Son Of God

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Jun 12, 2004
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Donald, just another thought to add to the 'compact chapel': It was in several survivors' testimonies that Nearer My God to Thee was, in fact, played during the sinking, which lends support of two things: (1) religion and spirituality were recognized on board, and (2) the thought that the ship was actually going to sink and that hundreds of people were going to die actually occurred to people early on, probably more of those on board than just Andrews, Ismay, Carpenter Hutchenson, and Cpt. Smith. I realize that there was an overall sharing of complacency and even arrogance, but the elements of religion and spirituality sprinkled here and there, such as in the music, suggest that the influence of a supreme being did pre-ocuppy the minds, to one degree or another, of many people on board, even if it was, perhaps, not acknowledged outwardly. Social protocol seemed to supercede that of religious protocol at that time, if not in all classes then in 1st-class.

Whether or not the Titanic had a chapel--makeshift or actual--isn't enough to determine the degree of recognition to religion that was practiced on board. It seems that particular affiliations weren't as important as the recognition of a supreme being. I do remember reading, however, that some affiliations, such as Judaism, were recognized by some, in private, within the 3rd-class, but in terms of common practice, it seems that services were generalized to Deism.

My point: whether specific or general, compact altar or actual chapel, public or private practice, religion was recognized on board as an important aspect of life, and when the ship was sinking, it seemed even moreso, if not to everyone than to many. There were witnesses who claimed to have seen a priest giving services and last rights to individuals in the 3rd-class dining saloon, and even on deck, during the sinking.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>I say digging up more pieces of china at an enormous expense of money and labor violates Christian doctrine.<<

Christina, when it comes to salvage rights, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Christian doctrine or even religion; it has everything to do with money, as artifacts from the Titanic are no doubt extremely valuable. People get greedy, and they will do anything to justify their actions regarding salvaging artifacts from wrecks.

True, there are those who salvage for the purpose of donating to museums, but that gets to be sticky, as both sides tend to have solid points regarding right and wrong or even morality and ethics.

The important consideration regarding salvage rights depends on the what's intended for the artifacts retrieved. This creates a gray area. Should it be just simply black and white? Should religious doctrine play a part in salvage operations?...These answers will never be clear-cut, simply because of the diverse nature regarding the respective salvagers' intentions. Perhaps it shouldn't be.
 

Dave Gittins

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The widespread acceptance of the story of the playing of NMGTT at the end demonstrates the great influence of religion at the time. It was the kind of thing people liked to think happened, whether it did or not. (Personally, I rather think it did).

A Catholic friend told me that a travelling priest may carry the things required for Mass. Maybe the setup shown was done by special arrangement at the request of such a priest.

Let's not drag poor old Captain Lord into this. A discussion involving religion and Captain Lord sounds like a formula for WW III.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>If one doesn't believe in God--and it seems, Michael, that you do not,<<

Assumes facts not in evidence. The simple fact that I won't infer anything in any historical discussion not supported by evidence doesn't mean I don't have certain beliefs. (In fact, I'm Catholic!) Since I can't prove them and since I could be wrong, I don't let them get in the way of my objectivity.

>>Please keep in mind that this does not mean, or imply, that anything in particular, such as the Titanic sinking, is an "act of God." I never said that.<<

Indeed you didn't. What you said was "Now, from a historical perspective, it was a tragedy that was brought on by miscalculation, human error, resulting in a terrible loss of life--plain and simple! Yet, as we cannot deny, it was fate, and where there's fate there's more at work than mere physicality and linear occurrence in time." the underlined of which is also an untestable proposition. One that I can neither affirm or deny.

>>But, then again, your mind is firmly planted in the physical world, Michael, so anything that isn't completely ordered, agreed upon, or confirmed with physical evidence is inconsequential or insignificant to you.<<

No it isn't. What it is is untestable, a matter of opinion. No more, no less.

>>One final note: I am not here to argue religion, as I am not a religious person. That will not do any good. This is not the place for it. Further, it's a dangerous zone into which anyone walks by bringing up religion, as well as politics, in a public discussion. May I suggest that we change the direction of the discussion at this point?<<

This may not be a bad idea since religion is a highly subjective matter of opinion that a lot of blood has been spilled over during human history. I don't know if we can since valid or not, religious implications were seen and expounded on back in 1912 and continue to be to this day. So long as people don't resort to the "You must believe what I believe or you will go to Hell" line along with the usual hate and discontent that attends, I have no problem with it being discussed.

