DiscoverThe Aidan Project
The Aidan Project
Claim Ownership

The Aidan Project

Author: Aidan Coughlan

Subscribed: 15Played: 375
Share

Description

Aidan Coughlan's inquisitive podcast examines history, current events and culture. What is happening in the world and how do we make sense of it? Aidan, assisted by expert guests from around the globe, is on a quest to find out. Why not join him?
 Episodes
Reverse
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan examines the claims regarding culpability and blame within the historiography of The Irish Famine (circa 1845-1850). The Irish Famine devastated Ireland’s population: it is estimated to have killed a million people, with around two million more people forced to leave the country. Furthermore, this appalling event is a key example of the uneasy history between Ireland and the United Kingdom. At the time of the Famine, Ireland was a formal part of the UK, following the Act of Union in 1801. Did the British intend to extirpate the Irish, as has often been claimed, or were the British simply incompetent? The genocide charge dominates the historiography of the Famine. This debate over culpability and blame is, of course, a contentious one. This episode, after providing a brief introduction to the Famine, will summarise the competing arguments. This episode includes audio from episode 24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda, which featured an interview with Professor Liam Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast. Aidan and Professor Kennedy discussed the comparisons made by Irish nationalists between the Irish Famine and the Jewish Holocaust. Professor Kennedy’s most recent book is Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish. Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In this edition of the Aidan Project, the podcast marks a year online with the first ‘best of’ episode. This episode features audio from Aidan’s conversations with Dr. Paul Dean for the 'America’s Great War' series of episodes. This special compilation is being released ahead of Armistice Day, 11 November. On November 11 1918, an armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France. It brought an end to the awful hostilities of what was thought to be at the time the war to end all wars. This episode looks at World War One from the battle of the Somme to the peace treaty at Versailles. Aidan’s special guest, Dr. Dean, is a former instructor at, and alumni of, Washington State University, who is an expert on World War One and author of Courage: Roy Blanchard’s Journey in America’s Forgotten War. For more information on Paul, please visit his web site at www.paultdean.com.
In this edition of the podcast, Aidan is speaking to Eric Pratt, a former radical member of the Mormon Church. Born and raised in Utah, Eric was a follower of Mormonism for over 20 years, including two years spent as a proselytizing Mormon missionary. In this intriguing audio, Eric tells the story of his indoctrination into, and his escape out of, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Eric also talks about the infamous founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, what it was like to be a missionary, the prevalence of misogyny within religion, living a moral life as an atheist, and much more. A prequel of sorts to this episode is also available, see episode 82 – Project Extra: The Legacy of Christopher Hitchens.
This episode of the podcast is a bonus audio edition ahead of a full-length episode to follow. Aidan’s guest is Eric Pratt, who for over 20 years was an aggressively active member of the Mormon Church, including two years spent as a proselytizing Mormon missionary. Although it is addressed only briefly in this episode, in the full episode, Eric will explain his journey into, and out of, the Mormon faith. In this bonus audio, Aidan and Eric talk about the life and influence of Christopher Hitchens, whose reasoned arguments assisted Eric in leaving religion altogether. Aidan and Eric also discuss atheism and religion, friendship, and Eric’s possible foray into podcast hosting. Eric, as will be discussed in the full episode, is not on social media, but is working on a book about his life which will hopefully be available in the near future. Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In an intriguing episode from February 2018, #73 - Abraham’s Secular Covenant, Bernard Lamborelle discussed his remarkable book, The Covenant: On the Origin of the Abrahamic Faith, by Means of Deification. This episode,  #81 - Project Extra: Revisiting The Covenant, is an abridged version of a follow-up conversation which was streamed live on Facebook on 6 April 2018 (The Aidan Project Live #3: Revisiting the Covenant). In this bonus podcast audio, Bernard provides a brief summary of his thesis, discusses additional evidence which was not covered in the original podcast episode, and addresses the response to his argument that the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – very likely do have a real story to tell about a covenant, but not a religious one.  Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by author, historian, philosopher and exceptional debunker of Christian apologetics, Dr. Richard Carrier. What are the origins of Christianity? What is the evidence for a historical Jesus? What is it like to debate Christian apologists, and what are the common arguments made in defence of the faith? These questions, and much more, are answered in this episode. Dr. Carrier’s books and articles have received international attention. With a Ph.D. from Columbia University in ancient history, Dr. Carrier specializes in the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, particularly ancient philosophy, religion, and science, with an emphasis on the origins of Christianity, and the use and progress of science under the Roman empire. Dr. Carrier is also a published expert in the modern philosophy of naturalism as a worldview. Dr. Carrier is the author of On the Historicity of Jesus, Proving History, Sense and Goodness without God, Science Education in the Early Roman Empire, Not the Impossible Faith, Why I Am Not a Christian, and Hitler Homer Bible Christ. For