone of the distinction being made in the above few messages. Snow let's rap 23:19, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Colin M The editor who introduced that RfC said it is not clear what was the proposal of that RfC Special:Diff/904093702 so I don't think it is a valid reason to support removing the religion census data. The religion parameter is not about the state religion but about the demographic data. See what I said above. I don't want to repeat what I said Special:Diff/904095154--SharabSalam (talk)
Not exactly. Guy Macon's edit summary said "Maybe not as clear cut as I claimed. Need to think about this some more." Which doesn't imply the RfC itself was unclear. They could be saying e.g. the present situation is not as clear cut as they had thought. I saw your comments about the religion_year and religion_ref params. I agree, they provide some evidence for a shift in the intended semantics of the "religion" parameter. However the 2015 RfC on the religion parameter was vigorously discussed by many users. If the new parameters/descriptions were "snuck in" without discussion, I wouldn't assign their existence much weight. (Maybe they weren't though. If there is a record of the change being discussed, I'd be interested to see it.) Colin M (talk) 06:27, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Colin M please see this discussion Template talk: infobox#Pre-RfC Question: Religion in infoboxes. The RfC proposal was not clear or didn't include the case when the religion parameter value is the census data not the state religion.--SharabSalam (talk) 06:25, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
  • No, keep but round to nearest 1% (or show "<1%" if appropriate). It's useful summary information. Readers can tell it's demographic and they can find the detail section; they're not stupid. Conflating religion with faith or belief to claim that the numbers are somehow "wrong" is just a distraction. The fact that other countries with secular constitutions have the religion data in their infoboxes is de facto evidence that the 2015 RFC might not have full weight for that situation. Although there is an essay that says someothercontent is not a good argument, I would counter that lotsofothercontent can be an indicator of current accepted practice. Sure, a lot of Aussies couldn't give a rat's about religion, but that's not in itself a good enough reason to suppress the information. —Pelagic (talk) 12:12, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
You're right that "a lot of Aussies couldn't give a rat's about religion", so what do the numbers actually mean? I asked this above, multiple times, and got multiple, extremely diverse answers. So we we are forcing readers to interpret the numbers, and we know they will interpret them to mean many different things. I see little point to that. HiLo48 (talk) 23:16, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
"You're right that "a lot of Aussies couldn't give a rat's about religion", so what do the numbers actually mean?" It's not our place to even be asking that question here, and reaching conclusion about what the content should look like based on our own idiosyncratic notions about how meaningful the labels other people choose for themselves are.
"So we we are forcing readers to interpret the numbers..." We're not "forcing" anyone to do anything, we're doing exactly what we are expected to do in this situation, under all relevant policy: present the relevant information, along with the sources for the reader to investigate in further detail if they are so inclined, and then allow them to decide what those figures mean in context.
"...and we know they will interpret them to mean many different things" Which is pretty much the opposite of a problem and more an indication that we are presenting the situation neutrally. Of course people are going to reach different conclusions about what those figures mean. That is thoroughly unavoidable for the vast majority of topics discussed on this project, and not a problem in any remote sense. We're not here to chaperon people's thoughts, or to hide useful content because we're afraid people will reach the "wrong" conclusions when compared against what conclusion we'd want them to reach about how "genuine" a people's belief is. We're here to empower people by giving them all relevant information and understanding that certain editors will weigh certain facts differently, and pay different levels of scrutiny. You and I as individuals may very well find some of the conclusions some editors reach as a consequence to be mistakes by our own standards, but we can't constrain content to try to isolate the reader from opinions than don't suit our own interpretations.
