To salvage or not to salvage the moral dilemma


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When you plunder a grave for whatever reason you're going against the wishes of the deceased and of those who put him/her there in the first place. Some would say that the situation changes once we reach a point in time when nobody who personally remembers the deceased is still above ground. That's probably where I'd stand in this.

Bob, I guess I spoke too soon in my previous post, but I can see that you share some of the sentiment, at least regarding the acknowledgement of past beliefs. This is essential when dealing with past civilizations--an understanding as to who these people were.

This gets back to the overall conundrum, because the Catch-22 signifies that to learn more about these people, one would have to study them closely, and in order to do that . . . It seems to go around in circles. Can their ever be a solution to satisfy all sides?​
 
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it's nobody's final resting place.

Who is to say? This, as I alluded earlier, might be an individual consideration, but it is the difference in perspective that has created the conundrum, or at least carries it on.

This is the same type of situation as the issue of pre-born fetuses--are they people or aren't they?​
 
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But why are they a more difficult question, Jeff?

Because in most cases, these older subs serve as a permanent place of burial, unlike the roadside displays, which only serve to acknowledge the place of death, not the burial. These subs are quite often both.​
 

Paul Rogers

Member
"Because in most cases, these older subs serve as a permanent place of burial, unlike the roadside displays, which only serve to acknowledge the place of death, not the burial."

I was asking Jeff his opinion as to the difference between submarines and ships, Mark; not submarines and roadside displays. Hence why I quoted Jeff as follows:

""In some cases, sunken submarines are sealed shut and effectively turned into underwater tombs - those are more clearly delineated as gravesites. But sunken ships are a more difficult question."
 
In the terms of today's world, and today's views, it is the "final resting place" based on most cultures. Yet so was the Hunley, from down here in my home state.

Yet one effort is decried, and the other praised. One supported, the other rebuked. One team called "graverobbers" while the other "preservers of history". People go see the Tut exhibit, but condemn the Titanic artifact exhibit.

The world is a jumble of inconsistency. The world also contains polarized opinions on this issue, though I do not understand why. I have a difficult time viewing the perspective of anti-salvagers. Studying history has been too much of my academic world to just close the door on it. Even BEING at the site brings an exhilaration beyond words.

Respectfully,

Bill
 
"Bob, I guess I spoke too soon in my previous post*

Mark, perhaps if you'd read my own post in full before responding to it you wouldn't have been confused. I don't know, by the way, why you are thanking me for offering you a vote of confidence in this thread. I'm not aware of having done so.
 

Paul Rogers

Member
"This is the same type of situation as the issue of pre-born fetuses--are they people or aren't they?"

They are not people: they are foetuses. The clue is in the question! (Mind you, I actually have no idea as to what a pre-born foetus might be...)

Perhaps the issue might be better expressed as: does a foetus have the same rights in the womb as a baby would have once it has been born? But as we appear to be drifting off-topic again (it happens so easily!) perhaps it's best to leave this issue alone.
 
J

Jeff Kelley

Guest
I was only pointing out that sometimes submarines are sealed and considered tombs/gravesites, but I was not pretending to be able to explain or justify all the permeations. Unfortunately, I have not thought it through enough to offer any useful proposed guidelines.

The Hunley is, of course, an excellent contradiction to this occasional practice. The difference, however small, might be that the sealed subs/tombs were officially sealed by the government that those lost (and contained in the sub) were serving. It is a rather expedient and convenient way to recognize the victims and their resting place.

Although there are many exceptions, it seems to me that on most sunken ships very few bodies remain on board for various reasons. Subs are different, of course. Not different enough in the case of the Hunley, but I would have to sleep on that to see if I can explain in my own mind why that was not more controversial.
 
PAUL:

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They are not people: they are foetuses. The clue is in the question!

Actually, what I meant was should they be considered as full-living human beings? Your "rights" translation was a good one, too. It was used as a comparative analogy.