purchase options, see https://www.richardcarrier.info/BooksbyRichardCarrier.html Dr. Carrier’s website is an incredible resource for additional information, including articles, useful links, classes, social media, and more. See https://www.richardcarrier.info/ Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Steven Keslowitz, author of books including The World According to the Simpsons, The Tao of Jack Bauer, and Why You Better Call Saul. Steven is a practicing attorney and pop culture expert, and in this episode, Steven explains the success within popular culture of disreputable fictional characters, including the lawyers Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) and Lionel Hutz (The Simpsons). Also considered within this fun episode: ‘Cultivation Theory’ (an examination of the effect that watching television over the long-term may have on the ability to differentiate fiction and reality), what is the relationship between celebrities (including the late Stephen Hawking) and The Simpsons, how does The Simpsons deal with controversial issues, such as gun control, and how accurate are the legal proceedings in Better Call Saul? Also mentioned within this episode are the famous comments made about The Simpsons by former US President George HW Bush. At the 1992 Republican Convention, Bush said: "We're going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons." Steven has written about this very quote in The World According To The Simpsons, and shares his view of the relationship between The Simpsons and the ideal of the American family. For more information on Steven, you can view his website at http://www.stevenkeslowitz.com/, his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/skeslowitz/, and his Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steven-Keslowitz/e/B001JS3LLC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1522146986&sr=8-1 (UK) and https://www.amazon.com/Steven-Keslowitz/e/B001JS3LLC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1522146986&sr=8-1 (US). Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org
Dr. Larry Fedewa says that Donald Trump would do well to tweet less often and to rein in some of his unseemly language, but, nevertheless, Dr. Fedewa argues that Trump is doing a good job as United States President. In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Dr. Larry Fedewa, a conservative political commentator, with countless media contributions to his name, including the Washington Times. How successful has Trump’s administration been in gaining legislative support? What can be said of Trump’s foreign policy? Is Trump a new Ronald Reagan or is he more akin to a much earlier President, Andrew Jackson? Could Trump face impeachment, and if so, how does the impeachment process work? What is the future of the odd relationship between Trump and the mainstream media? All of these questions, and much more, are considered during this intriguing episode. Aidan also spoke to Dr. Fedewa for the bonus audio episode, #75 – Project Extra: The Gun Debate. For more information on Dr. Larry, you can visit his website at http://www.mypoliticalinsights.com. Larry is also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lawrencefedewa, and you can view his Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-J.-Fedewa/e/B076P8Q1W8 (US) and https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lawrence-J.-Fedewa/e/B076P8Q1W8 (UK). Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is talking to Dr. Gleb Tsipursky of the Pro-Truth Pledge about the battle for honest discourse. This is an important consideration. During a speech at the White House in January 2017, Donald Trump’s Press Secretary at the time, Sean Spicer, famously said: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.” This statement has been endlessly mocked, but, in more serious terms, it has come to represent, as stated shortly afterwards without irony by Trump advisor, Kellyanne Conway, as not being a lie, but an entirely different version of the truth. Spicer, explained Conway, was not being dishonest, but was dealing in “alternative facts”. Comparisons to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four were manifestly obvious and, indeed, were deeply indicative of a very real problem. What is the answer to alternative facts? Utilising research in behavioral science, Dr. Tsipursky is leading a team effort to address post-truth politics, fake news, and those unscrupulous alternative facts. Dr. Tsipursky is asking people, be they members of congress or members of the public, to sign the Pro-Truth Pledge as a commitment to deal in only one type of fact, and not the alternative variety. Dr. Tsipursky explains the motivation behind this movement, and outlines his hopes for a more honest arena of public discourse. Why are humans so easily misled? What can be done about fake news? Is it possible that Donald Trump would sign such a pledge? How has social media been manipulated to spread misinformation, and can this be prevented? These questions, including a fascinating look at why humans are, from an evolutionary standpoint, poorly equipped to deal with the modern age, are featured in this episode. For more information on the Pro-Truth Pledge, or to sign the pledge, head to https://www.protruthpledge.org/take-the-pro-truth-pledge/ Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In this bonus edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is speaking to Dr. Larry Fedewa, a conservative political commentator, with countless media contributions to his name, including the Washington Times. In this mini-episode, Dr. Larry offers his reflections on the 14 February 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, before discussing the wider issue of guns in American culture. Dr. Larry talks about the Second Amendment, the failures of the FBI, the culture clash in the US between rural and urban areas, and more. How soluble is the gun problem in America? Or is the problem less about guns, but more about mental health and law enforcement? Dr. Larry provides considered insight into these questions. For more information on Dr. Larry, you can visit his website at http://www.mypoliticalinsights.com. Larry is also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lawrencefedewa, and you can view his Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-J.