Respectfully, this is the second time I've seen you in a discussion professing to be in a position speak for how all Australians think with regard to a major aspect of their culture--and, to also speak bluntly, not only are you (as with any one individual) just not in a position to do that as a realistic general rhetorical matter, that's also exactly why we have an WP:original research policy on this project to bar such arguments as regards filtering the content on this project through our own ideological lenses. There are many, many profoundly religious Australians, I assure you, and we can't, as editors, sit here and debate the sincerity of the beliefs of millions of people, and pretend like that's anything but original research in a particularly unadulterated, highly problematic form. We need to present the demographics and understand that most of our readers are adults, and not nitwits, and understand that such figures are only one factor among many in trying to understand something as complex as the religiosity of an entire society. But that doesn't mean that information is irrelevant by any means. Nor can we hide useful information from everybody because we are worried a minority will arrive at opinions that we would find simplifications. Snow let's rap 23:19, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Absolute bullshit. I am doing precisely the opposite of "professing to be in a position speak for how all Australians think". I am pointing out that the evidence above shows that we cannot know how they will think, and they will, in fact, come up with widely divergent views on what the numbers mean, just as the editors here have. (And they are presumably mostly Australians.) This demonstrates that the figures are not useful. Please discuss what I write, rather than me. HiLo48 (talk) 00:29, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
"I am doing precisely the opposite of 'professing to be in a position speak for how all Australians think [about an aspect of their culture they self-identify with]'" You're really not. You've said repeatedly here (clearly advancing it as an editorial argument) that we can't add this simple demographic data because you, from your personal experience, feel confident in assuming that Australians are just checking the "Christian" box (or other box indicating religious faith), but their beliefs aren't really deep enough for them to be considered "truly" religious. And I'm sorry, but that's definitely, without question, some of the purist WP:OR I've ever seen advanced in an editorial discussion on this project.
"I am pointing out that the evidence above, shows that..." (emphasis added) I'm sorry, but that's even more firmly within our definition of original research: we cannot use the perspectives on Australian culture of our own editors to determine what content is accurate. We don't have a "What do we, the here assembled editors know is true about this subject?" standard on Wikipedia, we have a "What perspectives do reliable sources give on this subject?" standard--which was expressly designed to avoid the bias of the first question, with editors bootstrapping content they like or suppressing content they don't like because it does or doesn't match their own idiosyncratic notions on the topic. Look, I'm genuinely not trying to be harsh or antagonistic here, but this is a very basic principle of how we determine content on this project and as you are an experienced editor I don't understand how you don't see that the argument you are advancing in this case tears straight through that principle without a pause to look backwards.
"...we cannot know how they will think, and they will, in fact, come up with widely divergent views on what the numbers mean, just as the editors here have." Yes, as with just about every single fact listed on every single Wikipedia page, people will assimilate the information through their own personal lens and subject to their own experiences, biases, personal knowledge, expertise, ect. We cannot prevent that, so it's a good thing we're not here to prevent that! We're here precisely with the purpose of presenting the reader with with the relevant information to reach their own conclusions--all of the relevant information, insofar as is possible within the format. It's not our objective (and not properly our place) to preferentially present information (or not present it) because we are concerned the reader will otherwise arrive at conclusions we personally disagree with.
"(And they are presumably mostly Australians.)" I'm not sure whether or not that's true, but it should be irrelevant, and the fact that you've presented it here as evidence of anything that should reach to our content underscores what you are missing about how original research operates here. Any Australian editors participating in this discussion should not be doing so as Australians: this is not an Australian issue, it's an editorial one. Anyone responding to it (Australian or otherwise) should be doing so using only the sources and general Wikipedia policies and methodology. They should be checking any of their personal knowledge at the door and trying, insofar as is possible, to keep their own perspectives out of the matter and address the editorial question with fresh eyes just based on the sources--nevermind that their own personal knowledge on the matter may be second nature to them and achieved from a lifetime of experience. Ideally, if they are approaching the issue as a Wikipedian should, you'd not be able to tell the difference between an Australian editor here and a non-Austrlian editor, because neither will have raised their own personal experience into the discussion and certainly will not be comparing the sources (or any statements sourced from them) for conformity with their own lifelong personal observations.
Indeed, sometimes on Wikipedia, it is the topics which one is most familiar with (or which are most personally relevant to an editor's own experience) that present the biggest problems for an editor--whether it's nationality, ethnicity, religion, professional experience/knowledge, connection to a movement, or any other form of personal connection to the subject matter, it can be difficult to set aside hard-won understanding to focus just on what w are allowed to work with from the sourcing. It is exactly in these contexts that policy, as a codification of community consensus, expects editors to exercise a maximum of self restraint in not judging content on the basis of firsthand knowledge, but rather to pull back and look merely at what the sources say and how policy requires us to apply it--no matter that this sometimes results in outcomes that seem "wrong" to us as individuals. I run into this problem semi-frequently in some MEDRS areas. I know it's not easy and sometimes I have to live with outcomes that really bother me as a factual matter, but I trust that, in the aggregate, the system that removes our personal OR from the process results in better content overall--and is, in any event, the only manner in which the project can proceed without constant fights over the "truth" of content.
