Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate/Votes

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Votes[edit]

This vote has ended. See the rejection notice at the top of the main page at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate on 14 June 2005.

  • Note: Many policy propositions remain in progress. This issue does not require an immediate decision.
  • Please consider providing specific responses to specific parts of the proposal as you vote, in the Comments sections above
  • It is important to note that a majority against the proposal cannot be construed as a majority in support of using BC and AD exclusively. (In other words, other proposals are always possible.)

ANNOUNCEMENT: My primary purpose in presenting this proposal was not to take a poll, but to provoke discussion. Although there have been many comments (a few, especially among the “opposed” votes, quite thoughtful), I do not think there has really been much discussion, much dialogue. Many people state their views, without discussing them with people who have different views. One small example: although I and a few others have written comments and questions to people voting “no,” few if any of the people who oppose the proposal have asked questions of any of the sixty or so people who have voted “yes.” Moreover, it is a shame that most critics of the proposal direct their opposition to me, when so many other people support the proposal. Wikipedia is a community, a community needs to communicate, and the ideal form of communication is an open-minded discussion among people of opposing views.

I know that I am a polarizing figure for many people. Therefore, I will step out of this discussion for several days (Aside from maintenance chores). I hope that when I am gone, people on both sides of the issue will talk more to one another, asking questions and responding in ways that invite more discussion. Adios.Slrubenstein | Talk 15:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)


Votes in favor of the proposal (89)[edit]

  1. Slrubenstein | Talk
  2. Clear, thorough. SV|t 23:05, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  3. JFW | T@lk 23:21, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  4. A beautiful argument. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:40, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  5. Designating any year as "the year of our Lord" or "before the Messiah ("Christ")" is point-of-view, and to spell that in Latin and abbreviate it is no less POV. Plus you eliminate people using AD incorrectly ("2003 AD," rather than the proper "AD 2003"). Neutralitytalk 00:03, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  6. --Mrfixter 00:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  7. Eloquence* 00:19, May 16, 2005 (UTC) (but a software solution might be preferable)
  8. The least POV solution to the issue of dates. Guettarda 00:20, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  9. Olve 00:44, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  10. El_C 00:49, 16 May 2005 (UTC) Because the professional scholarship seems to prefer it. I have no strong opinion otherwise.]
  11. --Leifern 00:51, May 16, 2005 (UTC) - in reading comments by those opposed, I am struck by the tendency among people to turn down a proposal no matter how reasonable it is, for no good reason at all. You're already dealt with each of their objections in detail, but they just bring them back up again, as if they were brand new.
    Having argued against a viewpoint is not necessarily the same as defeating it. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 18:09, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  12. Respectful to non-Christian cultures Sunray 00:53, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
  13. Magnificently argued. Would it be that all policy debates possessed such eloquence. Mackensen (talk) 01:19, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    Adraeus 01:21, 16 May 2005 (UTC) Changing my vote to be for an alternative option. Adraeus 18:36, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  14. Most professionals think the full transition to BCE/CE is just a matter of time, and having a religiously neutral standard certainly seems like the more NPOV thing to do, even though I don't think it is much of a POV either way. Fastfission 01:40, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  15. Fredrik | talk 01:41, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  16. Ashley Y 01:53, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
  17. I think that the abbreviations should be linked to a concise page explaining the issue. --goethean 01:54, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  18. An academic and professional standard, and just plain polite. Zora 02:12, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  19. Throughout my (British) education the secular terms have been at least as common as the Christian terms. Joe D (t) 02:13, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    Wouldn't you then say that this is a style thing then, and not NPOV? Fieari 22:19, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  20. srs 02:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  21. BrokenSegue 02:32, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  22. Modern standard. siafu 03:02, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  23. Flyers13 03:13, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  24. Johansosa We need a standardized true method of dating, BC stands for "before christ" ..but we have no idea what day or year christ was really born. If someone digs up stone tablets that allows us to figure out the exact day of christ's birth are we still going to stick by the same BC/AD systyem knowing it's "inaccurate"? When someone looks up the origin of "before common era" etc. they will find out the influence that christianity had on the dating system. I don't think anything we're diluting anything. Christianity should survive independent of what we choose to call the dates.
    • Clearly...since Christianity flourished under other dating systems for centuries prior to the invention of the numbering system now in use...Tomer TALK 03:52, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  25. Mgw...I agree with James F that this is not a perfect solution becuase it perpetuates much of the POV of BC/AD, but I believe that this is nevertheless the most sensible thing to do.
  26. --ScottMorrison 04:23, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  27. Agreed on all points. CE and BCE are widely used by scholars and show that we take neutrality seriously here. --FOo 04:26, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  28. Should we use the Muslim calendar for Muslim articles or the Jewish calendar for Jewish articles? --metta, The Sunborn 05:27, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Not as such, in my opinion — because like the Jesus article Jewish and Muslim articles should be written in an NPOV way, using NPOV conventions. However, I do believe that any representation of a Jewish POV or a Muslim POV should use the Jewish and Muslim calendars, respetively (just as I believe that in any text that is meant to express a Christian POV, BC and AD are perfectly appropriate). Slrubenstein | Talk 05:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  29. Well articulated proposal, BCE/CE is NPOV because it makes no religious claims. Question for those who believe BC/AD is not POV: Would you feel the same if the acronymns appended to the year stood for a sanskrit abbreviation that meant "I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Krishna"? Would you argue that it's been commonly used for centuries and most people don't know what the acronymn really stands for anyway? --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 05:34, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Great question — could you place it in the general discussion question, or ask it of particular people? I fear they won't notice it here ... Slrubenstein | Talk 05:40, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  30. Wonderful proposal.-- Revolutionary Left | Che y Marijuana 05:38, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  31. Very well-written! Clearly in the spirit of Wikipedia (though a software solution could accomplish the same thing, and please even more people).Dovi 05:52, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  32. An encyclopedia should strive to be scholastic in approach, and BCE/CE are scholasticly preferable. Whig 06:47, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  33. The BC/AD notation is offensive to some non-Christians. Someone used interpretation of BCE/CE (before/common era) as "Before Christian Era/Christian Era" as an argument for BC/AD, but IMO that is a better argument for BCE/CE. Humus sapiensTalk 07:07, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  34. BC/AD is certainly POV. BCE/CE may also be, but raises the issue in the discussion instead of hiding it in commonality. - UtherSRG 07:15, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  35. I consider the entire BCE/CE thing to be frivolous PC crap, but that's just me. NPOV is more important. -- ran (talk) 07:17, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  36. The question of whether BC/AD is POV or offensive to some doesn't exactly keep me awake nights; however I think it is a good idea to standardize usage. This is an encyclopedia and, AFAIK, virtually all modern historians and scientists use CE and BCE in dating. The AD in particular is an artifact because it translate to "Year of Our Lord," if we were to spell that out instead the Latin initialism each time, the point would be a little sharper. As to both AD and BC, they are not even an accurate religious date, since it seems that Christ was born 6 years prior to the year used as the dividing point, since that point represented a "best guess" when it was established. I can't see using AD and BC in articles "from a Christian perspective." That could be a real can of worms in itself. Do we date articles about the modern middle east by the Hebrew calendar when discussing an event from a Jewish perspective? Would we have an article about battles during the Crusades with AD/BC when discussing the Christian perspective but by the Muslim calendar when discussing the Muslim perspective? BC/BCE, IMO, is more professional in an encyclopedic context. Oh! A reasonable exception, of course, is direct quotes. -- Cecropia | explains it all ® 07:24, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  37. about time.--Eion 07:27, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  38. BC/BCE is de facto in the academic community. --Eienmaru 08:07, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  39. Ambi 08:40, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  40. Making this a style sheet issue would be best. But CE/BCE is preferable to AD/BC. Arbor 08:51, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  41. Andre (talk) 11:49, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  42. In the absence of a Universal dating system, using BCE/CE is a courtesy to non-Christian users, and demonstrates a sensitivity to other cultures, by avoiding the explicit (even if abbreviated) reference to "Christ" or "Domini", and the forced acknowledgement it implies (although, of course, the starting point is kept the same, but that is then only a matter of convenient convention). If I was contributing history articles to an Arab-country site I would resent having to refer to Muhammad's Hijra every time I write a date: it would feel like religious intoxication. Or imagine if Japan was forcing everybody dealing with Japan to comply to its Imperial Eras dating system! BCE/CE is a very sensible solution, already accepted by most of the scientific community. PHG 11:59, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  43. Scholarly, neutral: BCE/CE should be the standard, except for very specific exceptions like quotations. For articles on countries with their own calendars, we should use both if necessary. -- The Anome 12:58, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  44. ZZyXx 13:43, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
