Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Dating systems: BC and AD, or BCE and CE?
#46
Quintus, I will try to make my personal point clear.

Quote: BC/AD and BCE/CE are the same thing, both with the same religious reference point. I always thought that the BCE/CE thing was a bunch of crapload designed to please a political-correctness crowd that seems to be offended by anything and everything. Same thing as calling someone who's deaf "hearing-impaired" or a dwarf "vertically-challenged"... Bullshit, if you ask me. It's like every word we use nowadays is offending, so we need to create another language.
I think this depends on the environment you are in. If you try to follow Kant´s Categorical Imperative it seems logical to not use the BC / AD system in the unversity seminar room. At least here, since Christians are normally a minority in these rooms. As a teacher I suspect I should be "neutral", especially as a history teacher, since History of Religions is also part of the subject. I would happily use an other dating system, but since the textbooks my students work with are using this chronology, it would be rather confusing them, if I used other dates, which would end in very silly statements and test results. Also, I do not understand what the problem is. Everybody understands what is meant with CE or BCE, so the message apparently works. I could equally start complaining that different languages exist. How dares one use the word "Kindergarten" in english, where you could use "Children´s Garden" as well. That is how language works, it changes all the time #dialects, #new words etc. That´s how history works. It is change. So, all I can see in your argument is some kind of unnecessary conservatism. I see it a bit more chilled, and do not really mind. I could call a cow a pig, if the person I talk to understands what is meant, it doesn´t really matter.
Quote:I wouldn't care if the calendar system would be based on the birth of Mohammed or the death of Bob the super-alien, as long as a system allows everybody to put events on the same timescale. That people like it or not, religion is part of human history and of the fabric of human experience, so trying to get it out of history is revisionism in its worst form. Using BC/AD doesn't force-convert people, it just aknowledges the historical fact that a certain culture, of Christian tradition, used that system for a long time and this relic has become a standard.
I fully agree. But why is it necessary to acknowledge? The terms we use alway influence our thinking. Already Sokrates made this very clear back then in Athens. If I want to be be an as-objective-as-possible worker on history related subjects, I should use neutral terms. As an example: "Samnite Wars" vs. "Roman-Samnite Wars" or "Punic Wars" vs. "Roman-Carthaginian Wars". etc... the use of biased terms has always influenced the way historians and archaeologists viewed the past. Stronger examples are "Theodosius the Great" or "Julian the Apostate", eg.

Quote:If this relic has to be rejected because of modern sensibilities, then what's the point of studying archaeology and history in the first place, since most of what we'll discover will be foreign to modern sensibilities?
Sorry, but this to me is a non sequitur. Also: This relic is not (as I have shown above) rejected because of modern sensibilities, at least in the academia, I don´t know about the atheists, but out of good reasons. Also, the term as such is "incorrect" as I said above, it then should be sthg. like 1991AD => 1991 ADAWCW7YO or so, and that would be clumsy.

Quote:The atheist defence/connotation of BCE/CE is also biased as by its definition, atheism is also a belief. So we would just replace one belief by another, which seems in vogue and more acceptable in the current era, but which might very well fall out of disfavour sometime in the future
I am not in favour of organized atheism, but I would like to point out one thing, since what you write in your first sentence is repeated everywhere and always, but repetition does not make it correct.

Compare the two sentences:
I do not eat apples. <=> I do not believe in XY.
Then these two:
Not eating apples is a belief <=> Not believing in XY is a belief.

Clearly atheism, defined as "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities." (WP) is not a belief. It may be a mind-setting, a philosophy or whatever, but it is not a belief (Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true., also from WP) Unless you re-define the terms from the common sense to sthg else. But then you would do exactly the same thing as those do who change the terminology for BC and AD, to BCE and CE, no... wait. They don´t redefine, they just re-label.

As to your second sentence, well, it was always and ever en vogue, so it is not a modern phenomenon. That is why there are so many different beliefs and religions.

Anyway, please do not take this as a personal attack, just in case. I just wanted to summarize my view an what you wrote. I of course respect you point of view, and can partially understand it. It has a lot to do from what point of view and under which circumstances you use the terms, methinks. Confusedmile:
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.

