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Old August 16 2010, 03:06 AM   #121
RoJoHen
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
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I understand that. And as I said before, I don't have a problem with that: the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was an event of world-historical significance.

The problem, as I also said before, is that the terms "BC" and AD" are freighted with religious significance, rather than merely historical significance

People who don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was Jesus Christ--that is to say, Jesus the Messiah--have objected to having to date things from "Before Christ".

Similarly, people who don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth is "the Lord" object to having to date things in "the year of the Lord."

Using either expression is tantamount to confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord.

To understand how objectionable that might be to some people, I ask others to consider how they might feel if they were expected to use the dating system adopted by the Church of Satan, in which this is the Year XLIV AS--that is to say, the forty-fourth year of Satan.

Or, consider my earlier suggestion to make the year 1543 the year zero. How would Christians on this board feel if they were expected, not only to use this year as an epoch, but to use the expressions "Religious Darkness (RD)" for years before zero, and "Scientific Enlightenment (SE)" for years afterward?

They wouldn't like that very much at all, I'd wager. And yet here we have people saying it's no big deal when others have to do something like that, and even saying that it's "silly" to object. In my opinion, that's a selfish and complacent position.
Yet it uses the supposed birth year of Jesus as the dividing line... You are not really debunking TSQ's posts about this issue.
Exactly. It's debatable whether Jesus really even existed. It's far more likely that he is a conglomeration of different older gods and legends, after all. Jesus isn't as sound a historical figure as many think. You're trying to separate the religion from the "man," which simply cannot be done. The story of Jesus affected society through religion, and by no other means. That is why it is a matter of semantics.
Yeah, whether or not the historical Jesus was the true "Messiah" is irrelevant. It doesn't suddenly stop him from being a super important religious figure.
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Old August 16 2010, 03:25 AM   #122
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

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I still consider the United States to be a rogue province of the British Empire.
Damn that King George III -- he lost the bloody American colonies!
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Old August 16 2010, 03:54 AM   #123
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

I graduated high school in 1980. LOTS has changed since then.

Reports were handwritten, and turning in typed reports was nearly unheard of as many people didn't own typewriters. I remember typing class was on manuals. My fingers were too short to keep them on the home keys AND use my little fingers. So I dropped the class because the teacher said that if I had to life my hand to have enough power to depress a key with my little finger, he'd fail me. Short summer school class.

Computer memory have multiplied nearly exponentially. Even in the 1990's, when Hubby needed a laptop for school, we got an IBM Thinkpad with--wait for it--750Mb! That was HUGE at that time.

I remember when remote controls for tv's were new. OMG! To not have to get up to change the channel? What a godsend!

What else has changed? There are post-its. Minor things, but oh so handy.
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Old August 16 2010, 10:49 AM   #124
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

At school we had one computer room full of BBC Masters with actual floppy disks. I think we might have gone in there twice during 7 years of secondary school.

In September (I'm a teacher now) we are moving into a brand new £39m building where every classroom has computers and interactive whiteboards as well as each department having 30 laptops.

Since I've started working in schools I've seen the change from VHS to DVD and now all of our videos are being uploaded to a website where we can access them. We also have interactive versions of our classroom text books where you can show the book pages on an interactive whiteboard. It allows you to click on a section of text or a picture from the book and it will play a section of video relevant to the text or show an interaction animation.

The new school is going to cashless as well (we are a little behind on this one). Parents will be able to load up dinner money on cash cards through the school website. When the student swipes their card at the till there picture is displayed to make sure that it's their card. I used to work at a school that used thumb prints instead of cash cards for the same purpose.
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Old August 16 2010, 01:32 PM   #125
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
Exactly. It's debatable whether Jesus really even existed. It's far more likely that he is a conglomeration of different older gods and legends, after all. Jesus isn't as sound a historical figure as many think.
Horseshit.

I don't often agree with Christian apologists, but if you will take the trouble to actually read their responses to rubbish like The God Who Wasn't There, you will find that your position has been thoroughly debunked.