>>The New Testament says, "Those who forget the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them." <<

The actual source of that statement is George Santayana who said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The saying appears nowhere in the Bible. (Amazing what you can find out there with a little time and a good search engine.)
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>>I meant to say that Captain Lord could have said truthful things that would have enabled the U.S. Maritime Administration to prevent later tragedies aboard passenger ships.<<

Actually, it's a red herring since the sequence of mistakes responsible for the Californian's non-response had nothing to do with the base cause of the accident which was navigational leading to a collision/allision/grounding event with an iceberg. While part of the overall historical events, there is no cause and effect here. The mistakes that put the Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic were already done befor this ship was even noticed.
 
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"Did we learn anything from the tragedy?

A hell of a lot!"

What was "this hell of a lot" that the human race learned, let alone retained, over the years?

What was actually gained from a few hours and a lot of cold and screaming and death...other than the short-term aftereffects. (We got lifeboat laws and an ice patrol...not bad...but the loss of life has to be worth more than that). What about the long-term cumulative ones? Aside from a couple of Inanna-awful movies, and a cumulative amount of fiction, and a few hundred other things...

What has the Titanic taught anyone about the nature of life, death, the universe, etc.? And not the mundane garbage like appreciating life...because that is mundane, really.

"I say digging up more pieces of china at an enormous expense of money and labor violates Christian doctrine"

Oh, you don't have to be Christian to think that's rotten. You can be the biggest atheist this side of the Mississippi AND the Danube and still have the whole thing turn your stomach.
 
May 18, 2004
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Kritina:

Much was learned from the Titanic disaster. Once again man was reminded that we are far from perfect and although our world seems safe, as it did in 1912, we only fool ourselves if we believe this. Sea laws we challenged and changed. Take a look at how the Olympics crew reacted after the sinking. They refused to sail on a vessel that was not fully equipped. Times were a changing. Soon after the war began and it would seem people forgot all about the Titanic and her legacy. It's only been three years since 9/11 and already people have quickly moved on. What lasting affects were gained from this disaster? It would only seem that people are more aware of terrorism than before. In 1912 and the following years I can assure you that people were very aware of the need for safety at sea.
The Titanic, although she does not daily meet headlines, the fact that she still remains in the minds and hearts of thousands today shows the magnitude of her legacy. I can assure you that no survivor went on in life and never thought of 15 April again. The Titanic may not have had a lasting affect on the world as a whole but she continues to be an icon of the 20th century. I know that the Titanic's story, people and what remains of her today have greatly benefited my own personal life. I think others here could agree in that area.
It is small minded thinking to assume that because we do not walk around in life jackets on a daily basis that the Titanic did not have subtle and lasting affects on the world.

Just my personal opinion.

Geoff
 
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>>Much was learned from the Titanic disaster.<<

Not as much as you think. While there were lessons learned, and some changes made, a lot of these changes were forseen anyway, like proposed changes in lifeboat rules. At best, Titanic hastened the implementation of some of them. The rest were kneejerk reactions of the kind that usually follow in the wake of such events. After that, the ship was mostly forgotten and were it not for the publication of A Night To Remember and the movie adaptation of same, Titanic would have ended up as a footnote in the history books.

Much of what you've spoken to is not so much the history as it is the mythos. While it may be said that the ship has had a profound effect on our lives, that's because we've taken an interest in it. While I can agree that she's had subtle and lasting effects on the world, I can say the same about a lot of other disasters that have since been pushed back to the Newspaper Morgue of human memory.
 
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"Once again man was reminded that we are far from perfect and although our world seems safe"

I have to ask this: How many reminders do people need?! Honestly, the lack of true persistence of human memory never ceases to amaze me. The first one I can think of after the Titanic was the Lusitania. How many people chose not to take the warning in the Times seriously? And didn't some of Charles Frohman's friends warn him not to get on, but he decided to do it anyway? (My knowledge of the Lusy is far from good, but Frohman kind of stuck out for me by his almost blithe acceptance of possible death. Really, if he wanted to end his life that bad, there were far better ways than to drown/freeze to death/get blown up).

"I can assure you that no survivor went on in life and never thought of 15 April again"

Well, obviously. Some of them committed suicide sooner or later, in fact. And there were some damned fine people that didn't even get a chance to survive that night. Okay, a lot of damned fine people. I really don't see how those losses can be justified against the so-called gains that may/may not have occurred in the last 90+ years. (I can say the same thing about most of the wars in that same time period as well, but wars and disasters aren't necessarily to be discussed in the same breath).

"I know that the Titanic's story, people and what remains of her today have greatly benefited my own personal life. I think others here could agree in that area"

Oh, I've been greatly pleased to make the indirect accquaintance of the folks on the ship, believe me. Some of them, quite beyond pleased. And yet, having knowledge of these lives doesn't benefit me at all...if anything, it makes me feel guilty...and it hurts, too, if that makes any sense.