LEGIO XIII GEMINA

[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]
Reply
#47
Quote:I wouldn't care if the calendar system would be based on the birth of Mohammed or the death of Bob the super-alien, as long as a system allows everybody to put events on the same timescale. That people like it or not, religion is part of human history and of the fabric of human experience, so trying to get it out of history is revisionism in its worst form. Using BC/AD doesn't force-convert people, it just aknowledges the historical fact that a certain culture, of Christian tradition, used that system for a long time and this relic has become a standard.]
I think this depends on the environment you are in. If you try to follow Kant´s Categorical Imperative it seems logical to not use the BC / AD system in the unversity seminar room. At least here, since Christians are normally a minority in these rooms. As a teacher I suspect I should be "neutral", especially as a history teacher, since History of Religions is also part of the subject. I would happily use an other dating system, but since the textbooks my students work with are using this chronology, it would be rather confusing them, if I used other dates, which would end in very silly statements and test results. Also, I do not understand what the problem is. Everybody understands what is meant with CE or BCE, so the message apparently works. I could equally start complaining that different languages exist. How dares one use the word "Kindergarten" in english, where you could use "Children´s Garden" as well. That is how language works, it changes all the time #dialects, #new words etc. That´s how history works. It is change. So, all I can see in your argument is some kind of unnecessary conservatism. I see it a bit more chilled, and do not really mind. I could call a cow a pig, if the person I talk to understands what is meant, it doesn´t really matter.
Quote:I wouldn't care if the calendar system would be based on the birth of Mohammed or the death of Bob the super-alien, as long as a system allows everybody to put events on the same timescale. That people like it or not, religion is part of human history and of the fabric of human experience, so trying to get it out of history is revisionism in its worst form. Using BC/AD doesn't force-convert people, it just aknowledges the historical fact that a certain culture, of Christian tradition, used that system for a long time and this relic has become a standard.

I understand your point, but since both BC/AD and BCE/CE are one and the same, that is both based on the same reference point, i.e. the traditionally assigned date for the birth of Christ, I find it a moot point to try and use a different term that may seem less religiously charged, to identify the same event. To me, it looks like hypocrisy. We refer to a religious event, but we don't want to name that religious event... I just don't see the point. Anybody sitting in a seminar does know what BCE and CE refers to, whatever their cultural/religious background. Calling a cow a "xyz" will still refer to a cow for the Hindus, with all the religiuous aspects relatedto it. Naming or un-naming the event doesn't erase the event.

Quote:I fully agree. But why is it necessary to acknowledge? The terms we use alway influence our thinking.

You are right, the terms influence our thinking. But personnally, I don't think that this renaming changes the reference point in the deeper sense. Since it still retains the meaning of the event, why spend such effort to try and go around it? I would have found it way more logical to change the reference point instead of the name.

I don't see it as the need to acknowledge the tradition, but instead I don't see why is there a need to change it, since it works. If we take a historical example, I find more logic behind the introduction of the French revolutionary calendar because it assigns a totally new reference point in the dating system, which ends up excluding the religious significance of it.

quote="caiusbeerquitius" post=298326]I am not in favour of organized atheism, but I would like to point out one thing, since what you write in your first sentence is repeated everywhere and always, but repetition does not make it correct.

It is repeated simple because everything in this thread stems from a single premise. Change the premise, and the whole argument changes.

quote="caiusbeerquitius" post=298326]Clearly atheism, defined as "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities." (WP) is not a belief. [/quote]
If one believes that there is no deity, since it cannot be proven to be true (as any other faith cannot be proven to be true) then it means that it is a belief. I don't see why if someones believes that there is one or many god/gods, it is considered a belief, while if somenone else believes that there are no deity/ies, it is not a belief. Putting forward the proposition/premise of the non-existence of deity/deities, as being true, looks like a belief to me... But we're getting into semantics now...!

