Friday, February 11, 2011

Doherty's Mythical Titanic

My current “Reads for Fun” book isn’t much fun right now – it’s The Oxford History of Ireland, and the authors are a pretty boring lot who could use some habanero peppers to spice up their writing. But there’s an interesting lesson for apologetics in one essay I’ve read, titled “Ireland After 1870” by David Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick goes on and on rather like a dentists’ drill about the clashes between Catholics and Protestants, labor, employment, World War 1, etc etc etc. But there’s something he doesn’t mention at all: The Titanic disaster.

Um, you’re asking, why should he mention THAT?

I agree that he didn’t need to. But if we follow the logic of “silence” mythicists like Earl Doherty, this is a huge sign that the Titanic never existed. After all, we could see them easily saying the following, which includes information derived from several reliable online sources:


The Titanic was said to be constructed at the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1912. At the time it was supposedly the world’s largest boat, unmatched in both size and luxury. This project, had it existed, was surely a monumental boon to the economy of Ireland in general and Belfast in particular, as its construction employed hundreds of men in the Belfast area. It was also tried out in Belfast Lough, which was surely a remarkable enough spectacle that Fitzpatrick should have reported it in detail.

Additionally, the Titanic disaster represented an immense loss of life that allegedly made world headlines. Among the 1500 plus killed were 123 Irish citizens.

Surely if any of this were true, it would have warranted a mention by Fitzpatrick in his essay, but instead he remains preoccupied with such trivialities as labor unions!


All of which just goes to show that even in a modern, low-context society, there are people who can (and do) manage to overlook events and things which other people think are “too important” to not receive a mention. The problem with mythicists like Doherty is not an uncommon one -- they assume that their values and priorities are everyone else's, so there must be something wrong with you if you don't do what they would do.


  1. Good point! Thanks.

  2. Another interesting parallel between Christ-mythers and the Titanic...