Wrath of God

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Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
Good to hear, Ashley (from one rhino-skinned individual to another!). But I honestly don't think you need the extra layer of protection in this case - you're so far removed from the bimbo-ballpark I don't think the label would occur to anyone.

Know what you mean about those proffs and their comments - I received a backhander on a Yeats paper once that lives with me to this day, although now it's with a laugh at the recollection.

~ Inger

Nicholas Westmarland

I'm afraid I don't believe its got anything whatsoever to do with God.My plain and simple verdict is that Mr.Ismay wanted to get to New York in record time and instructed Capt.Smith of his intentions and they didn't hold back because of the icebergs and carried on through full steam and hit it.Total human error.

May 5, 2001
-------------------- -------------------- -------------------- Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board: Collision / Sinking Theories: Wrath of God? -------------------- -------------------- --------------------

Posted by Nicholas Westmarland on Thursday, 25 April, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

I'm afraid I don't believe its got anything whatsoever to do with God.My plain and simple verdict is that Mr.Ismay wanted to get to New York in record time and instructed Capt.Smith of his intentions and they didn't hold back because of the icebergs and carried on through full steam and hit it.Total human error.

-------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------- Total human Error?.........one more compartment that made the difference was damaged......you would think with the amount of damage (no thicker than a human finger in some spots and about 12 Sq. Feet), you would think something that big would not sink.......Ismay was a coward...his order resulted in The Titanic sinking and what does he do?, takes off in a lifeboat...now that's a REAL MAN.....Umm you know I really hate to bring this up but can anyone disprove that devine intervention wasn't the REAL cause besides the ice and Ismay and Capt Smith and the fact that the steel may have been faulty and the ship didn't have enough lifeboats and that more lives could've been saved if they filled the ones that they had in the first place?

Thanks, Bill
Aug 29, 2000
The most chilling moment of Cameron's Titanic, in my mind- was the extreme camera pull-back showing the ship sinking in mid ocean from above. It was a "God's eye" view of the disaster- the Divine POV in cameraman terms! It reminded me of a dreadful film with Laurence Olivier as Zeus- I think it may have been called Xanadu or something, with Olivia Newton John. All the Gods and Goddesses were milling around a small pool, gazing down on the fate of hapless humans on earth below and manipulating their destinies from afar-playing out a game of their own using humans as pawns. I would like to believe God has a better plan for His spare time.-In any event that movie is one to miss.
Jul 20, 2001
Well this has turned into a wordy thread hasn't it. So I may as well add my 5 cent's (The Aussie dollar isn't worth much).

First off let me put on the record that I do not believe in an all mighty God but I do feel that there are irisistable forces that govern us. Not in a knowing way or a preordained way, more of a natural scheme of things kind of way. The best way to descibe it is the Caos theory that was used in the movie Jurasic Park. Everything we do can effect things in the future. What I believe is that in all of this caos in the Universe there are patterns. Some we can see and some we can't.

For all of Man's history the main thing that we see again and again though time is the old addage two steps forward one step back. In this situation the design of the Olympic class liners was the two steps forward and the sinking of the Titanic was the one step back. this is how technology has advanced to where we are now. If the first ship ever built was perfect then there would have been no more advances but there is always a better way of doing someting.

So I believe that the sinking of the Titanic was nothing more than an opportunity for man to learn from his mistakes and advance just that little bit further. If you believe in God than I don't see how this can be seen as being his wrath, more of a very tough lesson. It is his/her way of showing us how to be better.

The only thing that makes the Titanic remarkable is that there was so much focus on her at the time of her sinking. If for example she had been in service for a year or two and then foundered in exactly the same circumstances, we would have nowhere near our facination we have today but we would have learnt the same lessons.

Ashley Regan

Hi Inger,

Thanks for the support and sorry some prof did you wrong too. I know it can sting for a long time when you've done your best work and someone red pencils the whole thing. And now for something completely different as Monty Python used to say (I wasn't born yet, I watch the reruns).

I beleive in taking a pragmatic approach to research. I know its probably a bad idea but here goes,..."God himself couldn't sink this message board!"

If God has been reading the 55,000 + messages posted here this should get his attention and maybe even a new thread opened to finally answer the Parks "Wrath of God" question and so many others too.

Get your Lifebelts on and move to the boats everyone!


Tracy Smith

Nov 5, 2000
South Carolina USA
Parks, Petty isn't a god, that position was reserved for Earnhardt....

Shelley, even in the 1960s, my parents taught me that discussing religion and politics was best deferred until one got to a certain level of acquaintance with people, and that with some people, it was better never to broach these topics.
Mar 3, 1998
It's another Monday. Anyone interested in what I did this weekend, check the picture I just uploaded to my Profile page.

