Re: CLDR Usage of Gregorian Calendar Era Terms: BC and AD -- Can we please have "CE" and "BCE" ?

From: William J Poser (
Date: Thu Dec 20 2007 - 02:42:33 CST

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    >Buddhists, Shintoists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews, to name 5 of the larger
    >religious groups, have no correlation whatsoever to this counting. So if a
    >mere label offends these groups (and most people I've met don't care about
    >this) then the very fact it is based on the supposed birth year of said figure
    >must be really infuriating!

    One might expect this, but in fact we Jews are generally content with
    BC and BCE. For religious and other specifically Jewish purposes we
    have our own bizarre calendar (in which it is currently the year 5768),
    but for most purposes we, including the State of Israel, use the
    Gregorian calendar. Many countries that are predominately non-Christian
    also use the Gregorian calendar for many purposes. In Thailand, for
    example, although the official calendar uses the Buddhist Era,
    the Gregorian year is often used. Non-Christians may or may not
    resent the fact that the most widely used calendar in the modern world
    uses a zero point based on Christian mythology, but most seem not
    to care so long as one is not constantly reminded of this by the

    >So if a true neutral counting must be achieved look towards science.

    Science provides facts relevant to construction of calendars
    such as the period of the orbit of the earth around the sun,
    but what point to use as the zero point of the calendar is
    a scientifically arbitrary cultural decision. The universe no
    more cares what zero point we use than it cares what mass we call
    a kilogram.


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