Don't worry I don't take it as a personal attack, but as a very interesting debate. I don't respond to personal attacks anyway, as they're not worth my time Big Grin. Posts that all agree on the same thing tend to become boring quite fast, don't you agree?
Danny Deschenes
Reply
#48
Quote:I think this depends on the environment you are in. If you try to follow Kant´s Categorical Imperative it seems logical to not use the BC / AD system in the unversity seminar room. At least here, since Christians are normally a minority in these rooms. As a teacher I suspect I should be "neutral", especially as a history teacher, since History of Religions is also part of the subject. I would happily use an other dating system, but since the textbooks my students work with are using this chronology, it would be rather confusing them, if I used other dates, which would end in very silly statements and test results.

I understand your point, but since both BC/AD and BCE/CE are one and the same, that is both based on the same reference point, i.e. the traditionally assigned date for the birth of Christ, I find it a moot point to try and use a different term that may seem less religiously charged, to identify the same event. To me, it looks like hypocrisy. We refer to a religious event, but we don't want to name that religious event... I just don't see the point. Anybody sitting in a seminar does know what BCE and CE refers to, whatever their cultural/religious background. Calling a cow a "xyz" will still refer to a cow for the Hindus, with all the religiuous aspects related to it. Naming or un-naming the event doesn't erase the event.

Quote:I fully agree. But why is it necessary to acknowledge? The terms we use alway influence our thinking.

You are right, the terms influence our thinking. But personnally, I don't think that this renaming changes the reference point in the deeper sense. Since it still retains the meaning of the event, why spend such effort to try and go around it? I would have found it way more logical to change the reference point instead of the name.

I don't see it as the need to acknowledge the tradition, but instead I don't see why is there a need to change it, since it works. If we take a historical example, I find more logic behind the introduction of the French revolutionary calendar because it assigns a totally new reference point in the dating system, which ends up excluding the religious significance of it.

Quote:I am not in favour of organized atheism, but I would like to point out one thing, since what you write in your first sentence is repeated everywhere and always, but repetition does not make it correct.

It is repeated simple because everything in this thread stems from a single premise. Change the premise, and the whole argument changes.

Quote:Clearly atheism, defined as "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities." (WP) is not a belief.
If one believes that there is no deity, since it cannot be proven to be true (as any other faith cannot be proven to be true) then it means that it is a belief. I don't see why if someones believes that there is one or many god/gods, it is considered a belief, while if somenone else believes that there are no deity/ies, it is not a belief. Putting forward the proposition/premise of the non-existence of deity/deities, as being true, looks like a belief to me... But we're getting into semantics now...!

Don't worry I don't take it as a personal attack, but as a very interesting debate. I don't respond to personal attacks anyway, as they're not worth my time Big Grin. Posts that all agree on the same thing tend to become boring quite fast, don't you agree?
Danny Deschenes
Reply
#49
I personally use BC and AD but I guess that the more technically correct term is BCE and BC but I think that it doesn't really matter. I would use BC and AD because they seem more of a neutral dating system. BCE and BC seem like an attempt at making it more correct that some scientists made to debate.
Reply
#50
Quote:If one believes that there is no deity, since it cannot be proven to be true (as any other faith cannot be proven to be true) then it means that it is a belief. I don't see why if someones believes that there is one or many god/gods, it is considered a belief, while if somenone else believes that there are no deity/ies, it is not a belief. Putting forward the proposition/premise of the non-existence of deity/deities, as being true, looks like a belief to me..

It depends how you define atheism really. To any atheists out there, read the following statements and see which ond defines you best...

A) I know there is no god, therefore I am atheist.
B) I cannot answer the question of god's existence as, however unlikely I feel it is, I cannot prove it one way or another. I do however, reject the claims made by theists who assert that there definately is a god, as the evidence they put forward is, to me, unconvincing.

I'm in camp 'B', and as such am not asserting a belief, just rejecting the claims of thiests. In this sense I am a-theist.

Regarding the other posts, changing the label but not the dates themselves gives non-christians the ability to take religion somewhat out of the equation, whilst still acknowledging a common reference point. We can all still talk about, for example, the year of the four emperors as being in AD/CE 69 without having to spend time matching up dates of different systems. For example:

'The naval victory of RE 467 ensured...'
'Hang on, what's RE? Are you talking about Salamis, Actium, Ecnomus..?'
'It's my new dating system, split into Republican Era and Imperial Era'
'Oh great! more new dates to learn'

Also, to whoever said that the 365.25 day year was a 'western' imposition I'd say that's a little far-fetched, given that that is a solar year, the time taken for the earth to orbit the sun, thus identical for everybody from westerners to aboriginal Australians on the opposite side of the world. How we all divide up and label time is a different matter.