"It's only been three years since 9/11 and already people have quickly moved on. What lasting affects were gained from this disaster?"

Lawsuits? More American flags attached to the windows of SUV's?
 

Bill Willard

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Christina, I am a high school teacher in South Carolina, and I am very religious. I also participated in a recovery expedition at Titanic.

If you choose to apply the words of the Bible to state that money is being misused (to recover more china from which Mr. Astor ate dinner instead of supporting the living), then please be consistent and crticize every wasted dollar in everyone's lives. However, I don't interpret the Bible passages you refer to as belying the 'appropriateness' of salvage. If you read the entire Biblical story, contextually it has a stronger meaning.

As far as educational material about Titanic, there is little. Everything Titanic seems to end educationally at Ballard.

Your Tower of Babel analogy has several flaws. The intent of the tower, per the O. T., was to reach God. Titanic was never built for anything near that purpose. It was designed to be one of the fastest, most luxurious ocean liners on the Atlantic, but never anything near why the Babel towel was built.

Lastly, I would recommend that you sit with your clergy/religious leader and ask if God preordains events like these to happen, or whether he takes events/happenings of man, and uses them for His greater purpose.

It is literally 8:30 AM here. Time for church.
 
May 18, 2004
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Kritina:

I could be wrong but you sound very much like a pessimist. Yes, the sinking of the Titanic was a horrible loss. Unfortunately man is quick to forget what big or little lessons came from any disaster or even a terrorist act. Ships did continue to get bigger, faster and more luxurious. Nothing justifies the loss of life not even war. There were some good people lost on the Titanic. Bottom line....things happen and although we cannot always find the silver lining that does not mean there is not one. "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it."

Lawsuits: there were plenty of those before 9/11.

American Flags: Half of those that lined the neighborhood are gone now.

Geoff
 
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"I could be wrong but you sound very much like a pessimist"

Yep, I am...it's the only kind of personality trait I was given before being kicked down on the Earth, so why not use it to the fullest? :p

"Bottom line....things happen and although we cannot always find the silver lining that does not mean there is not one"

Isn't that called living in denial? It is to me, anyway, because I've never been able to believe anything good and happy. Because there's no reason to, and living in denial of reality like that is scary. Because the true nature of life IS harsh, and the only way most people can get through it without going bonkers is living in a box of illusions. Life is what you make it, indeed, as long as you are willing to lie to yourself. That's not something I can do.

"Lawsuits: there were plenty of those before 9/11.

American Flags: Half of those that lined the neighborhood are gone now"

I was trying to come up with some examples of lasting effects from three years ago. Those are pretty weak examples because, to be honest, there are NO lasting effects, other than Orange alerts, and vague and random threats that never come to fruition.
 

Bill Willard

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Kritina,

There is no document that states life is easy. On the contrary, it tends to be extremely difficult at times. How we deal with it makes up who we are.

One of my favorite quotes deals with three types of people. When life throws stones at you, do you stand there and get hit; grab those stones and throw back; or take those stones and build something wonderful with them?

I'll disagree with you about the lasting effects of three years ago. Go to ground zero. Talk to some of the families whose lives will NEVER be the same. Talk to some of the fire department personnel and ask how their lives are changed. Some people go through life with blinders. That cannot be changed.

Knowing you are a Star Wars fan, episode III will be titled "Revenge of the Sith". It was announced yesterday.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Kritina,

I respect your need to be realistic. Life can be harsh, but there are some good things, too, and it's up to each and every one of us to find them. They won't come to us. We have to search and fight for the goodness in life. That's what makes struggling all worth the while.

Let me put it this way: You are a pessimist by admission. You would no doubt be one of those who'd stand on the deck of a sinking ship and think "well, I'm going to drown anyway, so what's the use of trying to save myself?" This you would do while everyone around you is climbing into life boats or jumping to save themselves. You then would die knowing that lots of other people struggled and fought for the goodness of salvation--a goodness for which the survivors yearned and insisted on making for themselves.

Remember what the preacher (Gene Hackman) tried to instill in the minds and souls of those people on the Poseidon? And most of those died while deciding to stay with purser instead of struggling to survive; only a few--those who insisted on the goodness of survival and living on--got out of that ship.

Perhaps that's one thing we've learned from the Titanic: that if we want the goodness in life, we have to fight for it. It woke us up with a shudder and made us realize that terrible things happen and will continue to happen--that's life--but that we need to fight for the goodness in life because the harshness in life is relentlessly discouraging and insists on trying to hold us down. The Titanic, like Lusy and all the other tragedies and devastation in life, such as 9/11, have made us stronger and more contemplative toward our own lives.