Saying that "it's debatable that Jesus ever existed" is like saying "it's debatable that the Holocaust ever happened" or "it's debatable that we went to the Moon." It's tinfoil-hattery.

Jesus of Nazareth was an historical figure. Jesus Christ, by contrast, is a figure of myth and legend.

What's more: Jesus Christ is regarded by Christians as a god--one of the three figures of the Christian Trinity--the "dominus" in "anno domini".

You're trying to separate the religion from the "man," which simply cannot be done. The story of Jesus affected society through religion, and by no other means. That is why it is a matter of semantics.
No. The problem here is that you don't know what you're talking about, and are stubbornly persisting in your own error, 'as a dog returns to its vomit.'

In fact--that's one of the worst arguments I've ever heard. Let's go through that line by line.

You're trying to separate the religion from the "man," which simply cannot be done.
Wrong. In fact--the religion didn't even exist when the man was alive. See Barrie Wilson's How Jesus Became Christian for some recent scholarship on this subject.

Arguing that "you cannot separate Christianity from Jesus" is like arguing "you cannot separate astronomy from Copernicus" or "you cannot separate physics from Newton."

In fact, you not only can separate these things--you must. Subsequent research has shown that what both Copernicus and Newton said was only approximately true. Their works now possess only historical significance.

The story of Jesus affected society through religion, and by no other means.
Irrelevant. It is possible to recognize the religious-historical significance of Jesus of Nazareth without believing that he was god.

In fact, the Islamic calendar does something just like this, by using the Hijra--the emigration of Mohammed and his followers to Medina--as its epoch.

And that is the problem that you are perversely refusing to recognize. That the terms BC and AD explicitly refer to Jesus, not as a man, but as a god--as Christ, and Lord. "Anno domini" is a contraction of a longer phrase--anno domini nostri iesu christi--"the year of our Lord Jesus Christ."

As I said: to use either term is to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That may seem like a trivial thing to you. But it's a very serious matter to other people.

Take Jewish people, for example--some of whom consider it taboo even to write the word "Lord":

Jews do not generally use the words "A.D." and "B.C." to refer to the years on the Gregorian calendar. "A.D." means "the year of our L-rd," and we do not believe Jesus is the L-rd. Instead, we use the abbreviations C.E. (Common or Christian Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era)
Source: Jewish Virtual Library.


That is why it is a matter of semantics.
I have already explained--three times, now--why the difference between BCE/CE and BC/AD is not simply a matter of semantics.

Those two expressions do not mean the same thing. Not in practice, and not in theory. If they did mean the same thing, then there wouldn't be a problem.

You may not think so, but other people are smart enough to recognize a distinction without a difference when they see one. This is a distinction with a difference, whether you're willing to acknowledge it, or not.
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Old August 16 2010, 02:22 PM   #126
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

Goliath wrote: View Post

As I said: to use either term is to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That may seem like a trivial thing to you. But it's a very serious matter to other people.
Then let me ask out of honest curiosity: why is the birth of Jesus of Nazareth the defining moment for our calendar? Why does the "Common Era" begin there?

Arguing that "you cannot separate Christianity from Jesus" is like arguing "you cannot separate astronomy from Copernicus" or "you cannot separate physics from Newton."

In fact, you not only can separate these things--you must. Subsequent research has shown that what both Copernicus and Newton said was only approximately true. Their works now possess only historical significance.
Bad analogy. The cosmos exist regardless of what astronomers say about them.

Are you really trying to say that Christianity would still exist today if Jesus hadn't been around? Whether he was the true Lord or not, you can't separate Jesus from Christianity without removing the whole second half of the Bible. You don't have to believe he was the savior (I sure don't), but you can't just pretend he wasn't there.
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Old August 16 2010, 03:15 PM   #127
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

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A lot of things have changed - Burma is Myanmar, Kalkutta is Kolkata, Bombay is Mumbay . . .
I've always spelled it Calcutta. And when did Bombay change its name? That's news to me.
1995.
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Old August 16 2010, 03:48 PM   #128
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