  45. BCE/CE is an academic standard and an ISO standard. The use of BC/AD looks archaic. Kuratowski's Ghost 13:58, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  46. Sukh 14:08, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  47. My reasons are given in full above (#Comments in favor of the proposal. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:53, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  48. I will always use BC and AD. I am not comfortable with BCE and CE. But NPOV is NPOV. This proposal is a move toward bias removal. By the way, why is the poll in here twice? Tom Haws 15:03, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  49. Wikipedia needs a coherent dating policy, and the ambiguous Style guide ain't good enough. BCE/CE is more NPOV then BC/AD, so I support this policy. --maru 15:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  50. Omegatron 16:40, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  51. I wouldn't call BCE/CE NPOV, but I believe it is less POV than BC/AD —Mulad (talk) 17:29, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  52. More neutral and academically preferred usage. Jayjg (talk) 19:07, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  53. It would be good as recomendation. (I think there are more important problems now in Wikipedia, though.) Pavel Vozenilek 20:18, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  54. Neutrality is a good thing - and it actually values the choice for Christian values when it is meant to be there. Luis Dantas 21:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  55. BCE/CE vs. BC/AD is a tough debate, but I do have to side with supporting this arguement. MicahMN | Talk 21:49, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  56. Agree that BCE/CE carries less bias toward a religious belief and is therefore more neutral. Rlw 23:47, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  57. I think that CE/BCE is more NPOV than AD/BC. It's a matter of perspective: BC/AD explicitly states that dating is done in reference to Jesus Christ, while the Common Era system does not: the year one convention in CE is arbitrary (matching the Christian system's year one because renumbering everything would be a pain); the hypothetical birthdate of Jesus is just one thing that Christians believe happened around year one and is subject to possible revision based on historical evidence, and his religious status is irrelevant to dating. Bringing up the days of the week is a straw man argument. Gwalla | Talk 23:58, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  58. BCE/CE is the Wiki-way to go. --Menchi 05:21, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  59. BCE/CE has become the standard in academia and in reference works. Wikipedia should follow suit. AndyL 13:52, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  60. Both naming conventions work equally well for me, as I feel that AD/BC has lost its religious meaning. However, some people live in an enviroment where AD/BC is more religiously loaded than BCE/CE, so we should use BCE/CE because it represents a common ground that everyone can accept. Gmaxwell 15:03, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  61. BCE/CE is NPOV, BC/AD is not. Uppland 15:49, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  62. I agree that BCE/CE is more NPOV that BC/AD. Aaarrrggh 16:05, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  63. Kbdank71 18:40, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  64. KHM03...BC/AD vs. BCE/CE is certainly nothing to offend someone over. Obviously, some folks are very concerned about these designations. I don't think Jesus would truly care how we designate these periods of history, so I can't see fighting over the issue. Let's change to BCE/CE and be done with it, and move on. Thanks for considering. KHM03 19:21, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  65. Pjacobi 20:16, 2005 May 17 (UTC) second preference after using Julian days ;-)
  66. Bryan is Bantman 21:10, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
  67. I'm not signing on to all of the polemic, but I've always favored BCE/CE. It is respectful to non-Christians, it is NPOV, and it is increasingly standard in scholarly writing. Josh Cherry 02:26, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
  68. BCE/CE is far more neutral than BC/AD, and is widely used in the scientific community and I'm starting to see it be used in more and more textbooks. As BC/AD are obviously references to the Christian belief system, and as the actual turnover date in actuality has nothing to do with the year of the birth of Jesus (which is now thought to be between 4 and 6 BCE), I think BCE/CE is preferable and neutral, and see no reason to use BC/AD, which is inaccurate (as BC isn't actually Before Christ) and is not really neutral. Titanium Dragon 04:01, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  69. Support of course, given the NPOV. Although it would be best if a user could set in the preferences what he wants to view. --Eleassar777 16:02, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  70. It is vital that discussion continue as regards to this important issue. Whether or not BCE/CE becomes sole Wikipedia policy, I strongly believe that articles that do not relate to Christianity or Christian history (particularly ancient history that long predates Christian terminology) be allowed to conform to the BCE/CE standard, which as many other users have already mentioned, is slowly becoming the adopted standard throughout academia everywhere. This is not an issue of competing dating systems (since BCE/CE does not invalidate system itself), but modernisation and respect for ancient history and other cultures. Especially to impose 'BC/AD' on articles which have no connection to Christianity or Christian civilisation makes absolutely no sense to me. That said, I believe BCE/CE to also be as NPOV as we can get at this time, for all the reasons outlined in the proposal. SouthernComfort 02:41, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  71. Users I greatly respect are on both sides of this issue, but I support the proposal. BCE/CE is more accurate, more neutral, and more in line with current academic practice. Even if the question of neutrality is dismissed, the resulting uniformity is (for me) enough reason to support. I've become much more sensitive to POV creepage since becoming a Wikipedian, and I now find myself regretting the use of BC/AD in my earlier work here (especially when someone threatens a revert war when I attempt to rectify it now). -- Hadal 02:55, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  72. It's used in scholarship. Simple enough. As an atheist, I have no desire to keep BC/AD. When I was a child, I had no idea who this Jesus was, and could never figure out why people thought something important happened between 1 BC and AD 1. Anyways, I fully support the use of BCE/CE in the appropriate places, that is, historical articles far from Judea, or about civilizations which would not have used the BC/AD system. —Sean κ. 17:54, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
    Uh, nothing happened between 1BC and AD 1. See 0 (year).  :) Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 18:09, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
    Thank you, you'll find that most people above a certain age are aware of this fact, so there's no need to point it out. Stating "So-and-so was born between 1 BC and AD 1" is no more ridiculous than stating "I was born between 1981 and 1982." In the last sentence, I'm not implying that there exists a year between 1981 and 1982. So yes, many things did happen between 1 BC and AD 1. —Sean κ. + 22:55, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  73. My Christian colleagues in academia typically recognize the BC/AD bias and are gladly willing to correct for it. It should be understood, of course, that BCE/CE is still not a "Neutral" POV since it is still grounded on the Christian (i.e., AD) division. But I would grant that no other division is a plausible alternative -- for instance, it would miss the point for Judaism-related articles to use the Hebrew Calendar. Q: I wonder if voters are taking into account the emotional weight of the options? For instance, do Christians have much at stake or feel pained by giving up the BC/AD privilege as much as Jews and other non-Christians feel pained by facing it so frequently in our society? Compare: It might be hard to argue that the transitions from "Colored Persons" to Negroes to Blacks to African-Americans were based on pure grounds of NPOV. Indeed, due to the ingrained construction of race in our culture, no neutral ground is possible: seemingly neutral terms eventually get tarnished etc. Yet it does not much bother the non-[African-American] to switch their usage from time to time with the hope that it would make a difference to those most deeply affected. By the same token, it's my hope that most Christians would not mind giving up the BC/AD default even if the bias aspect is in the eyes of the other beholder(s). HG 08:16, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  74. Support. It's the academic standard.-gadfium 23:08, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  75. Support. AD means "Anno Domini", which translates roughly as "Year of our Lord". By definition, every use of "AD" supports a particular religious belief. BTW, other encyclopedias use BCE/CE, such as the Britannica. I'm not saying we should be the Britannica: I'm saying that the "common usage" argument doesn't hold water. --Munge 07:38, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  76. Support. And since Wikipedia is not paper, we should feel free to add context-appropriate alternative dating systems like AD, AH, AUC etc., following the CE/BCE designator. Additionally, let's remember, even if this were Christianopedia, AD is not, historically, the sole dating system used in Christianity. This isn't just a sensitivity and NPOV issue, (although it is partly both), it's a historical correctness issue as well. --Jpbrenna 20:33, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  77. Argyrios 21:11, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  78. Support, though with a divided mind. I don't see Christians campaigning to rename "March" or "Tuesday" because they are named after Pagan gods, so I have a problem with being 'offended' by standard conventions that simply bear witness to history. In fact I think it is far better to preserve histopry in common speech in that way. Every time we use the word "July" we are connected to the history of the Roman empire. Whether that history is 'good' or not is an irrelevance. The important point is that it helps keep alive a sense of history and of the changing nature of values. On balance, however, I support the use of both conventions, as proposed, for this very reason. In particular, articles on non-Christian religions should prefer the CE/BCE convention. Paul B 15:19, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
  79. Kaveh (talk) 03:14, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  80. Good work, Slrubenstein. — Trilobite (Talk) 06:00, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  81. NPOV all the way, support this proposal. astiquetalk 21:40, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  82. NPOV. Thoughtful non-Christians just don't feel comfortable with anno Domini, and CE is gaining acceptance and visibility all the time. We don't have Jesus listed as Jesus Christ for the same reason. I vote wholeheartedly for CE. QuartierLatin1968 03:57, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
    • BC/AD is a term of Periodization and no Periodization term is NPOV, they all originate from a POV. If you want to make everything NPOV (or even post-modern without the metanarratives) then youll also need to remove Renaissance, Middle Ages, Byzantian Empire .. to name a few. The argument of NPOV doesnt work in the face of so many other equally POV terms in use. At some point common sense and reason prevails, otherwise it is like "1984", errasing the cultural past to fit the current fads of the moment. Wikipedia reports on the world, it doesnt create a new world. Stbalbach 00:06, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  83. I've voted for one of the alternative proposals so if I'm not meant to vote in both places I'll cancel this vote. I think the best solution would be to let the user choose the format that the year is presented in (like it does with dates in deciding whether the day goes before the year or vice versa) but if that's not possible for some reason, I think we should use BCE/CE. How is "in the year of our lord" supposed to be neutral? Cantthinkofagoodname 13:36, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  84. What's the fuss? Of course it's BCE/CE... It has been in scholarly, educated circles since I was in college... That was the late 70's - mid 80's... What's with the lag time? FWIW, what do the major newspapers say? Forgive me for not reading everything here, but this is a no-brainer. Emyth 22:15, May 28, 2005 (UTC)
    Here in the UK, the BC/AD system is vastly more common in the press, however serious the newspaper. Loganberry 13:38, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
    In all honesty, I've never seen BCE/CE at all anywhere at all until I came to Wikipedia. Then again, I was an Engineering major in college. I'm quite curious to find out where the convention is established and currently predominates (i.e. — is it in the USA, or a continental European standard, etc?) --Bletch 14:29, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  85. Scholarly standard, by now. Ashibaka (tock) 06:29, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
  86. I agree. Jareand (Talk) 11:00, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  87. Considered standard in academic circles, should be considered policy here. Holding on to BC/AD is a little absurd, and I expect even if its defeated this time, itll be up again and again over the years. You cant fight the future. Hornplease 07:34, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  88. Support.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 15:00, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
  89. Support if wikipedia is to be a scholarly work, it should use the appropriate scholarly terms (that by the way are very widely used and understood). BC/AD are clearly loaded POV terms, only appropriate (perhaps) for articles about Christianity. Fawcett5 13:26, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  90. Support. Allows use of a common dating system without the theology. Tom Radulovich 1 July 2005 05:34 (UTC)
  91. Support vehemently. Very well-formed argument. Although I customarily use BC/AD out of simple force of habit, I recognize that it is improper as well as strongly unrepresentative of my personal views (yes, I'm an atheist). I know that the vote is closed, but I thought I'd add my voice just as a gesture. Kalisphoenix 17 July 2005 10:55PM

Votes opposed to the proposal (103)[edit]

  1. violet/riga (t) 23:18, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  2. Golbez 23:35, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  3. Neo 23:37, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  4. Wahoofive (talk) 23:34, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  5. RickK 23:44, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  6. As an atheist I find the thought of cloaking the imperialism of a Christian dating system behind "non-Christian" names abhorrently vile, and amazingly POV. James F. (talk) 23:45, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  7. --Doc Glasgow 23:47, 15 May 2005 (UTC) a little reluctantly - and with the greatest respect
    • Thanks. If you have ideas about a better solution (an alternate proposal) feel free to use this article's talk page. Slrubenstein | Talk 02:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  8. Theo 23:47, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  9. --ClemMcGann 23:52, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  10. David Gerard 00:00, 16 May 2005 (UTC) m:Don't vote on everything.