-Fedewa/e/B076P8Q1W8 (US) and https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lawrence-J.-Fedewa/e/B076P8Q1W8 (UK). Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Mary Shores, author of Conscious Communications: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Words to Change Your Mind, Your Choices, and Your Life, to discuss neuroscience, positive thinking, free will, the self, consciousness, stress, the negative aspects of social media, and much more. In fact, Aidan and Mary are having this conversation for the second time, the previous conversation having been lost due to the capricious nature of technology. This time, however, nothing was lost, and a wide-ranging conversation has been preserved. Recognized as a leader of innovative thought, Mary travels across the United States giving lectures, and teaching courses, and has been featured on local and national radio and television shows, podcasts, and blogs. Within this episode, Mary speaks candidly about life’s challenges, providing practical guidance, alongside first-hand experience, to explain the power of positive thinking.  For more information on Mary, you can head to Mary’s website at http://www.maryshores.com/, you can find Mary on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mary_shores, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shoresmary/ and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/maryshores. For options on purchasing Conscious Communications, head to http://maryshores.com/the-book/. Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
Abraham is the common patriarch of the three major world religions. Indeed, Abraham was supposedly a man of such faith in God that, when commanded to do so, he would have sacrificed his son, Isaac, to prove his devotion. Such fanciful tales are easily dismissed, but Aidan’s guest, Bernard Lamborelle, argues that the Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - very likely do have a real story to tell about a covenant, but not a religious one. Instead, an earthly tale, argues Lamborelle, would later be adapted and obscured until a simple handshake between Abraham and a mortal lord became a story which proclaimed a divine covenant with the almighty. Lamborelle’s industrious research resulted in a book, The Covenant: On the Origin of the Abrahamic Faith, by Means of Deification, which takes readers back to 3,500 years ago, to a time when men of power were viewed as living gods. Using a holistic, literal, and secular interpretation, this historical essay first demonstrates that the Abrahamic narrative from Genesis is far more coherent when considered from the standpoint of a mortal lord alongside the establishment of an earthly, rather than divine, covenant. In this episode, Aidan and Bernard discuss the fascinating reframing of Abraham’s covenant, the implications that the adoption of such an understanding could have for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, and a great deal more, including the battle between the forces of secularism and religious literalism. Bernard has very kindly made the book available via Smashwords for a period of 30 days following the release of this episode. Head to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/766677 and simply enter the code HG64L at the checkout. The offer expires on 16 March 2018. You can visit Bernard’s web site at http://www.earthlycovenant.com/ and follow Bernard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/blambore. Bernard would be delighted to hear from you.
Christian Cipollini writes very good books about very bad things. This is a very good podcast about those same very bad things. In this edition of The Aidan Project, Christian Cipollini, an award-winning historian of the criminal underworld, discusses organised crime, the mob and some of its most notorious characters. Charles “Lucky” Luciano is a particular person of interest for Christian, and with good reason. Luciano, an Italian mobster in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, is considered by some to be the father of modern organised crime. Aidan and Christian discuss Luciano, the definition of ‘mob’ and ‘mafia’, prohibition, violence, Hollywood’s obsession with gangsters, and much more. Christian has been a featured expert guest on numerous television documentaries for various broadcasters, including the History Channel and National Geographic. For more information on Christian, you can visit Stache Publishing's author profile, including a look at Christian's remarkable graphic novels, at http://www.stachepublishing.com/creator-profile-christian-cipollini-gangster-historian/, you can head to Christian's website at https://www.ganglandlegends.com/, you can browse his impressive Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Cipollini/e/B00CP95F4K for the United States, or https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christian-Cipollini/e/B00CP95F4K for the United Kingdom. Expanded show notes are available at https://www.theaidanproject.org
In a very different edition of the podcast, Aidan takes you behind the scenes of The Aidan Project. Within this reflective podcast, Aidan introduces Inspiring The Aidan Project, a potential separate podcast series which would highlight the men and women whose thinking has inspired Aidan. Aidan then presents a pilot episode for this prospective series; the pilot tells the story of George Orwell. Also in this episode, Aidan offers further reflections on Winston Churchill, following episode 69: The Churchill Myth: Many Dark Hours, and talks about every podcaster’s worst nightmare: a full-length conversation which will never be heard. Expanded show notes are available at https://www.theaidanproject.org 