Despite my stated desire not to turn this discussion into a debate over the existance of God or divine intervention into human affairs, it appears that the flow could not be deterred from heading in that direction.

So let me try again. I'm addressing this question to those who believe faithfully that God sank Titanic to teach humanity a lesson. Now, I don't believe I'm the least bit arrogant in trying to determine the lesson that God meant for us. I mean, what good is a lesson if the students don't understand the intent of the master? Did God sink Titanic just so the BOT would update its safety requirements? Is the IIP a divinely-inspired organisation? Why did Mankind continue to push the boundaries of the technological envelope with the same greed and impatience exhibited by the builders of Titanic?

I'm not questioning God's will...I'm trying to interpret it. Aren't we supposed to? Isn't that why God is supposedly intervening? But if Titanic books are read, the message is mixed. I'm challenging anyone who reiterates the same mantra about how God sank Titanic as a lesson to explain exactly what they interpret the message to be. And did we live up to it? Did we get the message? Or does God need to give us another lesson to put us back on track?

I'm frustrated by those who parrot what they have read in books and don't provide an worthy explanation for what they claim. Robertson's "Futility" is a good example of this...most people who argue with me over the supposed prophecy in the book never read the dang thing! They based their entire argument over the short blurb that Walter Lord opened ANTR with. Same with the God's lesson thing...people from 1912 onward say that God put the iceberg in Titanic's path as a lesson. Well, what was that lesson? If you could speak to the dead, how would you explain to one of the 1500 souls lost the purpose behind their death so that they would understand?

Again, I will reiterate so that I may be clearly understood:

I believe in God, I acknowledge God's intervention into human affairs, but I doubt that Titanic's collision with the berg was either retribution for blaspheme on the part of a deck hand or a divine lesson to Mankind about complacency with the false idol of technology. However, I'm willing to listen to anyone who can present a good argument. And if a good argument can be made that the loss of Titanic was a message sent from the Almighty, did we understand it? Did we heed it?

For those of you who don't believe in God, I don't disparge your belief when I say this discussion is not for you. For those who believe in God, but will only see the disaster as human error, this discussion is likewise not for you. For those who believe in God and allow that divine intervention into human affairs is possible, I am asking you to make the assumption (as I did) for the sake of this discussion that the Titanic disaster should be examined in terms set forth by published claimants that God intended the disaster to be either retribution or instructive.

Basically, I'm asking...do you understand what you read and reiterate?

This will probably be my last post in this thread. If the discussion strays again from the questions I am asking, I won't try again to redirect. I've also had plenty of time here, too, to make my views known. It's time for me to let other people talk. Before I close, though, I want everyone to know that I intend no insult to anyone; therefore, I would appreciate it if people wouldn't be so quick to read insult and subsequently react defensively.

Some specific responses, not directly related to the topic:


"Convergence of the Twain" is moving prose and one of my favourites. The lines came back to me numerous times as I watched the recent ROV footage from inside the wreck, especially in those instances where blind sea creatures moved across the gilded treasures.


I would naturally have used Earnhardt's name, but Petty's name was an easier play on words.


You're the only person in this thread with whom I've had the pleasure of meeting you in person. Your gracious comments, when compared to others received here, demonstrate the need for personal contact during debates of this depth. I wonder again about the validity of online debates, where the opposing sides are faceless entities to one another. Theoretically, a faceless debate should be devoid of emotion and concentrate only on facts...but experience proves wildly different.

Jan 7, 2002
As put by Capt Smith, as played by George C Scott, "'The Titanic was aptly named- the Titans dared to challange the gods, and for their arrogance, they were cast out of Mt Olympus, into Hell.."

I wonder if the real Capt Smith was this profound?

; )


Tarn Stephanos

ps- Alma White's book "Titanic Tragedy- God Speaking To The Nations" is an intersting 'wrath of god' approach to the disaster-though based on her writing, she blamed pretty much every calamity on God....
Mar 3, 1998
Earlier in this thread, I made the semi-flippant remark: <font color="#006600">"Was it because we were so overconfident that we [NASA] put a schoolteacher aboard [the Challenger]? Well, we learned a lesson...no more schoolteachers aboard space shuttles."

I just learned today that Barbara Morgan, an elementary school teacher from Idaho and Christa McAuliffe's backup in 1986, is slated for a 2004 mission. In 1998, NASA lifted the suspension on the Teacher in Space program and Ms. Morgan once again became a full-time astronaut-in-trainin g. I stand corrected and happily so, because Mankind continues to push the boundaries of the technological envelope in the quest for progress.