It appears that, as a pessimist, you choose to look at the 1500 you were lost instead of focusing on the 700-something who survived. True, many died while trying to save themselves, but those who survived wouldn't have had they not tried.

That's not your tendency to focus on what you call reality--that's your person choice.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>Isn't that called living in denial? It is to me, anyway, because I've never been able to believe anything good and happy. Because there's no reason to, and living in denial of reality like that is scary.<<

No, not really, because it's in recognizing and facing the harshness of life, like that of a sinking ship, that we struggle for the goodness that exists.

There is the debate that one thing that contributed to the great loss of life on the Titanic was the fact that people disbelieved (denied) that the ship was in trouble and therefore refused to get into the life boats. Time ran out, and the last two boats floated off, not to mention that most of the life boats were lowered only partially filled. Many saw their mistake, and the impending tragedy, much too late.

My opinion is this: had the people in general on board recognized the terrible situation early on, as the captain and Andrews had, and had the lowering of the lifeboats been initiated earlier (right away?), then more lives would have been saved. It was the "denial" of many to face the truth of the sinking, here, which brought forth (contributed to) death.
 
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"One of my favorite quotes deals with three types of people. When life throws stones at you, do you stand there and get hit; grab those stones and throw back; or take those stones and build something wonderful with them?"

Nowadays, I'd throw them back. I can't build anything with stones...I'm not an architect.
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"Knowing you are a Star Wars fan, episode III will be titled "Revenge of the Sith". It was announced yesterday"

Yes, I know. The title sounds rather more promising than the other two, more in line with the OT. Let's see if GL can FINALLY make another Star Wars movie, because the first two prequels...I don't know what they're supposed to be.

"You would no doubt be one of those who'd stand on the deck of a sinking ship and think "well, I'm going to drown anyway, so what's the use of trying to save myself?" This you would do while everyone around you is climbing into life boats or jumping to save themselves"

Yes, I wouldn't try to save myself. There would be no reason to...it would be a wise decision, as I have no one who would need me to stay alive (other than parents, but that's not important to me). And I made a mess of the years I had, when I could have done something with them. Why not give someone else a chance to be saved who could do more with the life extension?

And I'd be doing more than just standing there, believe me. I'd be doing what I could to get as many people away safely as possible. Which is odd, perhaps, as I'm not terribly fond of humanity. But in the end, if I accquired all of this useless Titanic knowledge, I should apply it in the best way possible.

"Remember what the preacher (Gene Hackman) tried to instill in the minds and souls of those people on the Poseidon?"

Gah, never use "The Poseidon Adventure" to try and make your point...although I suppose it's a mercy you didn't try to use "The Towering Inferno" or "Airport". :p

"Go to ground zero. Talk to some of the families whose lives will NEVER be the same. Talk to some of the fire department personnel and ask how their lives are changed"

Yes, but it's expected their lives were changed. They were involved in it. But what about the larger world? If events like the Titanic or 9/11 are "supposed" to happen so it can change the lives and perceptions of the human race, why haven't they worked yet? Why do things like that keep happening? Why does the "It can't happen to me" mentality keep popping up like mushrooms?
 
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Yes, I wouldn't try to save myself. There would be no reason to...it would be a wise decision, as >>I have no one who would need me to stay alive (other than parents, but that's not important to me). And I made a mess of the years I had, when I could have done something with them. Why not give someone else a chance to be saved who could do more with the life extension?<<

Kritina, if you'd ever like to talk in private, you can contact me through email. I assure you that I would have a very understanding ear. I am a great listener, and there are a few things that I would wish to share with you, but not here. ;)

Take care, and remember: life is not over until you're dead, so please don't be hard on yourself.
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--Mark
 

Lee Gilliland

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The reason "it can't happen to me" is so prevalent is that's a survival tool - you can't have fear on you mind all the time or you give Bugs Bunny credit for sanity.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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"Take care, and remember: life is not over until you're dead, so please don't be hard on yourself"

Well, thanks (I guess?)...and if I wasn't hard on myself...well, there's no alternative, I'm supposed to be.

And who said I'm alive, anyway?
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"you can't have fear on you mind all the time or you give Bugs Bunny credit for sanity"

But I already do give him credit for being one of the most sane beings one can never come across...I'm obviously floating on a different palm leaf than everyone else.
 
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But no one gets out of life alive. Not even vampires. And there's already too many people in the world who don't take life seriously enough. ;)

Speaking of vampires, I think it's time to put a stake in my end of this exchange...*THWACK* AUggghh!!!!

There.
 
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