  11. jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC) A lovely argument indeed. I wish I agreed with it. But the only possible NPOV solution would be to use Before Present dating for everything, since the only thing everyone is likely to agree on (with the possible exception of adherants to certain mystical traditions) is that Now is The Present. Since BCE is defined as BC and CE is defined as AD, just changing the name is (as said above) just putting a make-believe NPOV face on an inherantly POV concept: it makes believe, somehow, that the Common Era is not exactly congruent with the Christian Era. Now, if the abbreviations were always spoken out as "Before Christ" and "Year of Our Lord", I'd probably be arguing in the other direction. But they're not; it's just an arbitrary system, like all possible dating systems other than BP.
    • There is one dating system on which we should ALL agree -- the UNIX clock, which started ticking in <mumble mumble>. We'll have B.U. and A.U, before Unix and after Unix. Zora 05:44, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Hahaha. I actually brought this up somewhere on Talk:Jesus. and <mumble mumble> is midnight Jan. 1, 1970. (note I didn't use AD or CE!!! :-p) Tomer TALK 05:53, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • I think AD would be more appropriate. :-) --gcbirzantalk 07:56, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Obviously, you are not a geologist. The Present is not "Now", the Present is defined to be 1950. See Before Present. Dragons flight 10:00, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • How very POV of you! UNIX trumps you tho...Time begins in the UNIX world as I've already described it. This means that Geologic time is -20Y. YOU ARE IN NEGATIVE TIME!!! Get up to speed already! :-p Tomer TALK 10:12, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  12. This attempt to exclude a POV from Wikipedia should be opposed fiercely. What is wrong with simply putting BC/BCE where appropriate? This expresses all views. Grace Note 00:26, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Grace Note, I think I agree with you — at the very beginning I wrote that "BC ("Before Christ") and AD ("Anno Domini", "In the year of the Lord") ... should be used only when they are appropriate, that is, in the context of expressing or providing an account of a Christian point of view." I certainly do not mean to ban BC and AD from Wikipedia, only to limit their use to appropriate situations. Do we agree? Or do we disagree concerning what is "appropriate?" If we disagree about what is "appropriate," can you explain to me why? If we simply agree, can you suggest how I can express this point more clearly in the proposal? Is this your only reason for disagreeing, or do you have others? Slrubenstein | Talk 00:33, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Grace Note, we already have an attempt to exclude POV from Wikipedia regardless of "appropriateness". The name of that attempt is NPOV policy, which is official policy. Adraeus 01:27, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
      • You need to actually read that policy before you presume to throw it around, dude. It does not seek to "exclude POV". NPOV suggests we represent views fairly without bias on our own part. The irony of your position will be escaping you, of course. Grace Note 03:47, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  13. JYolkowski // talk 00:46, 16 May 2005 (UTC) See comment above for my reason.
  14. Ctachme 01:13, 16 May 2005 (UTC) -- see my above comment
  15. Trödel|talk no comment 01:15, 16 May 2005
  16. gren 01:29, 16 May 2005 (UTC) - It's just trying to secularize something of Christian origins. Cloaking the matter doesn't change it. I think we should be able to take a serious look at history and realize how ideas were formed and the bias with which they were formed and deal with it since they are in common usage.
  17. Dan | Talk 01:58, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  18. Onco p53 02:00, 16 May 2005 (UTC) -- Very little gain, will confuse many people.
  19. Slrubenstein wants to push BCE/CE. Instead, the choice between the two systems should be a Wikipedia preference similar to the preferences already operating for other aspects of date format. As with UK/US spelling, new articles should (consistently) use whichever system the first editor prefers, and edit warring between systems should be specifically banned. — Chameleon 02:17, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  20. Acjelen 02:26, 16 May 2005 (UTC) - The idea that the 1st century represents the beginning of a common era is untenable. BCE and CE bring Jesus to mind more than anything else they do.
    • If you have ideas about a better solution (an alternate proposal) feel free to use this article's talk page. Slrubenstein | Talk 02:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I have no alternatives of my own, but I would endorse a policy similar to one suggested by Chameleon above. In our secular world we are stuck with a year system started by a Christian to account (incorrectly perhaps) for the birth of a man particularily important to Christianity. We might as well keep the BC/AD labels as a reminder of Western religious and political hegemony in particular and of the passing religionary world in general. The only real alternative to the BC/AD system is a unitary year-counting system that covers the entire 10,000 years or so of human history. -Acjelen 03:33, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  21. Eclecticology 02:30, 2005 May 16 (UTC) Let people use what they want instead of pushing for political correctness.
    • I tried to address this here [1], can you explain why the argument does not pursuade you? Do you think our NPOV policy is "political correctness?" Slrubenstein | Talk 05:17, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  22. Tomer TALK 02:37, May 16, 2005 (UTC) With all respect for User:Slrubenstein, I just don't think this is the right course of action.
  23. Dragons flight 03:04, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  24. Evil MonkeyHello 03:20, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  25. User:Pollinator, It is pointless, and, in fact, deceptive, to substitute common era, when nothing is changed except political correctness.
    • Well, I try to address the PC issue here [2] — can you explain to me why what I wrote is wrong? Also, I don't understand why you think nothing is changed. How do you respond to this [3]? Slrubenstein | Talk 03:39, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • This issue concerns NPOV policy, which is official policy. Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  26. Delirium 03:25, May 16, 2005 (UTC) I'm not religious, and still think this is silly. I don't object to CE/BCE per se, but I think mandating it is not a good idea, and rarely use it myself. Hell, Japan mostly uses "BC/AD" when they use western dates, despite Christianity being a minority religion in the country.
    • Considering that the United States appears to be controlled by the Christian right and Israel lobbyists, I'm not surprised by such usage in Japan; although, I'd like to see some evidence to support your claim. Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  27. Canar 03:26, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  28. Angela. I don't see this as a neutrality issue. Let people use either, preferably with an option for viewing your preferred version, as is done with date formats.
    • That's an interesting and plausible suggestion; however, I don't see your vote here as appropriately positioned. Your vote belongs in a new category. Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I think my vote is in the right section since I'm opposing the proposal. That doesn't mean I wouldn't support an alternative proposal. Angela. 20:13, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, can you respond specifically to this explanation [4]? Slrubenstein | Talk 03:35, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • How is the alleged "religiocentrism" of using BC/AD any different to supposed Americentrism of using American date formats? Why are you framing this one as NPOV when "16 May" v. "May 16" is seen as a style issue? NPOV means representing both sides of the view. If that was your aim, wouldn't you be advocating BCE/BC and CE/AD rather than only BCE and CE? Do you disagree that giving both is more neutral? Angela. 20:13, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • First off, I do think you are right that you are voting in the right section. And you ask a good question. Your argument is that AD vs. CE is a matter of style, like 16 May vs. May 16, not NPOV. I agree with you that 16 May and May 16 are matters of style. I admit it might irritate many people on both sides of the puddle, but I do not think that anyone is genuinely offended by one or the other. Either one is just a matter of convention. I do not think this is the case with AD and CE. AD is not just a matter of convention, it expresses a religious point of view (by contrast, there is nothing intrinsically American about May 16 and nothing intrinsically British about 16 May, they are simply two different conventions). Also, AD really does offend people and for reasons that I think are categorically different than the reasons some people get irritated by 16 May. Perhaps if the British had spent almost 1500 years isolating AMericans in walled ghettos, burning their books, and forcing them to listen to Anglican sermons — and if "16 May" were somehow connected to this history – then I would object to 16 May on NPOV grounds as well. But I don't. I just don't think the two examples are analogous. AD represents an intrinsicly and explicitly religious view that for a very long time really was used to dominate others, and for that reason I can understand people taking deep offense when forced — in secular situations – to use AD, or worse, are mocked and derided simply because they do not want to use AD. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:24, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  29. Geogre 03:30, 16 May 2005 (UTC) Inasmuch as BCE/CE incorporate the same dates as BC/AD, this is a distinction without difference. Therefore, the use of the distinction is not for difference, but for another reason. As the proposal has announced, this distinction exists for ideological reasons. Therefore, it is improper for Wikipedia to have a policy one way or the other. Uniformity across articles is impossible and of low yield. I should hope only for consistency within articles.