I sincerely hope that Barbara Morgan safely completes the journey begun by Christa McAuliffe.


Dan Cherry

Dec 14, 1999
As do I. I imagine the world will hold its collective breath as they did when the first shuttle lifted off after the 1986 disaster, and the media worldwide echoed the words, "Remember the Challenger"...

Parks, after my schedule permits a little bit of extra time, I'll let you know my thoughts on this thread...

Dan C.
May 5, 2001
Posted by Parks Stephenson on Wednesday, 1 May, 2002 - 3:19 pm:

Earlier in this thread, I made the semi-flippant remark: "Was it because we were so overconfident that we [NASA] put a schoolteacher aboard [the Challenger]? Well, we learned a lesson...no more schoolteachers aboard space shuttles."

Hi Parks, I found that remark, "No more teachers on space shutlles" a bit troubling, now I was gut wrenched when that accident happened, as I am sure that anyone with collective memory was but just because a school teacher died on the shuttle, doesn't make it a lesson to be learned that we shouldn't put one on another one..It was not Christa's fault the shuttle blew up, that shuttle was doomed whether she was on it or not...THE LESSON WE LEARNED from that accident was that the O-ring system was faulty, there was no escape system in place in case of something like that occured and we no longer l aunch a shuttle unless conditions (weather & Shuttle) are damn near perfect....If we do not put another Teacher in Space, then Christa McAuliffe died for nothing. I am so glad that NASA saw fit to lift the "teacher in space suspension" and put another teacher in space.

My explanation above was not to slight you Parks as I value your opinion and respect it, I just gave my opinion on the situation.

YOU GO BARBARA!!!!...I'll be praying for her safe return from the mission.

Regards, Bill

Mar 3, 1998

I don't see your remarks as a slight and I appreciate your point of view. However, I'm starting to worry about being the cause for what looks like a spin-off discussion about space shuttles. We all need to stay connected with Titanic; otherwise, we're wasting Phil's bandwidth. I'm not upbraiding anyone in particular here, because I'm at fault for the original diversion.

May 5, 2001

Don't be so hard on yourself, as we all know, there are certain parellels between the Challenger and the Titanic and THE BIGGEST one is the fault of "Suits" who just had to get their big machines in motion and get to where they were going at any cost because they had an agenda and it had to be met so they sacrificed a total of 1507 lives and both of their great machines ended up at the bottom of The Atlantic.....That's really sad.


William G. Martin

Ok. Good discussion going there. Does anyone know how many school teachers were aboard Titanic? How many survived? And, while I am asking questions, were third class passengers deliberately blocked from any avenue of escape? I am new at this, so be patient.

Mike Herbold

Dec 13, 1999
Two teachers that come to mind, both of whom survived, are Lawrence Beesley and Daisy Minahan.

Regarding the 3rd class passengers, you are sure to get a lot of different explanations and theories, including conspiracy theories. The fact remains that the more money you paid, the higher up on the ship you were, and the easier it was to find your way to the lifeboats. It's no different today. If you pay $1000, you get a ringside seat. If you pay $25, you end up in the nosebleed section. The question is addressed in the FAQ section, and has been discussed on a lot of past threads. It's also a fact that many 3rd class passengers made it to safety, while not all the 1st and 2nd class passengers survived. In other words, there is no easy answer.
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
William, I'm not sure the word "deliberately blocked" applies so much as does the term "Forgotten about" I just caught an interesting article on this very subject in the Titanic International Society's latest issue of Voyage and it would seem that the only real locked gate was out on the ship's weather decks. The stories of locked gates in the interior of the ship apparently don't match up with what's known of the actual arrangements.

Another factor that appears to have been in play was to avoid panic at all costs and it's not hard to see why. Captain Smith and Company were caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea when they realised they had a sinking ship and more people aboard then could be stuffed into the lifeboats, so they never sounded any sort of alarm.

They basically let the passengers and crew decide on their own who would be saved. This may seem rather cold-hearted, but what choice did they have? Had they sounded any sort of alarm, the result almost certainly would have been a panic that would have cost even more lives. The sea sometimes forces people to make unpleasant choices. Location more then anything else meant that 3rd class would get the dirty end of the stick!

Michael H. Standart

Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
It's often overlooked that slightly more third class men survived than first class and a great deal more than second class. Personally, I have an uncomfortable feeling that third class men were not backward in the pushing and shoving department.

The thing that bothers me about third class is the failure to save the Goodwins and the Sages, to name two of the more obvious big family groups. There's a grim story there somewhere.

'The sea sometimes forces people to make unpleasant choices,' said Mike Standart and he's not half right!
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