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Agnosticism (Greek: α- a-, without + γνώσις gnōsis, knowledge; after Gnosticism) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently unknowable. A related article is titled uncertainty. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... “Uncertain” redirects here. ... Probability is the likelihood or chance that something is the case or will happen. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with estimation. ... For other uses, see Believe. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ... A related article is titled uncertainty. ... This article is about the general notion of determinism in philosophy. ... Gnosticism (Greek: gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect god, the demiurge, who is frequently identified with the Abrahamic God. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... In logic and mathematics, a logical value, also called a truth value, is a value indicating to what extent a proposition is true. ... Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). ... This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... For other uses, see God (disambiguation). ... See also: List of deities Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Reality (disambiguation). ...


Demographic research services normally list agnostics in the same category as atheists and non-religious people[1], using 'agnostic' in the newer sense of 'noncommittal'[2]. However, this can be misleading given the existence of agnostic theists, who identify themselves as both agnostics in the original sense and followers of a particular religion. For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... Agnostic Theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. ...


Philosophers and thinkers who have written about agnosticism include Thomas Henry Huxley, Robert G. Ingersoll, and Bertrand Russell. Religious scholars who wrote about agnosticism are Peter Kreeft, Blaise Pascal and Joseph Ratzinger, later elected as Pope Benedict XVI. Thomas Henry Huxley PC, FRS (4 May 1825 Ealing – 29 June 1895 Eastbourne, Sussex) was an English biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... Peter Kreeft Peter Kreeft is a Catholic apologist for Christianity, professor of philosophy at Boston College and The Kings College, and author of over 45 books including Fundamentals of the Faith, Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven, and Back to Virtue. ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 20 [[1624 // ]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (b. ...

Contents

Etymology

"Agnostic" was introduced by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869 to describe his philosophy which rejects Gnosticism, by which he meant not simply the early 1st millennium religious group, but all claims to spiritual or mystical knowledge.[2] This is not the same as the trivial interpretation of the word, and carries a more negative implication for religion than that trivial interpretation. Thomas Henry Huxley PC, FRS (4 May 1825 Ealing – 29 June 1895 Eastbourne, Sussex) was an English biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... Gnosticism (Greek: gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect god, the demiurge, who is frequently identified with the Abrahamic God. ...


Early Christian church leaders used the Greek word gnosis (knowledge) to describe "spiritual knowledge." Agnosticism is not to be confused with religious views opposing the doctrine of gnosis and Gnosticism—these are religious concepts that are not generally related to agnosticism. Huxley used the term in a broad sense. For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


In recent years, use of the word to mean "not knowable" is apparent in scientific literature in psychology and neuroscience,[3] and with a meaning close to "independent", in technical and marketing literature, e.g. "platform agnostic" or "hardware agnostic".


Qualifying agnosticism

Enlightenment philosopher David Hume contended that meaningful statements about the universe are always qualified by some degree of doubt.[4] The fallibility of human beings means that they cannot obtain absolute certainty except in trivial cases where a statement is true by definition (as in, "all bachelors are unmarried" or "all triangles have three angles"). All rational statements that assert a factual claim about the universe that begin "I believe that ...." are simply shorthand for, "Based on my knowledge, understanding, and interpretation of the prevailing evidence, I tentatively believe that...." For instance, when one says, "I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy," one is not asserting an absolute truth but a tentative belief based on interpretation of the assembled evidence. Even though one may set an alarm clock prior to the following day, believing that the sun will rise the next day, that belief is tentative, tempered by a small but finite degree of doubt (the sun might be destroyed; the earth might be shattered in collision with a rogue asteroid or that person might die before the alarm goes off.) For other persons named David Hume, see David Hume (disambiguation). ... Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 – November 24, 1963) was the presumed assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. ... John Kennedy and JFK redirect here. ...


