Saturday, 2 June 2012

Dr Peter Saunders and his double entendres

It is scary to think that certain medical professionals are so dishonest and manipulative, but Dr Peter Saunders has posted a blog with the title '20 questions atheists struggle to answer', and then post another blog saying;
Last week I put together a list of twenty questions that, in my experience, atheists either won’t or can’t answer and invited coherent responses.
Surely, if atheists won't or can't answer his propositions, it is just outright hypocrisy to then use the rest of the post to list all those that did bother to answer him. Whether or not he accepts these answers as coherent is a matter for, either him to judge his own interpretation of coherence, or for others to do it on his behalf. From my perspective, his judgement is in serious question, so his understanding of coherence is itself, incoherent.

Dr Saunders is the CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organisation with 4,500 UK doctors and 1,000 medical students as members. One wonders if those he is responsible for hold the same level of credulity to reason, and a similar level of disdain for intellectual honesty. For intellectual dishonesty it most certainly is.

Here was my response;
Okay, so you think they are not good answers? But they are answers all the same, right? Considering the responses you have received, I think it churlish to defend the stance that atheists struggle to answer them.
It is all very well saying that you find this plethora of answers unconvincing, but you do not so much as elucidate one single example why they are not convincing. If you were being intellectually honest about these questions, you would make some passing gesture to confronting the answers you have received, rather than dismissing them unchallenged.
Perhaps this is a question that you struggle to answer.
This blog's title is not just a play on the Viz cartoon character, it was used to highlight the different ways in which we can take his position to mean. If Dr Saunders actually meant that atheists wouldn't or couldn't answer his moronic questions (and personally I couldn't be bothered to revisit these age-old tropes), the fact that he went on to publish the names of those that did just that proves that not only will and can atheists answer the questions, but that the good doctor has proudly recognised this fact. This is not the way he wants you or I perceive his response, though, preferring to hide behind a shameless arrogance that these answers do not have the necessary gravitas or coherence to his liking, without actually approaching why this need be the case. 

Someone that actually did entertain him was one of my favourite bloggers, Rosa Rubicondior. In her first post, she answers all of his questions with more effort than I could be bothered to muster, and her second post approaches his lack of response and an example of how Christian apologists like to lie to us.

It may not be the double entendre Finbar Saunders would have understood, but Dr Peter Saunders certainly wants us to take a different angle to the one he actually presents.

Your thoughts?


  1. A lot of those questions are asinine and he fails to realize that he doesn't have an answer or explanation to any of them himself. He just has a wild-ass guess that is philosophically incoherent.

  2. I am still waiting for Dr Peter Saunders to answer the questions I put to him. It seems his way to handle his own inability to address fairly simple and straightforward questions concerning his own professed faith is to project this failure on to others and sit back in smug self-satisfaction convinced in his own mind that he knows all the answers.

    This is, of course, par for the course where such a high degree of self-delusion is required to handle the inevitable cognitive dissonance caused by trying desperately to cling to a superstition which is so at odds with reality, just because it gives him a feeling of smug superiority.


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