The first is a loaded statement, Paul, as many people do refer to foetuses as people, just unborn people. By the way, the term "unborn people" is not a redundancy and is an actuality

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(Mind you, I actually have no idea as to what a pre-born foetus might be...)

If one is born dead (usually prematurely), it is sometimes still called a foetus by some medical personnel, although I won't say I confirm it, only that I have heard as such. So pre-born or unborn foetus, is a distinction of one that hasn't yet been born. If this term is inappropriate, why is it used all the time?

And, yes, I agree with laying off the issue, but like any other, a touchy subject is bound to jump in every now and then. Mine was an off-the-cuff reference, that's all, and not meant to start a debate. I stop it here.

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I was asking Jeff his opinion as to the difference between submarines and ships, Mark

Yes, I know that, Paul, but this is a public forum, and as such anyone can respond to anything posted. That's the nature of a public forum.

As for me, my comparison is my own, unrelated to anything you or Jeff might have said. Jeff made one point, and I made another.

Now, let's get back on track. We were talking salvage and how to treat places of the dead . . .



BILL:

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Studying history has been too much of my academic world to just close the door on it. Even BEING at the site brings an exhilaration beyond words.

As an academic myself I can appreciate this. I approach such experiences with a blend of awe and intrigue toward the unknown. Being both respectfully careful and curious at the same time allows me to weigh the significance of such things in more than one light at the same time.



BOB:

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Mark, perhaps if you'd read my own post in full before responding to it you wouldn't have been confused.

Wasn't confused, but I was in a hurry, which is why I spot-replied today instead of reading everything through first. Normally, I do just that.


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I don't know, by the way, why you are thanking me for offering you a vote of confidence in this thread. I'm not aware of having done so.

The reference was to your encouragement for me to speak up without having to worry about offending anyone. I was merely acknowledging that.



JEFF:

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Although there are many exceptions, it seems to me that on most sunken ships very few bodies remain on board for various reasons.

This is where there are remains to recover so that they may be buried at another designated place, perhaps one selected by the family. In the case with Titanic, such shoes and boots are legitimate remains of a body, but one doesn't normally bury shoes or boots in a grave by themselves.

This is one of the important questions regarding Titanic salvage: Should shoes and boots be considered human remains, despite the fact that they are not actually part of what was once a living organism? They are, at least, an indicator of where a human once lay. Again, perhaps that consideration should be left to the perspective of the individual. Physically, they are shoes/boots, but on a human level . . .​
 

Paul Rogers

Member
"By the way, the term "unborn people" is not a redundancy and is an actuality"

Quite right. You, however, used the term: "pre-born fetuses", which is a redundancy.

"So pre-born or unborn foetus, is a distinction of one that hasn't yet been born. If this term is inappropriate, why is it used all the time?"

I refer the honourable gentleman to the dictionary definition of foetus. You'll note the use of the word: "unborn".

"As for me, my comparison is my own, unrelated to anything you or Jeff might have said. Jeff made one point, and I made another."

No, Mark, you didn't. You answered my question to Jeff incorrectly because you didn't read the post properly. I'm sure that, as someone with self-confessed high analytical intelligence, you will appreciate that.
 
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Should we have reverence for an auto wreck because people died in it? Maybe while their remains are still inside, but once they've been removed, whether by the hand of man or the forces of nature, it's just scrap metal.”

Should there be a time limit on any particular location at which a person has died before we no longer consider it sanctified? Some places, such as the location where the Twin Towers used to stand, still draw people who reflect on the loss. The remains have been removed and buried elsewhere, but the location is still revered because of what had happened there. Several sites are like this. The collapse of the bridge connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul took many lives. This location would undoubtedly, too, continue to draw those who will see the place as worthy of reflection and sanctity, even though the victims have since been buried elsewhere.

I think a large part of this falls into memories. People remember where tragedies have occurred, and they seem to hold those places as special to them because of the impact that past incidents that have cost lives.

