The faithful are playing with reference to a different set of rules when arguing for the merits of religion based on faith alone. Faith, by definition, requires no tangible evidence. But claims from the faithful about human history can be countered by the inquisitive atheist. We all have access to a plethora of terrestrial historical accounts which were not gleaned from divine revelation. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan explores the classic argument of the faithful against atheism when discussing human history. This argument – especially prevalent whenever the issue of violence or hatred is discussed – is that Adolf Hitler was an atheist. The inferred claim is that this godlessness demonstrates the danger of turning away from the moral teachings of the church. Another aspect of the argument which is often thrown in as an addendum is a charge that the Third Reich was a secular movement. How much merit is there in these claims? Did Hitler reject God, and if he did, did this make a difference to human history? And how secular was Hitler’s Nazi regime? Aidan delves into the argument to provide grounded insight and analysis. Indeed, as with the claims of the holy books, the introduction of earthly evidence is crucial when one desires to separate fact from fiction. Selected bibliography: J. Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII A. Hitler (ed. N. Baynes), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler A. Hitler, Mein Kampf C. Hitchens, God Is Not Great G. Orwell, Literature and Totalitarianism
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In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Professor Liam Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy for Social Sciences. The Great Famine was the most traumatic event of modern Irish history. Professor Kennedy explains the famine and seeks to provide context to the argument, propagated by some, including a number of Irish Americans, that the Great Famine is comparable to the Holocaust that occurred in Eastern Europe. Professor Kennedy also provides some thoughts on the death of the Irish republican and Sinn Féin politician, Martin McGuinness. Professor Kennedy’s most recent book is ‘Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish?’, which is available at all good bookstores and at Amazon.
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined on the line from Florida by acclaimed authors, husband-and-wife, Gerald and Trisha Posner. The Posners have an impeccable body of work behind them; this episode draws upon their work on the Holocaust, including the role of the Vatican in working with the Third Reich for financial gain. Trisha’s most recent book is The Pharmacist of Auschwitz, which tells the little known story of Victor Capesius, who worked alongside Josef Mengele at the infamous death camp as its chief pharmacist. The San Francisco Book Review wrote that “words cannot even properly describe the devastation that unfolds within these pages.” Gerald’s most recent book, God’s Bankers, is the result of nine years of extensive research. The book was described by The New York Times as “an exhaustive history of the financial machinations at the center of the church in Rome….an extraordinarily intricate tale of intrigue, corruption and organized criminality.” For more information on these fantastic authors, you can find Trisha online at www.trishaposner.com, and Gerald at www.posner.com. Their books are widely available in book stores and online at Amazon.