    • I do not understand your reason. I try to address the PC issue here [5] — can you explain to me why what I wrote is wrong? Also, I don't understand why you think nothing is changed. How do you respond to this [6]? Slrubenstein | Talk 03:39, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I am trying not to get into the debate, here. However, I will explain my reasoning. The distinction between the two systems is not substantive, as the dates are the same, but rather a question of whether they do or do not encode a religious world view. If the writers are not consciously encoding religion, then this would be over. However, the argument is generally that such a message is received by the reader, no matter the intention. That perception is beyond our control. Status quo never needs a rationale. Change requires a rationale. So, if we need to change to avoid the perception of religious values, then I think we would be mandating, across the project, that all users must make a change because a supposed reader might take things the wrong way. The problem is that this states that there is a wrong way, as well as a right way, on a matter of ideology. We should not be in that position. As with meters and kilograms, British/American orthography, we can hope only that an article is consistent in its usage. Geogre 04:27, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • There is a "right" and "wrong" way. (I use those terms loosely since my philosophy is without consideration of "right" and "wrong" divisions.) The "right" way adheres to NPOV policy. The "wrong" way supports a POV. Adraeus 04:42, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Geogre, with all respect, you did vote, so even if you don't want to get into a debate, discussing reasons is fair. And I genuinely, sincerely believe you are fundamentally misunderstanding our NPOV policy. I address this here [7] where I quote the NPOV policy which makes it very clear that perception is what is important, and conscious intention is not relevant. It just isn't! Read the policy for yourself! (please.) Slrubenstein | Talk 05:16, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  30. RJII 03:32, 16 May 2005 (UTC) Ridiculous. Has nothing to do with POV. RJII 03:32, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Care to back that up with something like, well, you know, "reasons?" The proposal provides a variety of arguments — can't you respond to any of them? Slrubenstein | Talk 03:34, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  31. Mark 03:36, 16 May 2005 (UTC) - What a joke. People are always trying to twist the NPOV policy in their direction.
    • We are not twisting the NPOV policy; instead, we are using it and proposing policy to further aid its enforcement. Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  32. Gene Nygaard 03:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC) It has nothing to do with neutral point of view
    • Then how do you respond to this [8]?
    • BCE/CE are value-neutral abbreviations for "Before Common Era" and "Common Era" whereas BC/AD are religiocentric abbreviations for "Before Christ" and "Anno Domini" ("The Year of Our Lord") which factually implies that a) Christ exists and b) that Christ is "our" Lord. The suggestion that we maintain such a point-of-view on an aspiring academically credible encyclopedia is patently ridiculous. Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  33. Certainly articles on Islam, Judaism, etc. should avoid BC/AD, but otherwise I think they are fine: simply more common. Many people do not even recognize and understand BCE/CE. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:18, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't favor hand-holding readers or dumbing down content for the ignorant. If a reader of Wikipedia does not understand something, they should research what they don't understand rather than opposing inquiry. Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Jmabel, I really think the opposite view makes more sense: in any and all places that express or describe a Christian point of view, "BC" and "AD" must be used. But everywhere else, doesn't NPOV require us not to use them? Also, with all due respect, as concerns your observation that BC and AD are more common, could you comment on this [9]. Also, you are right that many people are unfamiliar with BCE and CE — but isn't it the job of an Encyclopedia to expose people to new things, and educate them (read the first paragraph of the Encyclopedia article)?
  34. Since I read BCE/CE as "Before Christian Era/Christian Era", I don't see why BC/AD should be disallowed. --Carnildo 04:20, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • ...because your interpretation of BCE/CE is incorrect? Adraeus 04:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Carnildo, with all due respect, would you reread this section and comment [10]?
  35. Rangek 04:23, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
  36. Sorry, it just isn't that POV. It may be POV, but it isn't POV _enough_... merely using BCE doesn't make Christs' birth not the pivot. NPOV would be BP dating, and that's just silly.Rick Boatright 04:36, 16 May 2005 (UTC)\
    • I honestly mean no offense, but I think you should read the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy carefully. In the proposal, I provided quotes to prove that BC and AD violate our NPOV policy. Why do those quotes not convince you?
  37. SimonP 04:38, May 16, 2005 (UTC) Excessive regulation is a bad thing. Leave writers free to use whichever form their comfortable with, as we do with different types of English. If this is a major problem for some people the best solution would be to ask the developers to expand the date format preferences.
  38. Sean Curtin 04:34, May 16, 2005 (UTC) There shouldn't be a policy mandating one or the other; some users will simply not have any idea what BCE/CE means, but others will take umbrage at the use of BC/AD. No way to please everyone without using both. -Sean Curtin 04:34, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • As I said previously, I don't favor hand-holding readers or dumbing down content for the ignorant. If a reader of Wikipedia does not understand something, they should research what they don't understand rather than opposing inquiry. The argument that "people won't understand" is unsupportable on Wikipedia. Why? Hyperlinks. Adraeus 04:52, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  39. The Bob Talbot 04:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  40. Oppose, as most of the English speaking world use BC/AD. In my own view, BCE and CE were developed to deal with Christianity and try to remove Christian influence from the world. However, this is not the reason I vote oppose here. I think we should be using the most well-known dating term, and BC and AD are the best known of the terms. - Ta bu shi da yu 04:55, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Could you humor me and respond to this [11], specifically? Slrubenstein | Talk 05:37, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes, I read that. As I have already pointed out on your talk page, BC/AD divides eras between before and after the birth of Christ. I fell that to say that this is a "Common Era" is misleading and unnecessary. Common to whom? Not to atheists who don't believe that Jesus every existed! Yet... many, many atheists do not mind still using BC/AD and this is the best known dating system that divides eras. Like it or not, the BCE/CE is still based on a Christian concept and that in itself could be argued to be a non-neutral concept. Let popularity ride on this one, as no matter which way you slice it, someone will take issue with dating concept. - Ta bu shi da yu 03:50, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  41. Darrien 05:08, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
    I'm Chinese, and agnostic. I am not Christian, I have never been Christian, and I do not plan to convert to Christianity. I have always consistently used BC / AD. The etymologies of BC / AD are about relevant to me as that of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. People in China and Japan don't have that much contact with Christianity; hence they don't tend to care about this sort of thing, similar to how English-speakers generally don't find it strange to be referring to Thor's-day, Woden's-day, etc. I suspect that it's only in places where Christianity / non-Christianity come into direct conflict (e.g. Christianity vs Islam, Christianity vs Judaism, Christianity vs atheism) that people get sensitive about this otherwise well-established convention. -- ran (talk) 05:30, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • Ran, with all due respect, it sounds like you are saying you oppose the proposal because AD/BC doesn't bother you (or even, most people). Okay, you and they have a right not to be bothered by AD/BC. But, again with all due respect, don't you think that the basis of our NPOV policy is that not everyone feels the same way. This necessarily means that it doesn't matter that you are not bothered by something; what matters is that someone else is. I think this is the very essence of NPOV, to recognize that one's own feelings are not shared by others and thus cannot be the basis for making decisions concerning NPOV! I assume you have read our Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy, and my proposal and the quotes I provide from our NPOV policy — how do you think I have misinterpreted our NPOV policy? Slrubenstein | Talk 05:37, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • You're right... just because I see it as frivolous doesn't mean that everyone else also does. After having had the distinctly difficult experience of trying to convince people to use "Mainland China" rather than "China" or "the People's Republic of China" (people said that it was frivolous PC crap, but it sure is infinitely more NPOV), I really should know better. Good luck in your proposal. ;) -- ran (talk) 07:16, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  42. I don't think the use of established linguistic conventions represents a "view" that is subject to NPOV. An article about the conventions themselves should report the arguments for and against their usage, and NPOV would be concerned with such a presentation. But NPOV is not concerned with what the content of the language is, something Wikipedia shouldn't try to remake no matter how well-intentioned—we should only use it as we find it. I'm an atheist, btw. Postdlf 05:48, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • As you spurely must know, I agree that "An article about the conventions themselves should report the arguments for and against their usage, and NPOV would be concerned with such a presentation" since I state this in the proposal. But I do not understand your reason for voting no. I explicitly address your concern here: [12] and wonder why you do not find it convincing. Also, haven't you read the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy? I can't find where in the policy anything supports your view. You read the quotes from the policy I provide in the article in support of the proposal — do you disagree with my interpretation/use of these quotes from the NPOV policy? How? I'd like to know, Slrubenstein | Talk 05:57, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Because I see the issue as a much narrower one than you do. Linguistic conventions are simply beyond the scope of concern of WP:NPOV because it doesn't address them. It's entirely framed around the problem of POV article content—the NPOV presentation of facts. The only part of it that even addresses word usage is to advocate for the proper use of terms that may have a perjorative meaning if misused (i.e., imply negative facts about the subject to which they are appended). Linguistic conventions, on the other hand, fall under style guidelines, and the offense of some at the form the language has taken is not enough reason for us to impose a contrary convention based on how we would like the language to be. Obviously if something is a convention the vast majority of speakers of that language do not find its usage offensive, and until those who do find AD/BC offensive manage to change the language (as happened with "man" as a synonym for "humanity"), then their preference should not be followed any more than the preference of those who want to change women to womyn. Postdlf 07:29, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
        • This is an excellent articulation of my own viewpoint as well, in case I have been less than clear elsewhere. Alanyst 07:39, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  43. Stbalbach 06:26, 16 May 2005 (UTC). Two points. First, what would be next, require everything be in metric to cut-out the English POV on weights and measurements? Second, Judeo-Christian elements are so ingrained, you cant remove it without a cultural labotamy, BC is part of a mountain of historiographical baggage that has ingrained Christian, and anti-Christian, pejorative and otherwise meanings and connotations. Dark Ages, Renaissance, Feudalism, Middle Ages, Byzantium -- these are all anti-christian terms (read: POV) created by secular humanists to express disfavour with one system and favour of another, these are not neutral descriptors of history, but we use them. It is a term of Periodization. The Periodization article goes into more detail of the complexities and problems with Periodization. Historical revisionism also touches on many of these issues. Stbalbach 14:39, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Stbalbach, first, I think you are wrong to use the phrase "Judeo-Christian elements" when the elements we are talking about are purely Christian. Why did you say "Judeo-Christian?" Second, why do you think that to not be Christian, or to not use Christian language, is an attack on Christianity? Must everyone be Christian? Can't people be different?
