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Author Topic: Conservapedia
TomDavidson
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Is it necessary for something to threaten you for you to dislike it?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Verily the Younger:
To put it another way, if your belief system--whether that's a religion or a total lack of religion--is so shaky that it can be threatened by a calendar, then the calendar is not the real issue.

... which is why going to the trouble of making a whole new Wikipedia with this issue listed as reason #1, makes Christianity look very shaky indeed.

Or to a lesser extreme, you seem to have a lot more emotionally invested in only using AD while posters such as dkw or CT seem to be quite a bit more flexible. Thus, it would seem that you're more threatened/have a shakier belief system than they do.

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katharina
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I refuse to pass judgements on someone else's religious convictions based on their interest in a internet argument.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Verily the Younger:
Yes, and that "zero point" is the birth of Christ. You can call it "the Year of Our Lord", you can call it the "Common Era", or you can call it "the Age of the Sea Cucumber", but none of that changes the fact that the calendar is based on the supposed birthdate of Jesus Christ.

I wouldn't have a problem using "Common Era" if they found some other event to start it from. But the attempt to be politically correct and say we're using a non-faith-specific calendar which is still based on the birth of Jesus Christ is what I find hypocritical.

They haven't changed anything but the initials; it's as purely superficial an attempt at "fixing" the "problem" of a faith-based calendar as you could possibly ask for. They want to rid the calendar of its religious implications, but they don't want to actually do anything toward that end. So they just say, "Gee, well, the year 1 has nothing to do with Jesus, it's just the start of the Common Era."

And what event marked the start of the "Common Era"? The birth of Jesus. Congratulations, O politically correct ones. You've accomplished exactly nothing.

So call it Christian Era, if you like. Regardless. Christian supremicism aside, there's no call for trying to force your religious beliefs down people's throats.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Verily the Younger:
To put it another way, if your belief system--whether that's a religion or a total lack of religion--is so shaky that it can be threatened by a calendar, then the calendar is not the real issue.

I love when people come out with this "If your faith is so shaky" nonsense. It's the same thing as saying, "Man, can't you take a joke" when you get called on being rude.

It's no threat. It's distasteful. A decent respect for the fact that Christianity doesn't rule the world requires that there be a way of using the common calendar (there's that word "common" in its correct usage) without having to refer to Christian concepts.

Fact: This year is 2007 according to the common calendar. It doesn't count from anything. Even most Christians don't think it actually counts from the birth of their deity, as has been pointed out in this thread. It's just a number. A convenient one, since it's used commonly. Commonly.

And the point, which goes back to the beginning of this thread, is that the nuts who put together this Conservapedia aren't just conservative - they're Christian supremecists.

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Tresopax
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quote:
There's a difference between asking someone to support your beliefs and being asked to support a belief you don't share. "A.D." does the latter.
This is basically just false. "A.D." doesn't ask you to do anything. It is just a term signifying a certain part of the calendar. That is what people mean when they write it. If someone chooses to read more into it than that, then it is their own fault if they get offended.

There are many terms that are like that. One could choose to read "Thursday" as a statement that that particular day of the week is the day honoring Thor. But nobody today actually means that when they say "Thursday", so if one gets offended for that reason, it would be one's own fault for deciding to make it mean something that it doesn't in common usage. Or one might travel to "St. Augustine" in Florida and get offended if you don't believe in the Catholic saints - which once again would be one's own fault, because the term there is referring just to a city, not really the saint that originally inspired the saint. (I'd be willing to bet most people who live in St. Augustine, don't know who that person is.) Or if you happen to dislike the French, you might become offended by the term "french fries" even though the normal usage of the term has nothing to do with france. Didn't you think it was silly when those congressmen wanted to rename them "freedom fries"? Renaming "A.D." is pretty much the same sort of thing.

On that note, has anyone gone to T.G.I. Friday's before?

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pfresh85
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Yeah, trying ordering a Wednesday special when in there it's always Friday. [Razz]
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Renaming "A.D." is pretty much the same sort of thing.
No, it's not, for the reasons already posted, which you haven't addressed at all.

