The Instigator
Kylar
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Mister_Man
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

The Titanic Band Played Nearer My God To Thee As Their Last Song

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Mister_Man
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 765 times Debate No: 65910
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

Kylar

Pro

Hey all :). I am challenging my good friend Mister_Man to a debate on a very historical subject. I am taking the pro side of this debate. I believe that at 2:13 am on April 15th 1912, the Titanic band, so noble and valliant played one last song. As the deck tilted into the sea, Wallace Henry Hartley, the Titanic band leader nodded to the band, and the 7 musicians with him joined in one last song. That song was the Christian hymn Nearer My God To Thee. I will support this more thorugly as the debate goes on and I look forward to a great debate with my friend Mister_Man.
Mister_Man

Con

Thanks for the Challenge, Kylar. This is a very unique debate that I'm happy to be a part of. However I'd like to clarify the rules before we begin.

Considering there is no definitive proof, and only hearsay, this debate should be (as we agreed upon in our private conversation) if it is likely or not that the band played "Nearer my God to Thee."

There is speculation that the song "Autumn" was played as the ship sank, according to some surviving passengers [1], so considering this is speculation, we shall debate about whether or not it is likely or a good idea for the band to have played Nearer My God To Thee.


Thanks for the challenge, good luck Kylar!

[1] https://singingthesonginmyheart.wordpress.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Kylar

Pro

I would like to thank my friend for accepting this debate with me. My opening argument is that of course it was reasonable for them to play Nearer My God To Thee. I will be breif on this because we have 5 rounds. My first argument is that the bandleader Wallace Hartley was a devout Christian. He was known to have said that Nearer My God To Thee was his favorite hymn, and he would play it if he was on a sinking ship.(1) The band was composed of churchgoing chaps, and it is likley that they all were terrified of what was about to happen. A hymn for these 8 valliant men would serve as a mental rail of comfort for them and for all on board. (1).
This is my argument for round 2, and I thank my friend for debating a very interesting subject with me.

(1). The Band That Played On by Steve Turner
Mister_Man

Con

Thanks for the argument, Kylar!



My main question is what makes you believe that this is the last song played by the band? If what you're saying is true, and Wallace Hartley was in fact a devout Christian, and his favourite song was Nearer My God To Thee, then I'm sure the band played it sometime on the cruise, even multiple times. However the last song makes more sense to be a song that puts everyone at peace, or calms everyone instead of just the Christians, or just the band. You said yourself that Wallace would play Nearer My God To Thee if he was on a sinking ship, so maybe he did after he discovered the ship was sinking, however the last song he played? I doubt it would be reasonable, for the sake of his audience.

Also, if a song like this was played, there would most likely be less of a will to survive, considering the circumstances and nature of the song.

Even if someone did write a book on Wallace and his band, the survivor's claims, as I've stated in round 1, are that the last song the band played was Autumn.


Even if Wallace's favourite song was Nearer My God To Thee, nobody says that was the last song he played, and more people are claiming it was Autumn.


Thanks for a good start!

Debate Round No. 2
Kylar

Pro

Thank you once again for being willing to debate with me my friend, on a topic that is very interesting I will now place my argument for round 3.

You say that the Titanic band in playing that song as their last song it would take a way a will to survive. Personally I think that the Titanic band knew that they would not make it out alive. There was no chance of survival for those noble musicans. They were prepared to die and I think that hymn would be a last way of showing it.

According to my book, The Band That Played On by Steve Turner, in that time, for Christians and atheists, hymns were not a message of death, but rather of hope and joy, in the Edwardian era. I think many would be comforted with the power of one last hymn played by a very noble ensemble.

You say the majority of survivors say it was Autumn. Do you mean the waltz or the ancient Episcopalian hymn? There are 2 different pieces with that name.

This is my argument for Round III, thanks again for the debate my friend :) I am enjoying i a lot so far.
Mister_Man

Con

Well thanks for challenging me haha.



There's no doubt in my mind the musicians here enjoyed this song and would have been at peace from it, however this band was not a selfish group, and it's reasonable to think they played a song that accommodated everyone around instead of just themselves.

Hymns being a message of hope and joy is just my point. Most humans have a will to fight to survive, and in a severe life or death situation such as the one here, being given false hope (or given less ambition to survive) through these hymns is detrimental to the people around who are listening. I would rather listen to something that isn't telling me to be at peace if I'm in a life or death situation, and I'm sure a lot of others believe this too.

This is the Autumn people claim to have heard as the last song on the Titanic - https://www.youtube.com...


Thanks a lot for a good third round! Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Debate Round No. 3
Kylar

Pro

Round IV is upon us my friend already :). I would like to thank you once again for the debate :). I firmly do agree that the Titanic band was not selfish, and their selfless act of heroism will last for all of time. Though, I believe that a waltz, particularly Autumn though it is pretty sounds very depressing in some areas. The hymn Nearer My God To Thee is a very soothing piece, and therefore would have provided hope to many. There was no time for anything but panic or prayer in that situation. the musicians had to have played that hymn, as one last prayer.
thanks again for the debate, friend
Mister_Man

Con

Thank you too, Kylar!

So we've established that the band was not selfish, meaning they probably didn't play a song that they liked, but a song everyone (or most people) liked.