      • I notice whoever wrote the above comment didnt sign their name. Probably just as well because its a troll to move the attention away from the facts I presented. "Must everyone be Christian?", I dunno -- are you just plain stupid? Stbalbach 22:19, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
  44. Proteus (Talk) 07:23, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  45. Mildly, for reasons explained in "General Discussion." (If I didn't think BCE/CE would be an obstacle to readers' understanding, I would switch my vote.) The best solution might be to make date/epoch markers a matter of user preference, but that could be technically tricky. Alanyst 07:36, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  46. This extension of policy is unnecessary. Demi T/C 08:16, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
  47. No matter what we call it, it's still the same event that's the reference point. By renaming it to some political correct term, like "Common Era", we in fact is even more gross, in that we then implicit says that the birth of one specific religious figure is something everyone, no matter religion should accept as a common reference point. By sticking with BC and AD, we at least acknowledge that it is based in one specific religion. In short, BCE/CE is just cultural imperialism thinly disguised as political correctness. -- Wegge 08:42, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • If BC/AD merely translated to "Before Jesus" and "In the year of Jesus", it wouldn't be a problem, since the reference point would just be to a historical figure (which is the context of BCE/CE). The problem is that the acronyms do more than refer to a historical figure, they make certain POV statements about that figure: BC asserts this figure is a messiah, and AD asserts he is a god, assertions with which not all people agree. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 08:57, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • More than a messiah, it asserts that Jesus is the messiah, and by extension, that anyone (see Jews) who do not accept him as such are in eggregious error. Not a god, since Christianity claims to be monotheistic, but the God. This truly is then, in the Christian worldview, the 2005th (give or take) year since "God became [a man] and walked among us". This is what the abbreviations mean. That said, I don't think most wikipedians mean this when they use them, nor do I think most readers realize that when they read it. B/CE is more disruptive. I would prefer the speedy adoption of CSS w/ reader preferences to overcome this. See the talk page for an ongoing discussion of this. Tomer TALK 10:36, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  48. As a non-native speaker of English, and a non-Christian, I really prefer AD/BC. Unlike many non-native speakers, I do understand CE/BCE if it's used in an article, but it does have me stop reading, to interpret it. Besides, the CE-notation is hopelessly POV. The etymology of AD shows its Christian roots, just like AH is based on islam; but "Common Era" smells of superiority: "common" meaning "everyone uses it". Eugene van der Pijll 08:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  49. Both sets of era names are fine, and the current compromise is good enough.Gdr 09:48, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
    • You apparently fail to realize that there is no "current compromise"... Tomer TALK 10:09, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
      • Sure there is. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) says, "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article". Gdr 13:03, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
        • I might add that this was reached after a debate covering all the same ground as this one. The only change now is that we have templates and CSS to try to offer a more advanced solution. Pcb21| Pete 13:08, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
          • Gdr, from your comments it sounds like you didn't even read the proposal. You are making a decision based on our non-binding manual of style. My proposal concerns our binding NPOV policy. Haven't you read the NPOV policy? How do you respond to the quotes from the policy in my proposal?Slrubenstein | Talk 22:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
        • I read the proposal. You are trying to convince us that when someone writes "Julius Caesar died in 44 BC" they are not only asserting a fact about Caesar (which is fine by our NPOV policy), but also an opinion about Christianity (which would be wrong by our NPOV policy). Well, that may be your opinion. But your rhetoric cannot make your opinion into a fact. Gdr 20:50, 2005 May 16 (UTC)
          • Fair enough. But can you explain to me why signifying "Before Christ" does not express a claim that there is a Christ (understood to be Jesus)? It isn't obvious to me. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  50. what next? Using Julian dates, or the Unix era, instead of the horribly biased Christian count? "What year are we?" – "2005." – "shame on you, imperialistic chauvinistic christian scum!". Please. dab () 10:34, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  51. Wiglaf 10:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC). Aren't there more important matters to vote on? Even if we would change the letters, we would still be counting the Christian way, which is completely neutral for most people. Why not remove the English names of the week because they are Asatrú, as well?.
  52. zoney talk 11:26, 16 May 2005 (UTC) Seeking to change the status quo is merely a non-neutral wish to remove traces of Christian influence. Should we rename the days of the week too? This is pure PC nonsense at best, and anti-Christian at worst.
    • I happen to think Christianity is a morass of insane nonsense, yet I voted against. Are you saying I, as an anti-Christian, should change my vote? Tomer TALK 11:50, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • Clarification: I'm simply saying that I don't think it's worthwhile bringing allegations of religious bias into the discussion. (And yes, I understand how ridiculous this might sound to someone who hasn't followed my arguments all along, but it's not my job to hold your hand...) Tomer TALK 11:51, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
    • Zoney, have you even read the proposal? I really do not see how anyone can say that an explicitly Christian POV is "NPOV," and that anything that does not express a Christian POV actually is "POV." Have you ever read our Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy? Do you understand it? Do you care? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:40, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  53. Lunacy. Noisy | Talk 11:32, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  54. Geni 11:39, 16 May 2005 (UTC) it would appear that from quick searches of Pakistani and Isreali google that BC is more common than BCE in these countries (the same is true for saudi arabia).
    • Than how do you respond to this[13]? Your position is incompatible with our NPOV policy. Have you even read our Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy? I quote it in my proposal. Why do you think I am misinterpreting the quotes I provide? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • well it does rather wipe out your claim that those useing the term are claiming that Jesus is Christ (unless there have been some very big changes in islamic theology while I wasn't looking). 11:51, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  55. Electionworld 11:54, 16 May 2005 (UTC). It is more normal in English to use BC than BCE.