[ March 07, 2007, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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King of Men
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If we're going to appeal to the popular vote, isn't it clear that there's a large section of the population who do think using AD is honouring the Christian deity? Granted that they don't seem, by and large, to be the actual Christians, nonetheless they certainly exist.
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katharina
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My guess is that the largest segment of the population never think about what A.D. stands for at all. The BCE/CE proposal has probably done more to bring it to the forefront than anything else could have.
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Samprimary
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CE v. AD:

Could care less

Conservapedia:

Still pretty stupid

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Lavalamp
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I don't see any way to register on the site. If you already have a log in ID, you can get on to edit, but it appears impossible to create a new account.

Maybe just temporary?

I saw something I wanted to fix and couldn't do it.

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kmbboots
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Just the one thing?
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rjzeller
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Okay, this strikes me as a particularly stupid idea. Yeah, some of what I see in Wikipedia bothers me, but conservapedia? Good Grief....
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Verily the Younger
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quote:
Or to a lesser extreme, you seem to have a lot more emotionally invested in only using AD while posters such as dkw or CT seem to be quite a bit more flexible. Thus, it would seem that you're more threatened/have a shakier belief system than they do.
[ROFL]

quote:
So call it Christian Era, if you like. Regardless. Christian supremicism aside, there's no call for trying to force your religious beliefs down people's throats.
Was that directed at me? I'm an agnostic. I have no religious beliefs to push, and I certainly haven't been using this thread to push agnosticism.

Okay, there's a number of people now that claim that the use of "AD" is "forc[ing one's] religious beliefs down people's throats". But no one has really explained how simply saying or writing "AD" is threatening or offensive. I've already demonstrated that it does not constitute a pledge of allegiance to Jesus, and no one has yet attempted to demonstrate that it is. They are declaring that it is, but no evidence is offered.

Furthermore, the issue has been brought up several times now that the names of many days and months are derived from religious sources, and none of the anti-AD people have even tried to address that. Is it pledging allegiance to Odin/Woden to say "Today is Wednesday"? After all, "Wednesday" derives from "Woden's Day", or "Day of Woden". So today is Woden's day. Have I just declared a belief in Woden?

I've been to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I just called it "Our Lady". Have I just declared allegiance to the Virgin Mary?

If your answer to those two questions is "yes", then I honestly don't know what else I can say. But if your answer is "no", then it falls on you to demonstrate why saying "AD" is a declaration of allegiance to Jesus, and to explain why it is so for AD and not for Wednesday and Notre Dame.

[ March 07, 2007, 11:58 PM: Message edited by: Verily the Younger ]

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just_me
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quote:
Furthermore, the issue has been brought up several times now that the names of many days and months are derived from religious sources, and none of the anti-AD people have even tried to address that. Is it pledging allegiance to Odin/Woden to say "Today is Wednesday"? After all, "Wednesday" derives from "Woden's Day", or "Day of Woden". So today is Woden's day. Have I just declared a belief in Woden?
It seems to me that no one is worried about the name of the months/days because they aren't from a significantly predominant current religion. I have never met anyone who worships Thor, so I don't feel any pressure from references to him.

I think that it's nice that non-Christians have "agreed" to use our calendar and that this has allowed it to transcend being a Christian calendar and become a common calendar. So why not use CE to recognize that it's a common calendar from a common zero-point? Why not give that amount of respect to other religions (or others who don't have religion)?

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katharina
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quote:
It seems to me that no one is worried about the name of the months/days because they aren't from a significantly predominant current religion. I have never met anyone who worships Thor, so I don't feel any pressure from references to him.
So it isn't actually what the year is called so much that non-Christians feel outnumbered and want to kick back against the majority any way they can?

Suddenly I am remarkably less sympathetic. That's ridiculous.

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rivka
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Yes, that's it exactly. It's a revenge thing.

[Roll Eyes]

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just_me
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quote:
So it isn't actually what the year is called so much that non-Christians feel outnumbered and want to kick back against the majority any way they can?
No, that's not what I'm saying... where did I say anything about it being a way to kick back at anybody. I said it was about respecting non-Christian beliefs.

Am I that bad at making my point in a forum (as you can see from my post count I rarely post anything) or are you interpreting my post through your own bias instead of trying to understand/consider what I'm saying? (Yeah, I know it sounds like I'm being a wise-guy and I am a bit but I'm also trying to figure out how you could read my post and then translate it as you did)

The key word in my post was CURRENT.