And to everyone who seems to think we are somehow being forced to use this 'new' system, don't believe everything you read in the papers. It wasn't too long ago that the Daily Fail, I mean Mail (a spectacularly piss-poor, innacurate, truth-twisting toilet roll of a paper here in England) bellowed about the BBC's 'banning' the use of BC/AD on the grounds that it might offend minorities. Turns out the source the Daily Mail used was a tiny memo from the BBC basically saying to it's employees and producers 'Hey, use whatever you want, enough people know what the BCE/CE thing is by now for it to be a commonly understood thing now'

It seems that there are a few slippery slope arguments on this thread which detract from the essential point of it. If you ever hear an argument like 'Banning BC/AD!? what next? forcing our kids to wear burka's? Putting huge 'censored' signs in front of churches?!' then run.
Arma virumque cano
Reply
#51
Quote:One post mentioned a 'cheat sheet' that had to be devised when reading books which use BCE and CE instead of BC and AD......
Really? Is 'BC' so hugely different from 'BCE' as to require a written reminder? Oh dear.

No, the 'cheat sheet' I mentioned was used in regards to the AUC system, which, since it begins with the traditional founding of Rome, is quite a bit different from the BC/AD or BCE/CE system.
David J. Cord
http://www.davidcord.com
Reply
#52
Thanks for that Epictetus, you're right, I was wrong. I've edited the original post. That'll teach me not to speed read!
Arma virumque cano
Reply
#53
Quote:Also, to whoever said that the 365.25 day year was a 'western' imposition I'd say that's a little far-fetched,

Maybe that is what I meant by beginning that particular paragraph with "also, to carry the argument to its probably absurd extreme". Wink (emphasis added)

Still, major cultures - such as the traditional Chinese and Islam - use the lunar calendar, which also makes sense on an astrological basis.
M. Caecilius M.f. Maxentius - Max C.

Qui vincit non est victor nisi victus fatetur
- Q. Ennius, Annales, Frag. XXXI, 493

Secretary of the Ricciacus Frënn (http://www.ricciacus.lu/)
Reply
#54
Quote:I voted BC/AD as I'm used to it. One can always interpret BCE and CE and 'before the Christian Era" and "Christian Era". Eventually someone might ask just what the 'common' point of reference was and why it was significant, anyway, so the cultural is just sort of airbrushed with BCE/CE.

Indeed.

I was wondering - if we have BCE = Before Christian Era; then shouldn't the subsequent period be more accurately ICE - In Christian Era?

Or would that just confuse us as yet another ICE Age?!!! :lol:
[size=75:2kpklzm3]Ghostmojo / Howard Johnston[/size]

[Image: A-TTLGAvatar-1-1.jpg]

[size=75:2kpklzm3]Xerxes - "What did the guy in the pass say?" ... Scout - "Μολὼν λαβέ my Lord - and he meant it!!!"[/size]
Reply
#55
Or the Immigration enforcers in the US? (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
Reply
#56
Quote:I was wondering - if we have BCE = Before Christian Era; then shouldn't the subsequent period be more accurately ICE - In Christian Era?
According to my favorite blog - http://antoninuspius.blogspot.com/ - that's actualy what writers use to write! :lol:
** Vincula/Lucy **
Reply
#57
I do not want to disscuss, but only give you an example for comparison. I was growing up in communistic country, where history was taught without infuences of any religion... Of course the position of the Catholic Church in Poland was very strong even in this former period, but there was something significant in the usage of the dating system taught in schools and universities even. Instead of BC we were learning Before Common Era. In place of AD we used Common Era... Of course everyone knew, that the beginning of this Common Era was connected with the birth of Christ, but in such term Christ was not mentioned... Wink Smile Our schoolars had "clever" methods how to publish historical books containing many important arguments. It was enough to create one chapter about hypothetical "influx" of Marx, Engels and Lenin arguments into the subject... :wink: :grin: But this is another story...
Coming back to the point. We started using BC/AD in scientifical literature again from 1990 and that was the impact of english-language literature of course. That was something like another "sign of changes" in our country then...
Well, reading some posts here, I am not confused or embarassed. I notice it as another "wind of changes" in our social and geopolithical consciusness, not as one nation or citizens of one continent. Even such "small" Wink world as this one created by enthusiasts of ancient times could not be homogeneus...
It doesn`t really matter how we name the dating system. This point said to be the moment of the birth of Christ (in spite of disscussion about propriety of the indication of this moment) should stay the border of the common/ Christian era and the period before. Just because it is the significant element of the culture, recognized all over the world. In my opinion it would be very hard to find now something more universal and acceptable for the worlds community and historians. And I would like to add, that in spite of this aspect mentioned above, connected with the history of my country, I have no affectional relation to the subject Smile
SALUTO,
ANDREAS GOBINIUS