"This demonstrates that the figures are not useful." No, it doesn't. It demonstrates that people draw different conclusions from the same information, and that's simply life. It doesn't prove that the details of a nation-wide census are irrelevant to giving a reader an understanding of the demographics of that nation. That is very useful information.
"Please discuss what I write, rather than me. I believe that is exactly what I have done in all instances here. I'm not attacking you or your motive (I genuinely believe you are advancing the argument which results in the most reliable article for our readers), merely the arguments you are advancing. Perhaps I should not have clouded the issue by mentioning I feel you've done this before, but I was (and am) just trying to highlight why we can't deconstruct a statement from an RS for conformity with personal observations/OR--not even when the "original research" in question is actually a lifetime of personal experience spent within the nation in question, with all the inside knowledge and personal perspectives that implies. Indeed, per the above, it is especially in those circumstances that we can't do so. Snow let's rap 21:07, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
That comment contains huge misrepresentations and exaggerations of what I actually wrote. Please don't do that. It won't help constructive discussion. HiLo48 (talk) 22:59, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you feel that way: I promise you that it's not my intention to misrepresent your positions but rather to respond to your arguments as I've perceived them. But I did quote you directly rather than paraphrasing your position, so I'm not sure where I would have had opportunity to present your view in a false light. If you'd like to be more specific about where you think I was uncharitable towards your perspectives or exaggerated them, I'll own up to it if I find I genuinely misunderstood your position. Snow let's rap 08:13, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Had you left it at direct quotations, all would have been fine, but you seemed to feel the need to paraphrase as well, and then argued against your paraphrasings. Your post became a straw man one. I really can't be bothered detailing every instance. HiLo48 (talk) 03:44, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't see where I paraphrased you for even one clause of a single sentence: whenever I referenced any statement of yours, I quoted you directly. The rest of the post relates to my own responses to those positions. In any event, if you're declining to be more specific about where I've mistaken your position, I'm afraid I have to stand by my analysis of the WP:original research issues that I feel are inherently raised by the approach you advocate for and the arguments that underpin it. But fair enough: we can't always have a meeting of the minds on everything. Let's just see where community input goes from here. Snow let's rap 22:59, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
I really can't be bothered trying any harder. Either your understanding of the English language or your logic is not the same as mine. HiLo48 (talk) 10:04, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
You seem very fond of the phrase "I can't be bothered"; the problem with that kind of attitude is that if you express it often enough, you'll find that other people can't be bothered enough to give you the benefit of the doubt that your opinions are coming from a scrupulous and considered application of policy, rather than an WP:IDONTLIKEIT rationale. And for a certainty, I can't be bothered to take your assertion that I have misrepresented your position seriously, if you can't be bothered to be more specific about how I did that. Snow let's rap 02:41, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Just read all that you wrote again, carefully, and see if it's at all possible that anything YOU wrote about what I think and said could just possibly not be true. HiLo48 (talk) 02:53, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
HiLo48—you are already conceding that your rationale is based on original research when you say "I can't imagine where we could ever find comparative figures for different countries, but I suspect Australia would be at the extreme apatheistic end of the scale when it comes to people answering the census question with a religion, but in fact not being believers or practising any religion at all. (Confessed OR based on working in church based schools.) Yes, you worked at church based schools in Australia, but have you worked at church based schools in other countries? Bus stop (talk) 00:23, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Actually, one decimal place is better, especially when we have Islam and Buddhism at 2.6% and 2.4%. Pelagic (talk) 12:25, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep- As a reader I would expect an infobox to have something about a country’s religion. If a statistical fact is important enough to go in the body, then its important enough to be summarized in the infobox. How that information is actually presented in the infobox is all that should be up to editorial consensus. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 07:25, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
There are a lot of statistics in the body that aren't in the Infobox, and never will be. HiLo48 (talk) 07:46, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Seriously HiLo48 would you stop jumping in here every time someone votes to keep it in the infobox. It's so annoying. You've voted already. No one cares any further than that about your point of view! This is an RFC not a discussion. Stop trying to influence things and intimidate other editors. Jeez! Merphee (talk) 09:03, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
Please discuss the topic, which isn't me. HiLo48 (talk) 22:56, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
@HiLo48: How many of those other statistics are as important as religion? We could also use the CIA World Facebook as another reference. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 02:40, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Trying to answer that would probably open another can of worms. My comment was simply a response to the claim of "If a statistical fact is important enough to go in the body, then its important enough to be summarized in the infobox". HiLo48 (talk) 03:37, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