Many mainstream believers in the West embrace an agnostic stance. As noted below, for instance, Roman Catholic dogma about the nature of God contains many strictures of agnosticism. An agnostic who believes in God despairs of ever fully comprehending what it is in which he believes. But some believing agnostics assert that that very absurdity strengthens their belief rather than weakens it.[citation needed]


The Catholic Church sees merit in examining what it calls Partial Agnosticism, specifically those systems that "do not aim at constructing a complete philosophy of the Unknowable, but at excluding special kinds of truth, notably religious, from the domain of knowledge."[5] However, the Church is historically opposed to a full denial of the ability of human reason to know God. The Council of the Vatican, relying on biblical scripture, declares that "God, the beginning and end of all, can, by the natural light of human reason, be known with certainty from the works of creation" (Const. De Fide, II, De Rev.)[6] The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ...


Types of agnosticism

Agnosticism can be subdivided into several subcategories. Recently suggested variations include:

  • Strong agnosticism (also called hard agnosticism, closed agnosticism, strict agnosticism, absolute agnosticism)—the view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of an omnipotent God and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience.
  • Mild agnosticism (also called weak agnosticism, soft agnosticism, open agnosticism, empirical agnosticism, temporal agnosticism)—the view that the existence or nonexistence of God or gods is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable, therefore one will withhold judgment until/if more evidence is available.
  • Apathetic agnosticism (also called Pragmatic agnosticism)—the view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of God or gods, but since any God or gods that may exist appear unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic anyway.
  • Agnostic theism (also called religious agnosticism)—the view of those who do not claim to know existence of God or gods, but still believe in such an existence. (See Knowledge vs. Beliefs)
  • Agnostic atheism—the view of those who do not know of the existence or nonexistence of God or gods, and do not believe in them.[7]
  • Ignosticism—the view that a coherent definition of God must be put forward before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed. If the chosen definition isn't coherent, the ignostic holds the noncognitivist view that the existence of God is meaningless or empirically untestable. A.J. Ayer, Theodore Drange, and other philosophers see both atheism and agnosticism as incompatible with ignosticism on the grounds that atheism and agnosticism accept "God exists" as a meaningful proposition which can be argued for or against.

Strong agnosticism or positive agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any God or gods exist. ... Weak agnosticism, or empirical agnosticism (also negative agnosticism), is the belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable and therefore one should withhold judgment until/if more evidence is available. ... Apathetic Agnosticism, in its most widely acknowledged form, is a theological position put forward by John Tyrrell in 1965. ... Agnostic Theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ... Agnostic atheism is a philosophical doctrine that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. ... Ignosticism is a word coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine to indicate one of two related views about the existence of God. ... Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like God (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. ... Ayer redirects here. ... Theodore Ted Michael Drange (b. ...

Famous agnostic thinkers

Among the most famous agnostics (in the original sense) have been Thomas Henry Huxley, Robert G. Ingersoll and Bertrand Russell. Thomas Henry Huxley PC, FRS (4 May 1825 Ealing – 29 June 1895 Eastbourne, Sussex) was an English biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ...

Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... Note: This article is largely based on an out-of-copyright 1911 encyclopedia article. ...

Thomas Henry Huxley

Thomas Henry Huxley.

Agnostic views are as old as philosophical skepticism, but the terms agnostic and agnosticism were created by Huxley to sum up his thoughts on contemporary developments of metaphysics about the "unconditioned" (Hamilton) and the "unknowable" (Herbert Spencer). It is important, therefore, to discover Huxley's own views on the matter. Though Huxley began to use the term "agnostic" in 1869, his opinions had taken shape some time before that date. In a letter of September 23, 1860, to Charles Kingsley, Huxley discussed his views extensively: Thomas Henry Huxley PC, FRS (4 May 1825 Ealing – 29 June 1895 Eastbourne, Sussex) was an English biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Philosophical scepticism (UK spelling, scepticism) is both a philosophical school of thought and a method that crosses disciplines and cultures. ... For other persons named Herbert Spencer, see Herbert Spencer (disambiguation). ...

I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. No man who has to deal daily and hourly with nature can trouble himself about a priori difficulties. Give me such evidence as would justify me in believing in anything else, and I will believe that. Why should I not? It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter...
It is no use to talk to me of analogies and probabilities. I know what I mean when I say I believe in the law of the inverse squares, and I will not rest my life and my hopes upon weaker convictions...
That my personality is the surest thing I know may be true. But the attempt to conceive what it is leads me into mere verbal subtleties. I have champed up all that chaff about the ego and the non-ego, noumena and phenomena, and all the rest of it, too often not to know that in attempting even to think of these questions, the human intellect flounders at once out of its depth.

