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But while months and days are based on the planet's gravitational forces, and thereby grounded in reality, the third aspect of our dating code is a total mess. Rather, we need to find another, closer Year One to begin things.This, as you'd imagine, is where things get chaotic.“At no point in world history has there ever been a single uniform dating system that's unanimously agreed to be shared by everyone,” says Dr. E., which uses the same Year One starting point, but removes the religious implications by referring to Common Era.I switched to BCE/CE before I was even aware of the political correctness issue: I had previously found the whole BC/AD confusing, so when I happened upon the new abbreviations in a scholarly source and then looked them up, to me, it made a lot more sense for stylistic reasons.Here are just a few problems with BC/AD: Any one of these reasons alone wouldn't be enough to argue for a new convention.
But when you take into account that the old meanings are widely believed (even by Christians) to be actually wrong, you now have a convention that's actively creating confusion.
And aside from the minor point mentioned in the question that they look a little too alike compared to BC/AD, I think there's a strong argument for stylistic and logical advantages. As the world has also standardized on or at the very least have an alternate calendar (as in many Muslim countries), BCE/CE are modern inventions to avoid Christian-centric notions.
BCE/CE is simply a change in label, designed to The use of BCE/CE could be considered 'political correctness', especially since it is hardly common outside of academic circles.
When I was a kid, I was always taught to refer to years using BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini / year of our Lord). That is, BC is usually understood to mean "Before the Common Era" and CE to mean "Common Era," though it is possible to reinterpret the abbreviations as "Christian Era." The simplest reason for using BCE/CE as opposed to AD/BC is to avoid reference to Christianity and, in particular, to avoid naming Christ as Lord (BC/AD: Before Christ/In the year of our Lord). Marking it as the "Christian Era" (or more commonly, the "Common Era") allows the same epoch to be used even though the best calculation for Jesus's birth has changed.
However, I somewhat regularly hear people referring to years as in the CE (Common Era) or BCE (Before the Common Era). Wikipedia, Anno Domini article: , but a few years earlier (i.e., in the somewhat ironic 3–4 B. While Christians make up a very large chunk of the world's population, they are no where near the majority.