The point is that AD references (or at least has strong ties/connotations) to a religion that some people have but others don't. Thursday might in theory refer to a religion but it's effectively a "dead" religion that no one really observes right now. Therefore it's easier to "forget" the origin/ties to a religion for Thursday than it is for AD.

If I say I oppose having the 10 commandments on the steps of a court house or that I think "God bless America" should NEVER be part of a political speech am I "kicking back" at Christianity or am I just against pushing my Christian beliefs onto others?

Do I think that we absolutely need to get rid of AD? not really.

Do I like CE better? yeah, because I am all for the separation of church and state and this is similar

Was I trying to make any point about whether CE is better/worse than AD? No. The question was asked why people don't complain about the names of the the weeks/months if they complain about AD and I said that it seems to me that it's because one if related to a current religion and one isn't.

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Tresopax
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quote:
quote:
Renaming "A.D." is pretty much the same sort of thing.
No, it's not, for the reasons already posted, which you haven't addressed at all.
Yes, it is, for the reasons I posted, which you haven't addressed at all. [Wink]
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kmbboots
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How about this, we change to CE because we can and because it's kind . Whether or not people's reasons for being offended make sense to us, it is enough for this small thing that we care that they are offended. We actually put people's comfort ahead of holding onto what we have acknowledged is a meaningless tradition.
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katharina
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What about the other way? For those who don't believe it, consider A.D. to be an amusing historical archaism, like Thursday, and leave it alone for those who attach importance to it because it is kind and charitable not to demand that the world change to fit you.

I don't actually think the above is a good argument or reason, but it isn't a good argument or reason for compelling action either way. Requests are fine, but if the answer to a request is no and the requestor still insists, it wasn't actually a request in the first place.

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dkw
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I don't think it works that way. Either it has a religious meaning, in which case it's not fair to non-Christians to use it in pluralistic settings or it has no real significance, in which case it doesn't hurt anyone not to use it.
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katharina
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It could have historical or cultural signifigance. The erasing of the past because it messes up with the vision of the present sounds like the Chinese cultural revolution.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
What about the other way? For those who don't believe it, consider A.D. to be an amusing historical archaism, like Thursday, and leave it alone for those who attach importance to it because it is kind and charitable not to demand that the world change to fit you.

I don't actually think the above is a good argument or reason, but it isn't a good argument or reason for compelling action either way. Requests are fine, but if the answer to a request is no and the requestor still insists, it wasn't actually a request in the first place.

100% agree.

I think there's also the usual caveat that just because someone is offended, that doesn't mean that they need to be offended, that being offended somehow puts the onus of correction on the person who is 'offending'.

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dkw
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Who is erasing anything? I lean toward the term still having significance, which is why I still use it in religious settings and why I think it's the moral thing to do not to use it in interfaith settings.

Of course, I sometimes actually use "the year of the Lord" spelled out in English too. Maybe I'm an anachronism.

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katharina
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I think calling it moral or immoral either way is a stretch.

I'm not actually attached deeply to it either way, so I'll use it in places where it is accepted, like a British spelling. I do think the crusade to erase it from all public use is misplaced, at the least.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:


I think there's also the usual caveat that just because someone is offended, that doesn't mean that they need to be offended, that being offended somehow puts the onus of correction on the person who is 'offending'.

I think that whoever has the most power in a situation (the majority, usually) bears the major responsibility for creating (within reason) an environment in which the people without power can be comfortable.

I think this is especially true when we are talking about Christians being in power.

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Verily the Younger
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Everything offends somebody. As noble as it is to try to regulate one's own speech in order to avoid causing offense, I think that it's really only useful up to a point. Eventually you move into the territory of never actually saying anything meaningful; everything becomes mealy-mouthed as everyone is too afraid to name anything for what it really is. That's the true harm of political correctness.

Would changing AD to CE to placate those who insist on being offended by AD push us to that point? By itself, no. Of course not. But it's another step along the way.

I'm all for getting rid of traditions and usages that are actually harmful. But no one has ever managed to demonstrate that AD is anything of the kind. Therefore I will continue to use it, regardless of the "feelings" of some particular subset of the population who chooses to be offended by it.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
I think calling it moral or immoral either way is a stretch.
If I understand dkw correctly, she thinks it would be immoral because the term has definite religious meaning to her, but, to use it in interfaith settings, she'd basically have to pretend to treat it as not having a religious meaning.

That does seem like a moral issue to me.