The difference between a waltz and a hymn is that one has much more significant meaning, the hymn is a song for God, a religious song, whereas a waltz is not. The Christians who hear a waltz won't stop and accept their fate and pass away, they would ignore it and keep fighting for lifeboats or whatever else they can find.

In a life or death situation, "hope" is not a good thing. I don't want to be sitting with a group of people "hoping" it will be okay, considering the ship is going down, it would be much more reasonable to fight for your life instead of hoping you'll be okay.

If the band had played a song like Autumn, the panic may have subsided a bit, however it wouldn't cause people to accept their fate, unlike Nearer My God To Thee. Even the name of that song is implying we'll be with God soon, aka; dead.

I understand the importance of prayer, but in a life or death situation, praying doesn't keep you alive.

Thank you too again, Kylar, looking forward to a good final round!
Debate Round No. 4
Kylar

Pro

Thank you my friend once again for debating me on a very interesting topic :). I have often enjoyed discussing this, and a friendly debate on this is particularly awesome.
I will conclude our friendly debate with the following points.
Yes I agree with you friend, Autumn, being a slow, pretty, yet sad waltz would instill a will to survive, and a struggle to keep living. Yes, it does instill a will to somehow try and survive during those last dreadful moments. There is no doubt in my mind that the Titanic band, and quite frankly, most of everyone left on board knew they were going to die the very moment the ship would go under. Wallace Hartley, the brave leader of the 7 other Titanic musicians, was a devout United Methodist Christian. He must have been aware of the panic, and the terror they would all soon feel and were feeling as the deck continued to slant. Hartley and certainly his fellow musicans, if not most of those on board, would be thinking of their death. They would probably be wondering: now what? what is going to happen to me? where will I be after this? and so on. The Titanic band probably had the same thoughts, and according to the book The Band That Played On by Steve Turner they were all church going men, and likley had a lot of comfort from old Christian hymns. The hymn Nearer My God To Thee is a very comforting piece of music, and was well known to both Christians and atheists during this time as a message of hope. That song would instill a sense of peace in those left behind, to show them, death would not be the end for them. The very lyrics are beautiful and moving, for instance:
Nearer My God To Thee, Nearer To Thee, Eén though it be a cross that raiseth me!

Therefore, it was reasonable for them to play Nearer My God To Thee as their last song.
Thanks again for a great debate, friend :).
Mister_Man

Con

Mister_Man forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
Leo.Messi - What do you mean "by deduction I can conclude that Kylar won"? You gave him points for better spelling and grammar and more reliable sources, yet you DIDN'T give him a conduct point due to my forfeiture.... As far as I can see, Kylar and I both had proper spelling and grammar, as well as equal sources. Nonetheless, I'd like to see an actual reason for your vote.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
I guess I can agree conduct should go to Kylar due to my forfeiture, however if you look at my source, it also says eyewitnesses say it was Autumn. So I did use the internet and I did provide a source. You can't really settle the debate simply with an eyewitness, as it's a second-hand source, however I believe I did just that?
Posted by james14 2 years ago
james14
Conduct points should go to Kylar because MIster_Man forfeited.

I don't see what the "will to survive" arguments do. I wish of the debaters had just been able to cite a source which conclusively settled the debate from an eyewitness perspective.

Couldn't either of the debaters have used the internet?

http://www.rmstitanicremembered.com...
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
No way I was certain I had more time... sorry, Kylar, but thanks for the debate. Hopefully my forfeiture doesn't impact my arguments.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
Hey Kylar, just curious if this is a blatant "true" or "false" debate? Because if it is then there's really no point to debate it unfortunately. If the question is "which is more reasonable," then I'd accept, however if you can show proof that it was that then this would be kind of pointless and all I could really do would be to just question the validity of your sources.

But if it's "it's reasonable to believe they played this song," then I would accept the Con position.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by WillRiley 2 years ago
WillRiley
KylarMister_ManTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Seems to me they did not.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
KylarMister_ManTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro for the forfeit. With regards to arguments, this is pretty straightforward. Most of the points made have nothing to do with the debate at hand. What the band would have liked, where their incentive would have lain with regards to the emotions and actions they wished to bolster, are things that are relevant only if there is no evidence to speak of. Con, however, states that such evidence exists, and that the song played was not "Nearer My God To Thee". I would actually have accepted a challenge to that, since Con doesn't source it, but I don't see one. So my assumption goes that Con is right - evidence exists to the contrary, and that evidence far outstrips any likelihood that they'd have chosen otherwise. If they had it all to do over again, maybe they'd have played this song. But they don't.
Vote Placed by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
KylarMister_ManTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The fact is, this debate is in the imagination of the debaters, and this debate is like trying to prove or disprove the bible, impossible, so a tie it is on all fronts.
Vote Placed by ObjectivityIsAMust 2 years ago
ObjectivityIsAMust
KylarMister_ManTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Considering that this took place during a crisis situation, panic is a much more likely reaction than the acceptances of death. In addition, people do not think rationally when they are about to die so a band member might not necessary think of a pass promise when he is faced with death. This makes Kylar position very unlikely. Also, Kylar proposition is dependent on only one possible song while Mister_Man proposition is that any song other then the one specified was played last. The Con testimonies by some of the passengers, although its reliability can be questioned, adds a little credibility to his position. The conduct of both sides is fairly equal and the grammar mistakes by Kylar are negligible.
Vote Placed by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
KylarMister_ManTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff