Re[2]: BC/AD vs BCE/CE (a rant)

Subject: Re[2]: BC/AD vs BCE/CE (a rant)
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 13:51:47 -0500

If we are writing for
an international audience, one that encompasses
cultures which are not Christian, using BC/AD is
requiring a the reader to accept a dating scheme
based on one religion's beliefs.

I fully agree that "know your audience" is the cardinal rule in this case.
Use the dating method that your audience (or the largest group of them, at
least) is expecting you to use. But I do have a nit to pick with this.

All dating is relative, based on significant events. Eras are dated from
the inception of certain empires, start or end of wars, scientific
discoveries (dates are offered, for example, as "AE" or Atomic Era) and the
like. It's a misconception to believe the BC/AD dating is based upon
religious belief. It's based upon a significant historical event. Belief in
the teachings of Jesus is not required to admit that the event set in
motion a chain of events with world-wide significance (you may consider the
chain to be for good or for ill, that isn't relevant to the discussion; the
point is magnitude, not direction) which is easily the equivalent of any
other event suggested as a basis for dating by any objective measurement.
History is clear on that. The mere fact that BCE/CE dating references the
same hypothetical point in time testifies to that fact.

All right, I've managed to nudge this thread even farther off-topic. I
admit it. I'll not carry it further. But it was a technical effort, in the
interests of linguistic precision.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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