given religion isnt important in the australian context, even the ABS says its an optional question in census where every question has to be answered and those that dont are fined its totally irrelevant in a one size fits all infobox. Gnangarra 13:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Gnangarra—further up this page you say "we are a secular society". But that only means that religion is not mandated. It does not mean that there is no religion. In a secular society almost inevitably there are religions. That is a common feature found around the world. Human beings tend to gravitate towards religions. This is not to say that there are not many people in a society who are decidedly nonreligious, and many of them may be assembled in this discussion. Wikipedia may self-select for the nonreligious component of a society. (I cannot prove that.) I doubt that Australia is different from other societies regarding the spectrum of the range of religiosity, including those who have no interest in the subject whatsoever. The argument to omit a simple graph produced by a presumably competent government agency posits that Australia is different from the many other countries that have this in their article's Info-box. Isn't the government of Australia trying to produce a document that is useful rather than riddled with flaws as some of you seem to be trying to argue? Bus stop (talk) 00:12, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Simple question - What DOES the data mean? HiLo48 (talk) 04:46, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
It means exactly what it says. Obviously. Merphee (talk) 05:42, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
What does it say? HiLo48 (talk) 07:48, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Not what you want it to say. Merphee (talk) 08:41, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Stupid response. I will repeat my point that the raw numbers do not deliver any clear, unambiguous content at all. And if all you can say is that silly remark, you are simply reinforcing my point. HiLo48 (talk) 10:46, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Stupid question more like it! Merphee (talk) 10:55, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
  • No This is a useful summary of important information, which is the point of an infobox. This is consistent with articles for virtually every other sovereign state. Many of the arguments presented here for removing this field are either irrelevant or, at best, miss the point. Endymion.12 (talk) 12:00, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
You are forcing me to do this again. Part of those figures say "52.1% Christianity" and "30.1% Non-religious". What does that "important information" actually mean? HiLo48 (talk) 08:38, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
It means that 52.1% of Australians identify as Christian and 30.1% as non-religious, unless I don't understand your question. If you feel that information is somehow misleading or unrepresentative of real religious feeling etc, then we simply disagree. Endymion.12 (talk) 09:53, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
The census does not ask "What religion do you identify as?" It does not use the word "identify" at all. So that's YOUR interpretation of the data, and there is no evidence that you are right. And this is the problem with raw data in the Infobox. I have no problem with both the data AND the precise question asked being included in the text, but the data on its own has to be interpreted, and everyone I've asked and who has had the courage to try to answer the question (thank you for doing so) says it means something different. Can you see the problem yet? HiLo48 (talk) 10:25, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Can you please remind me what the question di specifically ask? I'm sure it's been stated above but it's a long discussion and I couldn't find it. I should point out though that the ABS itself does use "identify" in its release notes, for example, "How likely a person was to identify as religious in 2016 had a lot to do with their age."[4] --AussieLegend () 10:51, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether the census used the word "identify". If a person is asked to state their religion and they do so, that counts as identifying with a religion (or none), per ordinary use of the English language. This is the minimum that they are doing; they are not, for example, claiming to be practising members of that religion or regular Church-goers etc. It would be helpful if you could articulate specific objections rather than ask vague questions. Endymion.12 (talk) 11:03, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
@AussieLegend: Question 19 on the 2016 Census Household Form is "What is the person’s religion?" Mitch Ames (talk) 11:34, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
My objection is simple, and perfectly clear. Unlike all other numerical content of the Infobox (e.g. population, area, GDP, etc), the raw religion data will typically be interpreted by the reader to mean something other than what was specifically asked in the census question. This discussion shows that some of these interpretations are very removed from the truth. I repeat, I have no problem with the data AND the question being expanded upon in the text, but putting it in the Infobox without context is not helpful to the reader. HiLo48 (talk) 11:41, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Purely out of interest, what would inserting the census question ("What is the person’s religion?") actually clarify? What kind of erroneous interpretations might doing this avoid? Endymion.12 (talk) 12:24, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Oh dear, are you serious. I'm sorry, but that's a really stupid question. Or you have read very little of what's been said above in this discussion. For starters, we do not include census questions in the Infobox.