    • Than how do you respond to this[14]? Your position is incompatible with our NPOV policy. Have you even read our Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy? I quote it in my proposal. Why do you think I am misinterpreting the quotes I provide? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  56. I actually support the use of BCE/CE over AD/BC, but this discussion is framed all wrong (as several other oppose votes -- see Angela's, #28 -- also suggest) and the policy proposal is phrased in a hideous way that sets an awful precedent for Wikipedia. The debate actually has very little to do with POV and the comments about academic practice, or courtesy, or religious belief really should have nothing to do with this. The NPOV policy (and I feel compelled to point out that the N stands for "Neutral" and not "No") states that "The neutral point of view attempts to present ideas and facts in such a fashion that both supporters and opponents can agree." We don't need any arguments that BC and AD reflect a particular point of view. All we need to know is that a non-trivial number of people believe them to be patently false because they don't subscribe to any form of Christianity; that they can't agree to the use of those terms because they (and it's a large they) hold those terms to be factually inaccurate. Everyone can agree, though, that this particular numbering of years is in "common" use, and that's reflected in the BCE/CE nomenclature reflects that. Problem solved, and all without religious wars or using NPOV as a blunt stick to beat people over the head with. What this proposal does is sneakily begin to introduce a "anti-POV" policy as a corollary of our NPOV policy, and I think that's dangerous, because we should be fostering a culture of discussion and consensus and not a culture of labelling and exclusion. Oh, yeah, and BTW: m:polls are evil. -- Seth Ilys 12:33, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • The definition of "neutral" when applied to the definition of "point-of-view" renders your argument about NPOV policy idiotic, at best. A neutral "point-of-view" is not a point-of-view; instead, NPOV policy promotes topical descriptions that aspire to objective perfection without subjective influence. So, NPOV policy is an anti-POV policy. Some editors have created articles that display the points-of-view belonging to the primary parties to a debate in order to adhere to NPOV policy. If we are to do that here, we'll have to settle with "BC/BCE" and "AD/CE". Adraeus 17:02, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • NPOV is a point-of-view. It's a particular point of view that the resolution to certain disputes is unknown/unknowable. Imagine the encyclopedia as a (non-human) observer. -- Seth Ilys 19:27, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I think what's detailed there is a misinterpretation of what Jimbo originally meant when he formulated the policy. As I've discussed before, I believe that writing without any point of view is simply impossible. We must write from some point of view, and we choose the one that does not take sides on contentious issues. Just because it's the "consensus in the community" or happens to be written on a (rather lengthy) policy page that NPOV is not a point of view doens't mean that it's logical or correct. Don't take what's written on policy pages as written in stone. This is a Wiki, after all. :) -- Seth Ilys 15:23, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Your pedantry misleads you. Perfection is "the state of being without flaw or defect". Perfection is also a logical impossibility. That is, to be perfect is impossible. The policy form of the "neutral point of view" is "the state of being without a point of view derived from the perspective of a necessary party to a debate". A perfectly neutral point of view is "the state of being without perspective" which is a logical impossibility (as you constantly point out) since perception is singular. That is, the perceiver is the viewpoint. This is known. This is understood. This is irrelevant. The "neutral point of view" referred to in policy, by both Jimbo Wales and the Wikipedia bureaucracy, concerns the aspiring to a perfectly neutral point of view. Perfection cannot be achieved; however, perfection is an ideal quality to which something/someone can aspire. NPOV policy dictates that the content of Wikipedia should aspire to the ideal quality of a perfectly neutral point of view. To do that, everything, even date formatting, regardless of perceived importance must adhere to that policy. If you still don't understand, dwell upon this philosophy: "where our journey begins and ends surrenders to the journey itself" — Adraeus. Adraeus 19:19, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • There's no real offence here unless you decide to learn to be offended by BC/AD notation. It's a shame Slrubenstein's energies are directed towards teaching people to be offended by something - there must be better things to do in the world than that, jguk 12:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  57. I read the whole argument, and I found the reasoning to be rather tortured. A reference to the Belgian Congo is a transparent attempt to play the guilt card, and it's simply not ever going to influence my view on how to write English prose. I favor BC/AD mostly because my authorities do - historians of ancient (pagan) Greece and Rome probably use specific "BC" dates more than anyone, and I can't find a single Greece/Rome book on my shelf that uses "BCE" rather than "BC" in its thicket of dates. When the OCD (Oxford Classical Dictionary) switches to BCE/CE, I will favor it then. Stan 13:15, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Note that the website for the OCD's publisher, Oxford University Press, employs BCE/CE for their categories. Random example [15]. El_C 01:05, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  58. Umm... common to who? If you want a neutral dating system, go with some event that is recognised by all cultures. BCE/CE is just a POV way of saying BC/AD, and the latter are part of English language. Unless I learnt Klingon overnight, this is the English Wikipedia, isn't it? Personally, I'd prefer a techinical solution (user-preference set); failing that, use a dual approach - Julius Caesar died in BC/BCE, and Rome fell in AD/CE. Alphax τεχ 14:46, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • How can you even ask that question, if you read the proposal? How, specifically, do you respond to this [16] and [17]? "Common to who?" What do you think this whole policy proposal is about? You shouldn't vote against something you haven't read. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:49, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
      • I have read it, thankyou. Argument 3: If the Gregorian Calendar is the common one, the common era is clearly when that calendar started to be used by cultures outside Western Europe - around AD 1900 / 1900 CE. That is truly the common era. Argument 4: BCE/CE is an anti-Christian POV way of writing BC/AD. Find an independent year 0, and then I'll use CE. Alphax τεχ 09:47, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  59. No. Inter\Echo 19:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  60. No. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. There's absolutely no need to impose any particular policy here. Whatever form an article happens to use, once it's in a reasonably finished state that usage should be maintained. Thus, articles with a more-or-less academic tone will probably use BCE/CE ("carbon dating of the artefacts showed them to date from 5000 BCE"); articles using a more-or-less colloquial tone will probably use BC/AD ("Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two AD"). If you want consistency, work on a command-and-control encyclopedia. Don't run around changing usage in existing articles if they're well-written, understandable, and internally consistent. Dpbsmith (talk) 19:44, 16 May 2005 (UTC) P. S. How often do we bother to show whether dates prior to mumble are old style or new style? If we want to strive for accuracy that's a far more important issue.
  61. No...it's my personal opinion that abandoning the most commonly-used system for another is in itself POV and biased against Christianity. Yes, I have read the points above to the contrary, and I disagree with them.--MikeJ9919 19:59, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, I do appreciate your having read it (I don't think everyone does). If you have time and don't mind, could you explain more specifically why this [18] and this [19] don't persuade you? I am just having trouble understanding how you square your own view with what is written in our Wikipedia: Neutral point of view policy. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:15, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
      • My major problem is that most of your conclusions seem to be predicated on the idea that the AD/BC system is NPOV, when in fact that should be what you are trying to prove. That is circular reasoning, a logical fallacy in and of itself. Keep in mind that though the action to resolve this issue may be to replace AD/BC, the actual question presented to the community for consensus decision is: "Is this dating system NPOV?" That is not for you to determine, only for you to argue. --MikeJ9919 01:49, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
        • Your major problem is misunderstanding his conclusions. Slrubenstein argues that the AD/BC system violates NPOV policy; thus, he argues that the AD/BC system is POV, not NPOV. Slrubenstein suggests replacing the AD/BC system with BCE/CE which is commonly used in academic research. Adraeus 18:34, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
          • I did not misunderstand his conclusions. I did make a typo which I failed to notice. The first line of my response should have read "the AD/BC system is POV, when in fact that should be what you are trying to prove." This should've been evident from the remainder of my comment, though I'm sorry for the confusion. The question that he is presenting is still "Is this system NPOV?" I contend that it is NPOV, Slrubenstein clearly disagrees and wishes to replace it with BCE/CE, which he feels is NPOV. Something that people fail to grasp about NPOV is that saying something is POV does not make it so. Yes, NPOV is a non-negotiable policy. However, whether something violates that policy is not a matter of one person saying "I'm offended! I'm offended!" Just like everything else, it is a matter of community debate and consensus. It is up to the community to decide whether something violates the policy and therefore needs to be replaced. The one thing we cannot do is decide that something violates the policy but does not need to be replaced. I hope this clears up my reasoning. --MikeJ9919 23:51, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  62. Snowspinner 20:34, May 16, 2005 (UTC). Or at least opposed to the poll.
  63. Comments to come. -- llywrch 21:19, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  64. Voting against on grounds of common usage - 99% of people in this country (UK) wouldn't recognise BCE/CE. Stick to current policy and allow either. -- Arwel 21:44, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Are you then arguing that common usage trumps NPOV? Guettarda 22:15, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Arwel, you cannot make the argument on these grounds. see [20]; what you suggest violates our NPOV policy, which I quote in the proposal (or read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. You can disagree with my proposal, but you cannot argue that popularity trumps NPOV.
    • Actually, I think he's implicitly arguing that it isn't an NPOV issue at all, not that popularity trumps it. Fieari 22:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm denying that this is an NPOV issue at all. -- Arwel (Talk) 01:11, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  65. I'll put comments in the section above. Fieari 21:46, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  66. Randy 23:25, 16 May 2005 (UTC) I vote NO on the grounds that this is political correctness run amok. It's one more joke that people will laugh at. It's already been said that Wikipedia has "jumped the shark". Let's not turn a common calendar into a hypersensitivity landmine. What next? Are we going to rename those days of the week that had been named after Roman gods?