One example would be the site of the Titanic sinking. Many captains, at least at one time, have tried to steer clear of this area because of their memory of the tragedy. Sailing over the spot has tended to be too painful to some because of this. Yes, this is irrational, but memories affect human behavior in ways that quite often go beyond reason.

By the way, Michael, in case you're wondering, I read this recently in a few articles regarding the Titanic sinking and the indelible impression it has left on people. This resonates as true with me, because certain places that have served as the settings for bad experiences in my life have stuck out in my mind, although I do realize that such events are long-past. They still leave an impression on me whenever I visit them, and I hold a kind of awe toward these locations because of the effect that their memory has had on my life. One is the now-closed train depot where my father was killed 43 years ago.​
 
Paul,

This is a discussion, and I don't want to get into an argument with anyone. Discussions have no "winners" or "losers," just sharing of thoughts and ideas.

I feel like I am being attacked for something I said on-the-rush earlier, whether right or wrong. This, I feel, is unjustified.

Regardless of whether or not I "answered the question incorrectly"--and it appears that I have (my apologies)--I have the right to respond as I see fit to anything posted, as long as my responses are not obscene or disrespectful, which is what I did. I am not out-of-line for doing that, so please do not try to shame me for expressing myself just as everybody else does.

The comment I made, as phrased, however, appeared to "answer" your question. This wasn't specifically what it was intended to do. It's called stream-of-consciousness in writing, and I tend to do that.

Also, please do not bring intelligence into this, as it is irrelevant. That only shows that one person is attempting to strike blows at the character of another instead of addressing issues (whether intended or not, that's the way it appears), and for what? It isn't worth it. Such a comment was not necessary and should not have been made.

By the way, that earlier comment regarding "creative and analytical intelligence" was, again, stream-of-consciousness and not a "self-confession"--I was referring to my daughter. Think before commenting on ANYTHING that I write.

In any case, I ended that line of discussion. This isn't the topic at-hand, so please drop it and move on.

Thank you.

I will not respond to the "foetus" or "submarine" line of discussion again.
 
quote:

No, Mark, you didn't. You answered my question to Jeff incorrectly because you didn't read the post properly.

This is an incorrect assessment of my comment and why I wrote it.

Paul, instead of criticizing me for being "wrong" and then cutting into me for comments or allusions that I'd made, why didn't you just calmly and simply inquire as to what I was referring? That would have been more productive and less ugly. Others have done that with me before and I have politely come back and explained my comments, without incident.

For an example of this, see Bob's comment in this thread regarding the "vote of confidence". He was at a loss to understand what I meant and more or less inquired as to what I was referring. I replied politely in kind.

This is a preferable route, especially in cases where one cannot read another person's mind and has no clue as to what that person is thinking.

And to think, you've wondered why I tend to get defensive with certain people . . .


Okay, my apologies to everyone else. May we continue on the topic at-hand without further disruptions?​
 
>>They are not people: they are foetuses.<<

A thorny issue to be sure and I would say downright incendiary. Since this one touches on contemporary politics, I think it would be best to steer well clear of this.

The question of submarines as graves may however by appropriate, if only because sunken warships enjoy a protected status not only as the property of the government which owned her, but often as legally defined war graves.
 
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The question of submarines as graves may however by appropriate, if only because sunken warships enjoy a protected status not only as the property of the government which owned her, but often as legally defined war graves.

This is sort of why I suggested that sealing up the subs was for the purpose of defining a grave, but I misunderstood the when here. I presume that these subs were/are sealed after sinking as opposed to pre-prep, which wouldn't make any sense at all.

In any case, I can understand why these ships would be considered legally graves, although I don't agree that they should be held exclusive exceptions to other types of ships, like Titanic, Lucy or, say, fishing boats. All deaths at sea should be acknowledged respectfully.

Thinking about it, though, considering that warships are the property of the government of the nation they once represented, plundering them would be illegal, and salvage would be decided by the said government. This is especially ideal with regards to sunken weapons, such as nuclear devices, deadly chemicals or a ship's construction designs, all of which could be obtained by other militaries should no laws be in place to protect them.​
 
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