Calcutta -- Kolkata
Bombay -- Mumbai

Just wanted to get the spellings out there. And it's not an official name change, but Delhi is often called Dilli.
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Old August 16 2010, 03:54 PM   #129
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
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Though personally, if we ever do reform our dating system, I would favour making the year 1543 CE the new year zero: that was the year in which Copernicus and Vesalius published their epoch-making works on astronomy and anatomy, and the traditional date for the beginning of the Scientific Revolution.
I'd be very surprised if we ever changed our dating system at this point. If you thought Y2K was bad, just imagine what would happen if we suddenly lost 1500 years!
And if non-Christians are offended at using a calendar dated from Jesus' birth, then why should Christians not also feel offended if that calendar was abolished? You can't satisfy everybody these days.
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Old August 16 2010, 04:02 PM   #130
propita
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

The calendar remains the same, it is still 2010.

But it is usually referred to as 2010 CE, not 2010 AD. That's the "C" in both BCE and CE--an acknowledgement that this is the "Common" calendar for a "Common Era," regardless of the religious origin of the calendar.

So the calendar is not being abolished and Christians need not be offended. Hell, their calendar is the "common" calendar for the Western nations (and the world in general). As for re-dating to a "new" event as a matter of "principle" ... why bother? It'd just confuse everything in history books and the "CE" is sufficient.
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Old August 16 2010, 04:06 PM   #131
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

propita wrote: View Post
So the calendar is not being abolished and Christians need not be offended.
And we don't have to use those damn stardates.

FWIW, I'm not offended by the use of BCE/CE as opposed to BC/AD. And I can understand why non-Christians might be offended at the use of a calendar dated from Jesus' birth. But even if they are, changing the calendar system (by re-dating the whole thing from a different beginning year) to avoid offending them, would simply *start* offending Christians. That shouldn't be any more acceptable, IMHO.
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Old August 16 2010, 04:42 PM   #132
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

Goliath wrote: View Post
. . . Jesus Christ is regarded by Christians as a god--one of the three figures of the Christian Trinity--the “dominus” in “anno domini”.
Not all Christians believe in the Trinity, you know.
Squiggy wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
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A lot of things have changed - Burma is Myanmar, Kalkutta is Kolkata, Bombay is Mumbay . . .
I've always spelled it Calcutta. And when did Bombay change its name? That's news to me.
1995.
So all that stuff that's been happening recently in Mumbai has actually been happening in Bombay? I swear to God, I thought they were two different cities. Guess I've been out of the loop for a while.

So is Bollywood now called Mollywood?
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Old August 16 2010, 05:08 PM   #133
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
propita wrote: View Post
So the calendar is not being abolished and Christians need not be offended.
And we don't have to use those damn stardates.

FWIW, I'm not offended by the use of BCE/CE as opposed to BC/AD. And I can understand why non-Christians might be offended at the use of a calendar dated from Jesus' birth. But even if they are, changing the calendar system (by re-dating the whole thing from a different beginning year) to avoid offending them, would simply *start* offending Christians. That shouldn't be any more acceptable, IMHO.
Why would Common Era offend Christians? It's not as if it's changed to say "In the year of that guy who was not the Lord" or something.
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Old August 16 2010, 05:19 PM   #134
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

^ Some of us just need to lighten up, I guess.

I *do* get kind of annoyed at 'Xian' and 'Xmas', but not this.
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Old August 16 2010, 07:47 PM   #135
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Re: Things that have Changed Since You were in School

apenpaap wrote: View Post
Why would Common Era offend Christians? It's not as if it's changed to say "In the year of that guy who was not the Lord" or something.
It's more insulting to someone with a brain. You rename it to CE, as if that somehow changes the fact that we're still counting away from the same religious year we were before? If you don't have the balls to change the underlying issue, then don't bother with half-###ing it. What the hell is a "common era" anyway? It's not any more common than what came before. In fact, I'd say everything prior to 1712 is "common" and everything since is "pretty remarkable" with the steam engine, industrial revolution, economics, laser beams and all that other crap.

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