I must clarify that I do have another concern (already mentioned way above, but obviously not going to be read by newcomers). It is that on the census, parents fill out the form on behalf of their children. It is logically and philosophically incorrect to accept a parent's claim on what a child's religion is. HiLo48 (talk) 23:02, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Including the census question obviously wouldn't clarify anything, which is why you declined to respond above. The second point reflects personal views and commitments you hold which are, I'm afraid, entirely irrelevant here. I'm not going to respond any further because this isn't productive. Endymion.12 (talk) 23:28, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
What's that? You attack, condemn and dismiss me for expressing a personal view here? Oh dear. I'll try very hard to never do that again. HiLo48 (talk) 06:48, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Other discussions about religion in country infoboxesEdit

A.k.a. "a brief history"

[To keep the sequence together for readability, please respond below the sig line rather than interspersing comments.]

I'll try to flesh this out as I find more items. — Pelagic (talk) 07:38, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Thank you! This is really excellent research. If you have the link handy, perhaps you could edit the timeline to link to that January 2016 RFC? I briefly tried looking for it, but there's a lot of archived discussion on that template. Colin M (talk) 23:39, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Colin. Found it; have updated item above. — Pelagic (talk) 06:03, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Percentages in list of religions in infoboxEdit

@Nick Thorne: the changes you made to the "List of religions" in the infoxbox are not what is stated by the reference for "Other" and "Not stated or unclear". Is there an other source to support your changes? I've tweaked the wording slightly to match the source, but I'm reluctant to make any other changes, given the ongoing debate in #RfC dated 23 June 2019 - Should religion be removed from the infobox?. Mitch Ames (talk) 08:10, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Mitch Ames, Hmm, I guess I didn't look at those figures properly. I'll make the changes to accurately reflect what the source says. I'm not buying into the debate about including the religion list in the infobox, but so long as it's there, it should accurately reflect the source. - Nick Thorne talk 08:42, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't support these unilateral changesd NickThorne has made. We need to state Christianity as one religion as we do with Muslims and other religions. We don't break those down into denominations of the same religion so we obviously shouldn't be splitting the Christianity religian into denominations of the same religion! The current version is completely misleading. I will revert back to the oroginal version. Merphee (talk) 08:43, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
OK, but....
I have restored my change to the list title, independently of the list contents, as I still maintain that it is more appropriate. I have restored "No religion" instead "Non-religious" to more accurately reflect the source for that percentage. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
No worries at all Mitch Ames. That's a good change. Merphee (talk) 10:03, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
The percentages in the "original" (now, with my minor tweaks, current) version do not match what the reference (or the Religion Data Summary) says. In particular the source does not say:
  • 1.3% Other
  • 9.7% Not stated or unclear
As before, I'm reluctant to make significant changes to the table while #RfC dated 23 June 2019 - Should religion be removed from the infobox? is still in progress, but if you can produce some references, or point out the routine calculation to support those, they should be added to the existing values. Mitch Ames (talk) 10:10, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I think the 1.3% is easily supported as the sum of Sikhism 0.5%, Judaism 0.4% and Other 0.4% in the data summary. Alternatively, those three numbers could be included. The 30.1% No religion should be rounded to 30% to match the lead of the primary source (where the 52% Christian, 2.6% Islam and 2.4% Buddhism come from) and precision level of 2 significant figures in every other number. Otherwise, the 52% could be raised to 52.1% to match the table in the data summary. The 9.7% not stated or unclear appears to be 100-30.1-8.2-52. I think that 9.6% is supportable as 100-30.1-8.2-52.1 in the table in the data summary source. This simple arithmetic is supported by WP:CALC.--Scott Davis Talk 13:20, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
I've updated the list, including the ref, to match [5]. This includes removing "Not stated or unclear", because the ref does not say that. (It's possible that 5% declared themselves to be Jedi, and the ABS decided to ignore them - which is not the same as "not stated or unclear".) Instead I've added a note explaining why they don't add up to 100%.
  • I have lost track of who is winning. ~ cygnis insignis 16:16, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Removal of Chief Justice from InfoboxEdit

I refer to this edit: Special:Diff/914450226/914454331.