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MrSquicky
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I'm missing the whole "We're offended by this." push on this thread. I don't think it's appropriate, but I'm not offended. I don't think most other people here are claiming any sort of offense either.
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katharina
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quote:
If I understand dkw correctly, she thinks it would be immoral because the term has definite religious meaning to her, but, to use it in interfaith settings, she'd basically have to pretend to treat it as not having a religious meaning.
I did not get the same meaning. I suppose we can ask her. [Smile]

quote:
I think this is especially true when we are talking about Christians being in power.
It is comments like that this that make me think the whole thing is a grudge issue.
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MrSquicky
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What meaning did you get then?

---

quote:
It is comments like that this that make me think the whole thing is a grudge issue.
Why would that be? boots is a Catholic saying that Christians should take other people's feelings into account, as per the principles of Christianity. How does that sound like a grudge to you?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by just_me:
I think that it's nice that non-Christians have "agreed" to use our calendar and that this has allowed it to transcend being a Christian calendar and become a common calendar. So why not use CE to recognize that it's a common calendar from a common zero-point? Why not give that amount of respect to other religions (or others who don't have religion)?

As some additional information of potential interest, not only have some non-Christians "agreed", but non-English users too. For example, the Chinese use this calendar. They don't actually translate the names of days and months, instead they simply number days and months. This may seem a bit confusing at first, but the English names are really quite arbitrary and having them numbered actually makes a few things easier.

I'm not sure what they do about AD/BC but I imagine it is similar to CE.

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katharina
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You're wrong in your interpretation, Squick.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:

quote:
I think this is especially true when we are talking about Christians being in power.
It is comments like that this that make me think the whole thing is a grudge issue.
Because you think I have a grudge against Christians?

The reason I think it is especially true for Christians, is because, as a Christian, I think we have a duty to be kind, to show some compassion, to not "insist on our own way". I believe it that is supposed to be part of what we profess.

This may also be true for other religions. I won't presume to speak for them, however.

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katharina
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I think the passionate people on both sides of this are wanting to make the world work their way. In that case, I wish them well in their efforts, but am not convinced of the nobility of their cause.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
You're wrong in your interpretation, Squick.
I am? Isn't that basically what boots just said?
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
I think calling it moral or immoral either way is a stretch.
If I understand dkw correctly, she thinks it would be immoral because the term has definite religious meaning to her, but, to use it in interfaith settings, she'd basically have to pretend to treat it as not having a religious meaning.

That does seem like a moral issue to me.

Almost. Because I think it does have a religous meaning I think that "forcing" (by not accepting an alternative) persons of other religions to use it is a moral issue.
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The Pixiest
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Ok, I haven't read every post. Sorry...

But come on guys, AD and BC? Who cares? They've been used to signify dates for how long? (No, not 2000 years. People didn't start using AD and BC till later.)

Why should we have to change a millenium of tradition that doesn't hurt anyone?

If the translated meaning of A.D. bothers you, just pull out the periods and make it AD. No longer an abbreviation for a phrase you don't like, just a word. "In the year of our lord" is now just an etymology, not its meaning.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
You're wrong in your interpretation, Squick.
I am? Isn't that basically what boots just said?
I thought so.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

I think that whoever has the most power in a situation (the majority, usually) bears the major responsibility for creating (within reason) an environment in which the people without power can be comfortable.

I think this is especially true when we are talking about Christians being in power.

*twitch*

I prefer to look at it in terms of necessity. How often is it really, outside of 'faith' settings so to speak, is it really necessary to use anything but the year number? None that I can think of.

I get that even using the year is, in some people's eyes, forcing them to use a Christian dating system, which somehow makes them Christians, which is bad. I don't think there are that many people like this, and frankly I think that thinking is totally illogical, but whatev.

I am all for inclusiveness, but sometimes the solution creates far more problems than the problem itself. Changing the year to something else for the sake of the feelings of these few people would cause a lot of problems and really, practically, solve very few. The year/month/day thing is already understood and practical. It's used by almost everyone and is on most forms of print matter and used by computers.