"ANTIQUITAS" OFFICINA ARTIS CRETARIAE

http://www.antiquitas.pl
[Image: ANTIQUITAS_logo_smaller.jpg]
Reply
#58
Making dating religious-neutral serves the purpose of avoiding the situation of archeolical dating beconing ( pardon a biblical reference) a Tower of Babel. Of course there are some who will ASSUME that everyone will use Christian dating. But what if in a paroxysm of national pride, China starts dating everything in terms of the Chinese Calendar? What if Israeli archeologists decide to stop accomodating the agreed upon system and start using the Jewish calendar with its Leap Months etc. Or Muslims only publish dates according to their frame of reference? The purpose of a commonly agreed on and understood frame of reference is so we all know what we're talking about. I grew up with BC/AD but so what? I understand both systems, I really see no need to start a religious war over what they call years before and after the start point. If anything, having a system with a start point common to ALL humanity and time before it and time after it, probabl;y makes more sense but at tis point will be no less confusing, more so than some system that works forward only from year 1 like the first human or whatever ... whenever that was... What should be our real focus are facts surrounding that which we are dating. It is supreme cultural/religious arrogance to impose the beliefs of one on all others, suggesting that thats the " Right" way and therefore the only important way. Common Era only means a commonly agreed on start point to measure from. How it relates to feet/inches and Godless centimeters/meters is anyone's guess. Only, speaking as an American who grew up with feet/inches and has lived in a country that uses both systems, but officially metric, that you get used to it. Also, America is the only country in the world, to the best of my knowledge, that doesn't use metric officially. In all honesty, is it not more a question of national pride being the most powerful nation on earth, at least for now, to keep its national system? Amuricans jes aint gonna kow tow to no Urapeans. Come on.... this is such a silly topic in so many ways. Focus on the archeology not who's god can beat who's god. Lastly, consider that every civilization has had its own system of dating. When their culture declined and was superceded by another and that new cultures systems, who's to say that in 100 years everyone might be dating according to the Chinese Calendar, or some as yet unforseen dating system. Better we sort that out now with universally agreed upon terminology so we're all on the same page. BC/AD BCE CE? Who cares? What REALLY matters is the question we all have in common, whatever our beliefs: What REALLY happened back then? Arguements like this like similar arguments in past centuries, like " How many persons in God? 1? 3? Only serve to divide us, when we are all one community with a common love of history, just as we are all one species, one humanity. Personal beliefs are that, personal, and ALL beliefs should be respected and KEPT PERSONAL, not imposed on others.
Caesar audieritis hoc
Reply
#59
Quote: But what if in a paroxysm of national pride, China starts dating everything in terms of the Chinese Calendar?
Who says they don't? But if they want to be published in the (still) mainly Western scientific journals, they know better than to do so. the same goes for any Jewish or Muslim scholars: Jews as well as Muslims have of course their own dating systems, but I'm not sure whether this is included in articles that are not meant for publication abroad.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#60
Quote:If anything, having a system with a year 0 and time before it and time after it is confusing, more so than some system that works forward only from year 0, whatever that is...
A system without a Year Zero is even more confusing: http://rambambashi.wordpress.com/2010/09...difficult/ :wink:
posted by Duncan B Campbell
Reply


Forum Jump: