What year is this?

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algebe's picture
What year is this?

We call this year 2017. It's supposed to be the 2017th year "of our lord," reckoning from the birth of Jesus, and years before the birth of Jesus are known as "BC" (before Christ). The terms "common era" (CE) and "before common era") have been adopted as secular naming conventions, but really they're still based on the Jesus myth.

Other cultures have their own year systems. In Japan, for example, it's now year 29 of the Heisei emperor era. When Heisei dies, they'll start from Year 1 again. They use the Western years for convenience, but on official documents only the emperor years are legal. There are people alive who were born in four different emperor eras, so it's all pretty confusing. Islamic countries have their own crazy calendar based on a 355-day year.

So it seems like all year systems, as well as the days of the weeks, and some of the month names have religious roots.

Is there an alternative starting point for reckoning years? Is there another (non-religious) event in 1 CE that could be used as the basis for a secular year system?

Written on Woden's Day, 3rd day of the month of Maia, in the year of our lord 2017.

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Nyarlathotep's picture
I prefer Unix epoch time.

I prefer Unix epoch time. Which is the number of seconds since (UTC) Jan 1, 1970 (roughly when Unix was created). Currently it is 1493796646.

SBMontero's picture
@Algebe: Well, why not? We

@Algebe: Well, why not? We set an event, we all know its date -advise a natural event-, and start using it as a point from which to count years. Which will be?

LogicFTW's picture
If I had to pick, I would

If I had to pick, I would make it similar to the metric system as much as possible. Lots of base 10's where possible. Like: 10 seconds to a minute 10 minutes to an hour 10 hours in a day. Or centi second(about the blink of an eye), deci second, second, deca second (minute), hecto second (hour), kilo second (day). megasecond (the new week) gigasecond (a little longer than a season) with a year being 3.6524 giga seconds. (No getting around an ugly number for day/night cycles in a year.) But you do away with all those silly 60x60x24x7 calculations to try and figure out how many seconds are in a week on the old system, instead, you would know exactly in an instant, one mega second = 1 week.

I would make the start year based on the year they first correctly calculated 365.25 days, (close enough) is a solar year (1 revolution around the sun.) May as well start counting down the years when they finally got the year term correct. (Started doing 365 days with a leap year every 4 years.)
Which was about 3000 years ago, the egyptians figured that one out. (Googled it.) Eh guess we cannot get an exact start date...

Although, while I dislike our years being based on major religion events, the amount of confusion and chaos of switching over to a new year system is probably not worth the trouble.

algebe's picture
@LogicForTW: "amount of

@LogicForTW: "amount of confusion and chaos of switching over to a new year system is probably not worth the trouble."

I agree. It's just annoying to think that even our calendars are helping to prop up the grand deception of Xtianity.

BTW, the 60-based numbers start to make sense if you use your thumb to count the joints on the fingers of one hand. That takes you to twelve. Fold down a finger on the other hand for every twelve and you get to 60. Base 12 (dozenal) counting actually makes a lot of sense.

LogicFTW's picture
Did not know that, but that

Did not know that, but that does make a lot of sense. My thumb does not reach my pinkie very well tho :P
I am guessing that the "dozen" takes origin from that as well?

I just always admired the metric system and how it is used to simplify measurements, making calculations and conversions easy.

A 10 day week though, hard to wrap my mind around the many implications of that. What would the weekend look like? 7 days on 3 days off? Would we even bother to use months anymore?

algebe's picture
@LogicForTW: "A 10 day week

@LogicForTW: "A 10 day week though, hard to wrap my mind around the many implications of that."

It's good to question things that we've always taken for granted, like the seven-day week. There are natural reasons for the length of a day, a year and a month, but there's nothing in nature that corresponds to a week. I grew up learning that it came from the Genesis story: six days of work, one day of rest. But the Babylonians had a seven-day week named after the heavenly bodies that they knew: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. They also had a custom of banning certain activities on every 7th day. Guess which other ancient race of holy book scribblers spent a lot of time in Babylon.

The Christians and Jews should be paying royalties to Iraq for all the plagiarized Babylonian stories in their bible.

LogicFTW's picture
HAH! religious royalties to

HAH! religious royalties to Iraq! All those years + interest on the amount owed, Iraq would be the richest nation in the world :)

chimp3's picture
Pick a scientist that was

Pick a scientist that was influential in weakening the church's monopoly on knowledge and use their birthday as day one.

B.C. (Before Copernicus).

A.D. (After Darwin).

Sir Random's picture
The baboon....err....sorry...

The baboon....err....sorry....chimp has a point.

SBMontero's picture
@chimp3: I love before and

@chimp3: I love before and after Darwin.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Similar to Charlie, I always

Similar to Charlie, I always thought we should recognize the actual age of the Earth. And in conjunction with that, we could use the secular acronyms for time periods like PE = Permian Era, JP = Jurassic Period, BA = Bronze age, EA = Enlightenment, IA = Industrial age, Ect.

I also favor Chimp3's idea about recognizing scientists or at least scientific milestones. To add to that, Id like to recognize Giordano Bruno Galilei for daring to argue that we are a heliocentric solar system.

Shit maybe we can use these things for our ATHEIST STATE! Lol

mykcob4's picture
In the Western world, there

In the Western world, there are two basic calendars.
1) The Gregorian Calendar which is a catholic calendar based on the official pope commission. Which is a bastardization of the Roman calendar.
2) The Julian Calendar which is an official military adoption of the Roman/Greek calendar.
Even though both time calendars are based on religious events (historic/mythic), it is an accepted standard. Therefore, the fact that they are standard and time is relative, they serve the purpose well. Even though there are other even more accurate calendars out there (Mayan Calendar), the entire world utilizes the 2 calendars mentioned above.
As we advance into space and maybe into dimensions we may need to adopt a different calendar system.

Sir Random's picture
"and maybe into dimensions"

"and maybe into dimensions"

Whoa, there, myk. The theists won't be able to keep up if we go that far. Then again, we won't really need them to.....

Pitar's picture
The calendar without christ,

The calendar without christ, what year is it really? No one knows. No commonality or agreement existed to mark the years since man first began recording the passage of days. It's an unknown number. So, we chuckle to ourselves and suck up to the christian calendar. If science could give us an estimate how would the true calendar be expressed numerically? 4,500,000,000, and change? Or, if man is to be the starting point for a calendar what's the latest estimate since his current pedigree? No alien would buy off on the christian calendar so we need to make like we have some respect for the facts and at least publish some attempt to record the effort where a passing alien can pick up a copy. Can't be caught with our galactic pants down can we?

LogicFTW's picture
Some of the suggestions

Some of the suggestions mentioned on this discussion may fit the bill.

Some people say that the moment we can create an AI that can improve its own intelligence without human assistance could be such a momentous event it may well be worth creating a new starting point for our solar years around the sun.

The implications of creating an intelligence that exceeds our own has the power to change just about everything, and if it does not go "skynet" on us, (which should be fairly easily avoidable with some proper planning.) Our pace of innovation, will make our current pace seem like nothing.

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