Trying to measure the solution to a problem in terms of hurt feelings is often a bad idea, imho. Almost certainly, no matter what you do, you're going to have bad feelings if someone doesn't get their way. To say that just because there are fewer people, or people without power, in a situation, and thus their feelings should be honored is really just a shorthand way, to me, of saying that there is no real argument on the issue, because after all, who says that the 'majority' isn't going to get their feelings hurt by having to do something for the minority? It makes no sense to ask the majority to change strictly for the sake of the feelings of the minority,and then turn around and say that the majority's feelings don't matter. Either feelings matter, in which case by most standards the majority 'wins', because the majority has the 'most', or they don't, and the minority's feelings should be ignored.

This isn't to say that feelings aren't important, but I think that there are other considerations that should be used, because in the end, it's impossible to measure who has the most hurt feelings.

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katharina
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quote:
Because I think it does have a religous meaning I think that "forcing" (by not accepting an alternative) persons of other religions to use it is a moral issue.
Is changing to the metric system a moral issue? Is NOT changing to the metric system a moral issue?

Thank you, Pixiest. If you don't like the religious meaning, use it the way you use the word Thursday. And as a religious declaration, I think it's a pretty poor one - surely the Lord wants more dedication from us than a minor appendage to a calendar system.

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MrSquicky
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kat,
Could you explain how my interpretation was wrong? I thought it was clearly what she was saying and boots seems to think that it was a pretty good summation? What did you think she was saying and how did you have such confidence as to tell me I was obviously wrong?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It is comments like that this that make me think the whole thing is a grudge issue.
Katie, the only person who made a comment like that is another Christian.

Those of us who're non-Christians have said nothing of the kind.

Here's the major reason I don't mind "Thursday," and do mind "A.D." -- leaving aside the fact that the word "Thursday" has degraded enough that its origins are now only known to trivia hounds:

"Thursday" is the name of the day. There's no alternate way to refer to the day itself. You could say "Day Four" (or "Day Three" in some countries), but there's no standard for it.

In the same way, I'm not offended by "Notre Dame" or "Jesus Christ" because those are essentially names in function -- even if, as has been pointed out, "Christ" started out as a title. We use "Christ" to distinguish between all the other "Jesuses" out there, and refer to "Notre Dame" because that's what it's called.

As has been previously noted, the significant element in any year statement is actually the number. "A.D." is only relevant when it's necessary to establish which side of the divide you're working with; I can speak of "the year 1147" and do so with a great deal more clarity than I can by speaking of "that church in France with all the fancy bits."

More importantly, precisely because "A.D." is merely a descriptor, it can be easily changed without altering the information itself; it's presentation, not data, to use a CSS analogy. Those who still have issues with the data -- like people who use a Jewish or Muslim calendar -- are still going to have to convert, but those who simply object to the presentation and don't mind counting from a point which was once non-arbitrary and now is considered arbitrary will regard this as a "fix."

Unlike changing the name of Notre Dame, changing "A.D." is something that requires no actual data alteration.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Is changing to the metric system a moral issue? Is NOT changing to the metric system a moral issue?


Does the metric system have any religious significance of which I am unaware? If you read my post again you will see that the moral issue I am talking about is freedom of religon.

quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
How often is it really, outside of 'faith' settings so to speak, is it really necessary to use anything but the year number? None that I can think of.

Academics. And history, even in non-acadmeic settings.
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katharina
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Dana, do you have an issue with Thursday being called Thor's day? If you use the same rubric, it is also a religious issue.

Because of the history of it, I don't think using A.D. makes someone profess Christianity anymore than eating brie makes someone French.

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Storm Saxon
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Is changing to the metric system a moral issue? Is NOT changing to the metric system a moral issue?


Does the metric system have any religious significance of which I am unaware? If you read my post again you will see that the moral issue I am talking about is freedom of religon.

quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
How often is it really, outside of 'faith' settings so to speak, is it really necessary to use anything but the year number? None that I can think of.

Academics. And history, even in non-acadmeic settings.

Few history texts, if any, include AD every single time they print the year.

I get that in religious academics, which I think falls under the umbrella term 'faith settings', it might sometimes be necessary, but even then I would guess that the times when it's absolutely necessary to use AD in the text are rather few and far between?

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kmbboots
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Anthropology, archeaology...

And I disagree about history. When there could be a question (when discussing the Romans for example), it is usually clarified.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Few history texts, if any, include AD every single time they print the year.
(edit: Emphasis added)
I'm not sure why that would be relevant. They do still need to distinguish between AD and BC or CE and BCE, right?

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