    • Well, you haven't explained why you think "Before Christ" and "Anno Domini" comply with our NPOV policy. Through your Roman gods comment, you have let us know that you didn't actually read the proposal. have you ever read our Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy? Or is that just more pc madness? By the way, I think you mean "the day of the week that is named after a Roman god," not "those." Slrubenstein | Talk 23:33, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Perhaps he meant "those" days of the week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) that are named after Norse gods? siafu 23:36, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  67. Slrubenstein needs to impress the world that he is the most important guy ever, and then in 500yrs or so they'll start dating things by when he was born (or died, or conquered europe, or whatever). Until then, give it a rest. Or in other words, original research, political correctness, doublespeak, and the opposite of why I like encyclopedias. Sam Spade 23:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I guess it is sort of comforting, that the only way you can knock my proposal is through an ad hominem remark. But then again, this is pretty much what I have come to expect from you. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:41, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Quite funny, coming from a guy who has his name larger than everybody elses. srs 23:55, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  68. m:Polls are evil Ambush Commander 00:00, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
  69. Personally, I found the argument above to be gaseous and pompous beyond belief, and despite the arguer's self-congratulatory conclusions to be wholly unconvincing. Common usage ought to trump a solution in search of a problem. And Slrubenstein, don't bother with the tiresome rebuttal: just because you believe you're convincing doesn't mean you actually done so. --Calton | Talk 00:43, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • But nothing personal. El_C 01:56, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  70. It's no big deal -- we should copy common usage. I don't see NPOV as having any bearing here. To be honest, these whole discussion seems to be generating a lot of heat for no practical gain. — Matt Crypto 02:41, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  71. AlexR 02:56, 17 May 2005 (UTC) Apart from the fact that I consider this debate to be rather pointless to begin with, I consider the claim that the Christian calendar did somehow start a "common area", while all the other religion-based calendars did not far more POV than the plain stating of fact that well, yes, this is a religion-based counting of years, and it stated with the (assumed) birth date of Jesus, called the Christ by his followers. -- AlexR 02:56, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  72. Personally, while in an ideal world maybe we would all use BCE/CE dating, I don't see any good reason to impose it through a general policy. I feel this would lead to problems as well. Here where I live, in the U.S., only people with a fairly high degree of education would generally recognize BCE/CE dating, at least with any substantial degree of familiarity. So I think it's best to "decentralize" this to be dealt with on more or less a case by case basis, according to the feelings of the editors of particular articles. And, by the way, I think votes from people who admit they are voting purely out of opposition to the theoretical basis of voting, and not due to an opinion about the subject, should not be counted. Everyking 08:21, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    Just a datapoint related to this: When I was attending public school in Florida during in early 90s, we were taught both AD/BC and CE/BCE. CE/BCE was used preferentially. This may not have been the case in all school districts, but it was the case in two of them. Gmaxwell 15:22, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  73. Instruction creep. Also, using CSS for this is not a very good idea. Radiant_* 11:43, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
  74. Everything about a language reflects its history, including religious (English day names are pagan, the use of the Latin alphabet to write the language as opposed to cyrillic or hebrew or arabic derives from its Western Catholic history)--changing one thing and leaving the rest will still leave a quote-unquote "bias". And as has been pointed out, BCE/CE is a pretty thinly veiled covering of what is obviously the Gregorian, Western Christian calendar. We can't change reality just because some don't agree with it. --Marlow4 11:53, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  75. This is the epitome of political correctness: attempting to change the way we think through the words we are allowed to use. What will be the next thing we are encouraged to change? Should we refrain from writing articles about certain subjects because they might be offensive to a particular segment of the population? --Phil | Talk 13:45, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
  76. I disagree that BCE/CE are less Christian-POV than BC/AD. -- Jitse Niesen 14:45, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  77. This proposal is quite idiotic. – ugen64 19:08, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  78. This proposal is amazing and i'm against it. Hedley 19:52, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  79. Why not disallow all use of the christian calendar when we're on to it? Isn't 2005 CE as NPOV or POV as 2005 AD? Just including 2005 means that you have used a reference to the birth of Jesus. Stupid, stupid, stupid proposal. -- Elisson | Talk 20:02, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  80. In an ideal world, our dating system would be based on something else, but it isn't. JamesMLane 23:50, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  81. I support continuing to use BC/AD on grounds of tradition, convention, practicality, and lack of hostility to Christianity and the West. Trying to sever Western cultural references and practices from their roots because some may resent them may be understandable, but is not necessarily NPOV. I lived in Japan for years and didn't insist that the Japanese year system ignore its references to the Emperor so I wouldn't feel left out from Japanese society. Western civilization is the dominant one of this planet, and Christianity is the dominant faith of and a central influence on the West. These are facts it would be wise to merely accept calmly, and move on from. I oppose BCE/CE as a POV, agenda-driven, jarring, distracting, futile effort by a minority to impose its ways on a majority, to quixotically deny cultural practicalities, and furthermore as being silly. What do we have in "common" with every single human being since the traditional date of birth of Jesus, other than the birth of Jesus? LeoO3 20:17, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
  82. To pretend as if the Christion POV is not the cause for the division between the two "eras" does more harm than good. By "hiding" the bias behind the facade of BCE/CE we risk forgetting the reason. By allowing the blatantly biased BC/AD we never forget that there is inherently a Christian POV here. We cannot just wave our hands and make history vanish; the Christians stamped their POV indelibly upon the Western world, and changing names now won't undo that. Better the face the problem with eyes wide open, staring the bias in the face. My personal beliefs are probably relevant here, so I shall state that I am an agnostic or weak atheist, depending on definition. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 00:49, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
  83. Dachannien 06:40, 19 May 2005 (UTC) There's not a whole lot I can add to the comments against that have been provided. However, if I write an article and use BC/AD, or you write an article and use BCE/CE, I doubt that either one of us really wants to sort through changes - or, worse yet, revert wars - over what ultimately is a semantic argument. People know what you mean either way (which is, quite honestly, merely to specify a particular date, not to proselytize a religious dogma), and as long as an article stays internally consistent (for style's sake), I don't see a problem with polite deference to an article's original author (not by Wikipedia policy mandate, but by the courtesy and politeness that good Wikipedian citizens should show for one another).
    84. Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD. Jesus Christ is LORD 15:47, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  84. No on proposal - BCE/CE is a politically correct POV in itself. Rangerdude 18:03, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  85. There is nothing wrong with BC and AD that have been used for centuries, by everyone until the 1970's. AD is the name of the calendar, if you don't like it, date your years from something else.Codex Sinaiticus 06:10, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  86. Irrelevant. There are many really important causes to fight for before we get to this tiny detail. An opinion from a Hindu, btw. Subramanian talk 07:52, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  87. I think this debate is unfortunate in that there is not a neutral point of view on the table. CE/BCE are inherently point of view as they take a religious calendar and secularize it, likewise a religious calendar is also inherently biased. The Gregorian calendar, with either AD/CE, is the only current legitimate calendar to use in humanities articles in English— thus imposing other calendars would be highly POV and nonsensical. It is a fact that the Gregorian calendar was attempting to set up Jesus as the delineation of dates; since CE/BCE does not change that demarcation the POV is still there. The inherent intent of the Gregorian calendar was to honor Jesus, most Christians don't want to force their religion on others today; and perceive efforts like this as targeting Christianity and an attempt to remove Jesus from a calendar that was clearly intended to honor him will only increase such sentiments. Jesus was an important figure in history, and having a calendar that honors him is no more offensive than having months honoring Julius Caesar and Augustus, who were also worshiped as gods, and likewise does not make them, or Jesus, gods by doing so. I know that anno domni was the origin of AD, but After Death is widely substituted, at least in the Southern United States and that interpretation doesn‘t carry as sharp of POV. In the absence of a NPOV calendar the best thing to do is to keep the current policy of tolerating both AD/BC and CE/BCE. Angela‘s suggestion of expanding date formats under preferences to include AD/CE BC/BCE is probably the best way to go about it; perhaps such preferences could ultimately be extended to other calendars as well. -JCarriker 08:38, May 21, 2005 (UTC)
    You are correct, J, and it seems the consensus among all faiths and all lands - Hindu, Chinese, Japanese, and everyone else - has no problem to use the Gregorian Calendar, including the traditional letters AD. It does not imply they are being forced to follow Jesus, nor does anyone seriously think it does. The only parties who are vehemently opposed to anyone using AD, as far as I can research, are parties within Jesus' own nationality, perhaps confirming the words "a prophet is not without honour save in his own country"... Ironically, they seem to have no problem with honouring Caesar, Augustus, Thor and Woden, etc. but with this one figure (Jesus), it's noticeably different. (BTW, only very uneducated people think AD can be used to mean 'After Death', since we don't know who would have died in AD 1.) Wikipedia rightly permits the use of BCE and CE for those who prefer it, but when editors impose it on articles about classical history, like Media, it just ruins the classical look and feel of them. Codex Sinaiticus 15:15, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
    While I appreciate your classical sensibilities, I must disagree with them. The Medes would not have used Wednesday or June, but we use them in the articles and there is no harm in using AD/BC either. We must remember that our audience is not from antiquity but our contemporaries. We wouldn't use A.U.C. at Ostia nor regnal years at Abu Simbel. I believe the best option lies with setting up a system were users can choose the format they want to use. As for the After Death, the fact that the presumption is incoherent doesn't change the fact that millions think that is what it stands for. As for your research about who opposes AD/BC, I believe it is in error; there are Jewish people and Atheists who have voted against it and Christians who support it. I would like to politely suggest that you refrain from generalizations based on ethnicity and religious preference. - JCarriker 08:07, May 22, 2005 (UTC)
