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What is Agnosticism?

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What is Agnosticism?:

”A” means “without” and “gnosis” means “knowledge.” Hence, agnostic: without knowledge, but specifically without knowledge of gods. Strictly speaking, agnosticism is about knowledge, and knowledge is a related but separate issue from belief, the domain of theism and atheism. Thus agnosticism is not a “third way” between atheism and theism. Read More...

What is Philosophical Agnosticism?:

Philosophically, agnosticism can be described as being based upon two separate principles. The first principle is epistemological in that it relies upon empirical and logical means for acquiring knowledge about the world. The second principle is moral in that it insists that we have an ethical duty not to assert claims for ideas which we cannot adequately support either through evidence or logic. Read More...

Defining Agnosticism: Standard Dictionaries:

Dictionaries define agnosticism in a variety of ways. Some are close to how close to how Thomas Henry Huxley defined it when he coined the term. Some define it as a “third way” between atheism and theism. Some go further and describe agnosticism as a “doctrine,” something that Huxley took pains to deny. Read More...

Strong Agnosticism vs. Weak Agnosticism:

If someone is a weak agnostic, they state only that they do not know if any gods exist or not. The possibility of some theoretical god or some specific god existing is not excluded. The possibility of someone else knowing for sure if some god exists or not is also not excluded. If someone is a strong agnostic, they don’t merely claim that they don’t know if any gods exist; instead, they also claim that no one can or does know if any gods exist. Read More...

Are Agnostics Just Sitting On the Fence?:

Many people treat agnosticism as a 'non-committal' approach to the question of God's existence — this is why it is so often treated as though it were a "third way" between atheism and theism, with each of the other two committed to some particular answer and agnostics refusing to take sides. This perspective is mistaken: Agnosticism is a lack of knowledge, not a lack of commitment. Read More...

Atheism vs. Agnosticism: What's the Difference?:

Agnosticism is not about belief in god but about knowledge — it was coined to describe the position of a person who could not claim to know for sure if any gods exist or not. Agnosticism is compatible with both theism and atheism. A person can believe in a god (theism) without claiming to know for sure if that god exists; that is agnostic theism. A person can disbelieve in gods (atheism) without claiming to know for sure that no gods can or do exist; the result is agnostic atheism. Read More...

What is Agnostic Theism?:

It may seem strange at first to think that a person might believe in the existence of a god without also claiming to know that their god exists, even if we define knowledge somewhat loosely; but upon further reflection it turns out that this isn’t so odd after all. Many, many people who believe in the existence of a god do so on faith, and this faith is contrasted with the types of knowledge we normally acquire about the world around us. Read More...

Philosophic Origins of Agnosticism:

No one before Thomas Henry Huxley would have described themselves as agnostics, but we can identify philosophers and scholars who insisted that either they didn’t have knowledge of Ultimate Reality and gods, or that it wasn’t possible for anyone to have such knowledge — both positions associated with agnosticism. Read More...

Agnosticism & Thomas Henry Huxley:

The term agnosticism was coined by Professor Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society in 1876. For Huxley, agnosticism was a position which rejected the knowledge claims of both 'strong' atheism and traditional theism. More importantly, though, agnosticism for him was a method of doing things. Read More...

Agnosticism & Robert Green Ingersoll:

Robert Green Ingersoll was a famous and influential proponent of secularism and religious skepticism during the mid- to late 19th century in America. He was a strong advocate both of the abolition of slavery and women's rights, something that was rather unpopular. The position which really caused him problems, however was his strong defense of agnosticism and his stringent anticlericalism. Read More...

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