@Moxy:: The removal of the Chief Justice from the infobox appears unjustified. At the risk of whataboutery, the Chief Justice appears in the infobox of the United States article, despite not being mentioned in that article. Is this a valid reason for removal? The High Court of Australia is mentioned. The Queen and GG are given cursory references.

To fulfil the instructions in the template, 'please reverse the above diff'. (talk) 04:24, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Its an appointed position not part of the Parliament of Australia--10:23, 13 September 2019 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Moxy (talkcontribs)
The infobox does not refer to the Parliament, though. It refers to the 'Government'. The Australian Federal Government is comprised of three independent branches, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judicature. I refer to the three chapters of the Commonwealth Constitution. Right now, the infobox only covers two of those three arms of Government. Also, the fact that the position is appointed is not particularly relevant. The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen. The Prime Minister, while an elected Parliamentarian, holds their ministerial position as part of cabinet, which is - you guessed it - by appointment. That doesn't mean they are not part of the Government. The mode of appointment doesn't mean a lot, really. (talk) 14:11, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
To put it simply.... the info box which is part of the lead is meant to regurgitate information already in the article.. for decades editors here at this FA article have not seen any purpose in naming this position in the article. WP:MOSLEAD.--Moxy 🍁 02:57, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Moxy: I ask that you have a look at question 5 on Talk:United_States/FAQ. The President, Vice President, Speaker of The House of Representatives, and Chief Justice are stated within the United States Constitution as leaders of their respective branches of government. As the three branches of government are equal, all four leaders get mentioned under the "Government" heading in the infobox. The exact same principle applies to Australia by analogy. Your reasoning contradicts established consensus on a highly analogous article. You made a pretty significant change to the infobox without first obtaining consensus. I would have reverted it if I had permission to. I ask again that you consider reverting (as I cannot) until you obtain consensus. (talk) 03:46, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Rather than looking at the infobox for the US, I think we should be looking at those for the UK, Canada and New Zealand, whose systems of Government are more similar to Australia's. A quick inspection reveals that none of them seem to have a Chief Justice (or equivalent) in their infoboxes. Also, we should consider WP:OTHERCONTENT Meticulo (talk) 04:02, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
First, without getting into too much detail, those nations have vastly different constitutional frameworks. Chapter III of the Australian Constitution is an intelligent copy and paste (or 19th century equiv) of Art III of the US Constitution. Like the US Constitution, the Australian Constitution specifically makes provision for a Chief Justice, who is the highest ranking judicial officer of the Commonwealth. See the article Chief Justice of Australia. Secondly, in the articles to which you refer, the decision to omit the Chief Justice does not appear to have been made by consensus, whereas the US one appears to have been (I admit, I haven't looked into this in great detail, though). Thirdly, The High Court of Australia is mentioned in the article, with a reference to justices: Judiciary: the High Court of Australia and other federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the governor-general on advice of the Federal Executive Council. That should suffice to name the Chief Justice of that Court. Fourthly, the Chief Justice has been in stable copies of the article for a long time, at least from 2014. I'm not sure what has prompted its removal. It should be for good reason. As for other articles, I already flagged the whataboutery in my initial post, but the point is bolstered by the fact that it appears consensus drove the inclusion of the US Chief Justice, and it appears highly similar to what is the case here. I am simply unable to see why removal is justified when the High Court is mentioned. (talk) 04:36, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I've done a more thorough look and did find some discussion relating to Canada://] and this is particularly relevant. (talk) 07:23, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm actually not strongly opposed to the Chief Justice appearing in the infobox. In fact, if it were solely up to me, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition would also appear, and maybe even the Treasurer and Foreign Minister. What I was opposed to was the decision being swayed on the basis of analogy to the US and a consensus reached on its talk page. Australia has prime ministers who sit in parliament, with cabinets drawn from members elected to that body. In my book, that makes its admittedly Washminster system closer to the UK's than the US's presidential executive, regardless of incidents of Constitutional thievery. Also, thanks for Canada archival link - I note that User:Moxy also appears there. Meticulo (talk) 10:26, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Its about her not mentioned in the article because of relevance and that the position is not next inline (order of precedence} thus is very misleading to have as forth when she 5th or 6th inline.--Moxy 🍁 07:47, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