  88. I cannot comprehend how the secular BCE/CE is more or less POV than AD/BC. I would represent it as a style issue. Among my contempories (teenagers in a British independant school: all fasionably atheist) no-one would consider writing BCE/CE. They don't do this because they believe that Jesus is our Lord and that this is His year, but because using BC/AD is the way that everyone does it, whether or not they actually look at the precise meaning. I would wager that few people actually knew that AD stood for Anno Domini (which could feasibly be translated as "In the year of a lord"), let alone were offended by it. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 16:53, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  89. No. --M7it 17:39, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  90. I've voted for the 3rd alternative, and if that is not implemented, I want the system we already have, or the inclusion of both styles in the one article. --Silversmith 18:59, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  91. Oppose the establishment of policy on this question. We have articles on Christianity where BC/AD is appropriate. We have articles on Judaism where the Jewish year (followed by the BCE/CE year to help the reader) is appropriate and articles on Islam where the Muslim year (ditto) is appropriate. And we have articles that have nothing to do with any religion in which years must be disambiguated. In the latter case, some authors will prefer BC/AD and others will prefer BCE/CE. So long as an article is internally consistent, it doesn't matter which system is used. Just follow the use of the first editor to use one or the other. --Angr/comhrá 22:12, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  92. This is soapboxing over non-issues. Get a grip, people. Peter Isotalo 06:34, May 23, 2005 (UTC)
    • If you truly think it is a non-issue, why even vote? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:14, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
      • I can't answer for Peter, but my answer would be that elevating non-issues to the level of policy creates a basis for future action and perpetuates the tempest-in-a-teapot. In other words, the making of a non-issue into a policy is an issue. --Tabor 02:17, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  93. Oppose I use BCE/CE when ever possible. I am Christian, but was not always so. I took offense neither before nor after, though I understand why many may. The change to BCE/CE is a noble movement to secularize langauge so we have an increase in common ground. This is good, at this point however, neither the academic nor general comunity has consensus, let alone Wikipedia. Wikipedia, I believe should /reflect/ the community, in all its aspects, rather than attempt to define a standard for them. I similarly am opposed to AD/BC only, again, we are not here to define standards but to reflect those of the community. This is an encyclopedia, not a scholarly journal. If it was, I'd be mass blanking pages with inadequate refrences. The choice to use AD or CE dating systems is the choice of each writer an editor. What we must make clear is that Changing dating systems as part of edit wars is highly abusive, and should not be tolerated, whatever side we are on.--Tznkai 22:01, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  94. BC/AD is likely to be the most widely recognized format. Cedars 15:25, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  95. Oppose. If BC/AD is good enough for the BBC, it's good enough for me. I'm reminded of Christianity only when I see BCE. CE means a European safety mark to me. Dmn / Դմն 17:06, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  96. Oppose. I'm an atheist and with all due respect, I think that this proposal is silly. For whatever reason, BC/AD is the standard; Wikipedia should only change over when the world at large decides that BCE/CE (or anything else) is more appropriate. Whats next, abandoning the word Wednesday because it honors the god Wotan? Using the term 'AD' no more "honors" Christianity than using the term Wednesday "honors" Germanic deities. --Bletch 00:48, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
  97. Oppose. I'm an atheist, and thus don't only disbelieve in Jesus Christ as the messiah (and yes, I do normally use the word "Christ" there) but disbelieve in any messiah, or indeed any sort of god. I also live in England, a country whose law gives priority to (one denomination of) the Christian church, so might be expected to support this proposal. However, I use BC/AD all the time, and so in my experience do the great majority of my compatriots, even in academia. I don't think BCE/CE is any less POV, since however you frame it, its point of reference is the supposed date of Jesus's birth, and if you're an atheist that has no more significance than the date of Muhammad's or Abraham's birth. Given the choice between two inherently POV methods, the pragmatic thing to do is to use the one which is most commonly understood, and here in Britain at least, that's BC/AD by a mile. Also - and this isn't an argument I've seen elsewhere, slightly to my surprise - I think the fact that the letters of "BCE" and "CE" are so similar is a bad thing; it's very easy to make a small slip and write (or read) the wrong one, something much harder to do with BC/AD. Loganberry 03:09, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
  98. Oppose. This proposal is tendentious malarkey. Smerdis of Tlön 13:32, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  99. Oppose. Its absurd. It would be like insisting that we rename Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, to TwoDay, ThreeDay, FourDay, and FiveDay, because we dont want to push a Norse point of view. ~~~~ 22:11, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  100. Oppose. I see both AD/BC and BCE/CE in widespread use. Much like I see both British and American spellings in widespread use. And as with the case for variant spellings, Wikipedia precedent is to be permissive. And if anyone suggests "herstory" for "history" on the basis of sexism POV, I think I'll run screaming. --Tabor 02:11, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  101. Oppose. Most people don't read BC/AD as serious declarations of religiosity on the part of the author. In some contexts, it's worth showing more sensitivity than usual and permit whatever alternative is appropriate; but in most cases, CE/BCE is clumsy and intrusive to the average reader. Unless we (we, Humanity, not we Wikipedia) institute a new standard date system, we're stuck with the Gregorian calendar, which can be read as intrinsically POV (though equally it can be seen as just as an accident of history, like the zero meridian being in Greenwich), and whatever letters we use to refer to its dates don't make much odds. Rd232 17:30, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • The zero meridian was deliberately chosen to go through Greenwich. Paris was rejected. ~~~~ 19:35, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  102. Oppose. Great analogy with weekdays :-) And months, by the way. The way of thought under this proposal remarkably resembles the idea of Soviet bolsheviks, which used the terms "before New Era" and "new Era" without redefining New Era to October Revolution, just sweeping the human history under the carpet. Feel free in arab wikipedia to count dates from the birth of Muhammad, but English language tradition, together with many other peculiar language traditions, are matter of fact, not of POV, however silly these traditions are. mikka (t) 23:39, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  103. Oppose. I'm just a regular guy - I know what BC/AD means. BC/CE?! Whu? Means nothing to the average person. Dan100 23:49, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)

Votes for a compromise (1)[edit]

  1. Though I think I tend to recognize the inherent POV in using BC/AD, it seems, as I stated on the Village Pump, not much of a better option to just remove the religious wording but keep the same religiously based time frame. But I also recognize that this time frame is the overwhelmngly accepted (at least I know in English it is) convention. Since both of the dating versions do deal with that same time frame, though, here's an easy solution. Why not, as a compromise, allow that to be up to the discretion of the editor, just like British vs. American spellings. As long as the convention is internally consistent within an article, it should cause no confusion. And the POV really only enters into play on religiously based articles, (like Jesus where the convention may inherently support his existence or not, and similar pages), but that debate, I think, belongs to a different policy proposal. After all, it's the same dates, so confusion's not likely, it's just a matter of naming. --Dmcdevit 01:41, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
A compromise does not solve the problem of BC/AD being POV. It is POV to assert that Jesus is God. BCE/CE in a sense describes that assertion, and so is NPOV. As for common usage, unconscious bias (as Slrubenstien addressed in the proposal) is still bias. Just because something is so commonly used that most people don't notice does not make it neutral. Guettarda 13:34, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
I should note that this is really the status quo, as the Manual says "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article." Now, BCE/CE is still both Anglocentric and asserts the same religious bias by starting with Jesus' life still. After all, it's not the letters that are POV but the time frame. And there is a difference between unconscious and unknown. If the abbeviations have lost meaning to the common person, then it is not bias at all, words are just symbols. After all, do you want me to scold you for using the word common, even though, etymologically, it was used disparagingly of women beginning in the fourteenth century? The point is, if it doesn't mean that anymore, because it's so commom as to have lost its religious meaning, then it doesn't mean that, period. --Dmcdevit 08:11, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

ANNOUNCEMENT: My primary purpose in presenting this proposal was not to take a poll, but to provoke discussion. Although there have been many comments (a few, especially among the “opposed” votes, quite thoughtful), I do not think there has really been much discussion, much dialogue. Many people state their views, without discussing them with people who have different views. One small example: although I and a few others have written comments and questions to people voting “no,” few if any of the people who oppose the proposal have asked questions of any of the sixty or so people who have voted “yes.” Moreover, it is a shame that most critics of the proposal direct their opposition to me, when so many other people support the proposal. Wikipedia is a community, a community needs to communicate, and the ideal form of communication is an open-minded discussion among people of opposing views.

If that's what you really wanted, it is downright silly not to have started this page as a discussion p[age, and properly framed the issues through collaborative effort, rather than calling for a vote on the basis of your biased framing of the issues before there had been any discussion at all.
Now, it is time for you to admit that there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that you will ever achieve consensus for your proposal, and to call off the vote immediately. Gene Nygaard 15:22, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
I second Gene's comment. You started this page with nineteen screens of personal essay. I didn't see any reason to respond to your comments when you apparently planned to overwhelm everyone with the size of your rebuttals. —Wahoofive (talk) 15:48, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Then don't respond. You've already cast your vote, do either join the discussion or don't, but there's no point in childishly trying to sabotage it. Assume good faith. siafu 17:04, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
That "good faith" is a rebuttable (and rebutted) presumption. Gene Nygaard 17:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I know that I am a polarizing figure for many people. Therefore, I will step out of this discussion for several days (Aside from maintenance chores). I hope that when I am gone, people on both sides of the issue will talk more to one another, asking questions and responding in ways that invite more discussion. Adios.Slrubenstein | Talk 15:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

When exactly is the vote going to end? It's 14th June now. That's almost a month! I do hope it isn't going to be a case of "it will end when side X has a majority".

~~~~ 19:21, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is now 1st July. Continuing this vote until the side the proposer of this change supports is in a majority is cheating, and bad form. ~~~~ 1 July 2005 07:09 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't make much sense of your comments. What do you imagine is happening here, who is cheating, and how? Jayjg (talk) 1 July 2005 07:12 (UTC)
Given that this is a vote, and that it started almost a month and a half ago, deliberately allowing it to continue until the "right side" has a majority does not strike me as fair play. ~~~~ 1 July 2005 08:33 (UTC)
See the rejection notice at the top of the main page at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate Gene Nygaard 1 July 2005 11:59 (UTC)
What makes you think one side is likely to rack up more votes than the other as time goes on, or that anyone believed it would? That's a rather egregious failure to assume good faith. More importantly, the proposal had already been marked as failed policy even before you made your first comment a couple of weeks ago, so your unpleasant accusations and insinuations were entirely groundless. Jayjg (talk) 1 July 2005 14:56 (UTC)
There had been nothing here on this vote page, the logical page where people might look for that information, until I added it today. That notice appears on the main page of this proposal which was split up over many pages. Gene Nygaard 1 July 2005 15:05 (UTC)