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan looks at the remarkable debate that is, according to some historians, the origins of left versus right politics - or progressive versus conservative. In the late eighteenth century, Edmund Burke went up against Thomas Paine, each offering entirely different opinions on the French Revolution. Paine, writing in his most celebrated book, Rights of Man (1791), argued: “Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.” Burke had spoken out against the revolt in France, saying the chaos and upheaval would eventually be settled by a dictatorship. He was right. Paine certainly did not see Napoleon coming. Britain avoided revolution; instead, Britain moved further to the right. This episode further explores some of the themes from episode 69, The Churchill Myth: Many Dark Hours. Aidan also gives his damning verdict on the dire standard of discourse on social media, where debate is certainly not great. Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Christopher Hale, a distinguished freelance executive producer, producer/director and writer, to discuss the less distinguished elements of the career of Winston Churchill. Yet another Churchill film, Darkest Hour, was released on 12 January 2018 in the United Kingdom. The film begins in May 1940, with Churchill about to take on the role of Prime Minister. Indeed, Churchill’s charismatic resilience has defined the popular interpretation of Britain’s experience of the Second World War. However, there is far more to Churchill than his wartime leadership. Indeed, several chapters of the real Churchill story are deeply unpleasant. The Bengal famine of 1943-44, when two million people died, is such an example. What was Churchill’s attitude towards the people of British India? What type of person was Churchill? Was he a racist even by the standards of his time? These questions, and more, including a discussion on remembering the British Empire, are examined on this episode. We must understand our history, all of it, not just the patriotic triumphs, to become a modern democratic nation. ‘Become a modern democratic nation’, you say? Expanded show notes are available at http://www.theaidanproject.org
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan examines Pascal’s Wager. Blaise Pascal (1623–62) was a talented French mathematician, physicist, inventor and writer, but he is most famous for his theological work. Pascal’s famous wager argues that it is rational to believe in God, because the benefits of this belief being justified when you die are vast: Entry into heaven, avoidance of hell. By contrast, said Pascal, even if God does not exist, the costs of living as if God does exist are trivial. To not believe in God, therefore, is irrational. Whilst it also means you will never know that God does not exist if He, in fact, does not exist, you risk fiery damnation if He does exist. Your life is a bet, believed Pascal, and, on the balance of probability, there is only one way to place it - on belief.  In a mathematical sense, if we believe in God, and He exists, the rewards are infinite, and if we are wrong, the losses are hardly worth worrying about. If we do not believe in God, but we are wrong, the punishments are potentially infinite. Aidan examines the merits of Pascal’s Wager, and explores its common criticisms. Place your bets.
In this edition of Project Extra, Aidan presents previously unreleased audio from his conversation with Jared Miracle for episode 66, Hope and Chaos: 2017 Unpacked. In this bonus audio, Jared talks about the sexual harassment scandal which rocked Hollywood, the war on experts, and offers his take on a man who needs no introduction - Donald Trump. Aidan also shares his hopes for 2018, including a new revolution in Iran, and what the left needs to do to get back on track. Happy New Year to one and all from The Aidan Project. For more information on Jared, please visit his web site at http://www.jaredmiracle.com. Please refer to https://theaidanproject.org/ for the expanded show notes.
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by cultural anthropologist, Jared Miracle, to review 2017. Taking a thematic approach, Aidan and Jared look at the stories which they believe will retain importance in the coming years. This is not a mere countdown show, but a considered appraisal of what 2017 will come to represent in the future. What will 2017 be remembered for in political circles? What issue of protest or division in 2017 will dominate the history books? And, amongst several stories which are perhaps not conducive to generating a smug sense of satisfaction about human progress, what was the most heartwarming moment of 2017? The year has not lacked in hatred, but what can it offer in hope?Aidan and Jared have both chosen an option from the following themes:The Biggest StoryPolitics and International RelationsProtest and DivisionScience, Technology and the EnvironmentPopular CultureHeartwarmingTo all listeners of the podcast, thank you so much for listening this year - have a wonderful 2018. For more information on Jared, please visit his web site at http://www.jaredmiracle.com or his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/jaredmiraclewriter. Jared has also started guest-hosting for the New Books in Anthropology Podcast - see http://newbooksnetwork.com/category/anthropology/ for download links.
In this bonus episode of the podcast, Aidan and cultural anthropologist, Jared Miracle, discuss Donald Trump’s legislative victory on tax reform. Republicans from the Senate and the House of Representatives have agreed on a joint bill which will sanction significant restructuring to US taxation. The Washington Post and Fox News, to the surprise of nobody, have taken entirely different views on the bill. These contrasting stances are typical of the polarisation of political discourse in the age of Trump. Writing in the Post, Fareed Zakaria claimed that the bill is “ushering in a bleak future." However, David Moore of Fox News argued that Democrats “can’t ever be happy by anything the president or congressional Republicans do.” According to the media, America is either doomed or is on the march towards greatness.This bonus audio was recorded after Aidan and Jared’s conversation for an upcoming special episode, ‘2017: The Year in Review’. The episode will be released later this month. For the expanded show notes, see http://www.theaidanproject.org/
loading
Comments 
loading
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store