First, why is there a need to specifically name the individual within the article? It is trivial to add a reference to the Chief Justice where the High Court is mentioned. Secondly, there is no 'precedence' when it comes to the arms of government. I don't know what you mean by 4th/5th either. In line for what? (talk) 08:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Basic stuff...Table of precedence for the Commonwealth of Australia. --Moxy 🍁 14:28, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't think we should be too bothered about orders of precedence. As the article on it says, "A person's position in an order of precedence is not necessarily an indication of functional importance, but rather an indication of ceremonial or historical relevance; for instance, it may dictate where dignitaries are seated at formal dinners." It's not the same thing as an order of succession. If we took your argument to its logical conclusion, it would be misleading of us to name the prime minister without first naming all state governors. Meticulo (talk) 15:46, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Exactly where does it end.... thus a normal criteria is regurgitation....if not named in the article why in the infobox if it's misleading of how important the non-elected position is.--Moxy 🍁 15:54, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
No, that's not my point. It wouldn't be misleading. We should ignore the order of precedence entirely. Also irrelevant is whether a position is elected or non-elected. The Queen and Governor-General are both non-elected, but they are named. (Apologies if this comes across as blunt, but I'm trying to make myself clear this time). Meticulo (talk) 01:14, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
I echo @Meticulo:'s point in relation to the 'Order of precedence'. That order has no constitutional significance, it is of historical and formal significance only. To suggest that one branch of government is subordinate to another is undermine basic principles of the separation of powers and the rule of law. The Prime Minister is also not directly elected - it is a Parliamentarian appointed with that position. This isn't just theoretical, it causes endless controversy when political parties jettison the prime minister without a democratic mandate: See 1, 2, 3, 4. Also sorry if I am coming across blunt here. (talk) 01:25, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

While not responding to this request, FWIW, I saw it and put in a request at the infobox country template to add a subsection on the judiciary; specifically, to add three parameters that would name the highest court of appeal (eg in Australia the High Court), the title of the head judge (eg President(UK) or Chief Justice (US, Oz)) and that person's name. It seems a notable absence and somewhat confused not to mention the judiciary - legislature and executive are in quite a few countries a combined branch of government; de jure, at least, the judiciary is almost universally independent. However, this per se does not change the discussion here on whether or not to include these items in the Australia country infobox, but would at least give a more formal structure/appearance to their possible inclusion in future. --Goldsztajn (talk) 17:42, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

An excellent idea. Thanks. Meticulo (talk) 01:14, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. I find it awkward that mention of the judiciary is absent from any country with an established separation of the arms of government, at least where there is one apex court (might be a bit more difficult in nations with separate constitutional courts, like South Africa). (talk) 01:27, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Since 2013, the Constitutional Court has been South Africa's single apex court. It's true other countries, although not the majority, have separate apex courts (eg France), but the court which interprets a country's constitution would generally be regarded as first amongst equals.--Goldsztajn (talk) 20:54, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
I see. I think the appropriateness of the judiciary being mentioned might need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. I would also add that the Australian Chief Justice has been published in a variety of independent, verifiable sources specifically for that position: see 1 and 2 for instance. The Chief Justice also swears in the Governor-General. Should this perhaps be converted into a request for comment, or is this sufficient? I really just intended this as an edit request, but it seems to be more contested than I first envisaged it would be. (talk) 10:06, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd be in favour of a request for comment, particularly if it highlights efforts to have a parameter added to the Country infobox for 'final court of appeal'. Meticulo (talk) 04:07, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

At least the meaning of Chief Justice is 100% clear, unlike the Religion nonsense we stupidly decided to keep just above. HiLo48 (talk) 02:26, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Edit requestEdit

Perhaps a little less contentious than my above request ... under section 'pre-colonial history', please change 'Arnhem Land is recognized as the oldest site showing the presence of humans in Australia' to 'recognised' per Australian English and MOS:ENGVAR. (talk) 02:48, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. - FlightTime (open channel) 02:53, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Sorry FlightTime, but "recognised" simply is the correct Australian English spelling, so I have made the change as requested. HiLo48 (talk) 03:06, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
In fact, one might even say it's the recognised Australian English spelling... -- Begoon 04:30, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
But did one need to say it? ~ cygnis insignis 05:22, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
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