And again, to the same correspondent, May 6, 1863: A priori is originally a Latin phrase meaning from the former or from what comes before. However, several different uses of the term have developed in English: A priori (law) - adj. ... is the 126th day of the year (127th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them.

Of the origin of the name agnostic to describe this attitude, Huxley gave the following account:[8] The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... “Orthodox” redirects here. ... An infidel (literally, one without faith) is one who doubts or rejects central tenets of a religion, especially those regarding its deities. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ...

When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.
So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took.

Huxley's agnosticism is believed to be a natural consequence of the intellectual and philosophical conditions of the 1860s, when clerical intolerance was trying to suppress scientific discoveries which appeared to clash with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis and other established Jewish and Christian doctrines. Agnosticism should not, however, be confused with natural theology, deism, pantheism, or other science positive forms of theism. 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ... Natural theology is the knowledge of God accessible to all rational human beings without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ...


By way of clarification, Huxley states, "In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable" (Huxley, Agnosticism, 1889). While A. W. Momerie has noted that this is nothing but a definition of honesty, Huxley's usual definition goes beyond mere honesty to insist that these metaphysical issues are fundamentally unknowable. Honest redirects here, For other uses, see Honesty (disambiguation) Look up honesty in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Robert G. Ingersoll

Robert G. Ingersoll.

Robert G. Ingersoll, an Illinois lawyer and politician who evolved into a well-known and sought-after orator in 19th century America, has been referred to as the "Great Agnostic." NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ NAHNERZ... Robert G. Ingersoll, from frontpiece of 1900 century edition of his lectures This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Robert G. Ingersoll, from frontpiece of 1900 century edition of his lectures This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...


In an 1896 lecture titled Why I Am An Agnostic, Ingersoll related why he was an agnostic:

Is there a supernatural power—an arbitrary mind—an enthroned God—a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world—to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know—but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme—that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken—that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer—no power that worship can persuade or change—no power that cares for man.
I believe that with infinite arms Nature embraces the all—that there is no interference—no chance—that behind every event are the necessary and countless causes, and that beyond every event will be and must be the necessary and countless effects.
Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.

In the conclusion of the speech he simply sums up the agnostic position as:

We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know.

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell's pamphlet, Why I Am Not a Christian, based on a speech delivered in 1927 and later included in a book of the same title, is considered a classic statement of agnosticism. The essay briefly lays out Russell’s objections to some of the arguments for the existence of God before discussing his moral objections to Christian teachings. He then calls upon his readers to "stand on their own two feet and look fair and square at the world," with a "fearless attitude and a free intelligence." Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... Polish soldiers reading a German leaflet during the Warsaw Uprising A pamphlet is an unbound booklet (that is, without a hard cover or binding). ... Why I Am Not a Christian is an essay by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell in which he explains why he is not a Christian. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Existence of God. ...


In 1939, Russell gave a lecture on The existence and nature of God, in which he characterized himself as an agnostic. He said:

The existence and nature of God is a subject of which I can discuss only half. If one arrives at a negative conclusion concerning the first part of the question, the second part of the question does not arise; and my position, as you may have gathered, is a negative one on this matter.[9]

However, later in the same lecture, discussing modern non-anthropomorphic concepts of God, Russell states:

That sort of God is, I think, not one that can actually be disproved, as I think the omnipotent and benevolent creator can.[10]

In Russell's 1947 pamphlet, Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic? (subtitled A Plea For Tolerance In The Face Of New Dogmas), he ruminates on the problem of what to call himself:

As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.
On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

In his 1953 essay, What Is An Agnostic? Russell states: For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ...

An agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned. Or, if not impossible, at least impossible at the present time.

However, later in the essay, Russell says:

I think that if I heard a voice from the sky predicting all that was going to happen to me during the next twenty-four hours, including events that would have seemed highly improbable, and if all these events then produced to happen, I might perhaps be convinced at least of the existence of some superhuman intelligence.

Religious scholars

Religious scholars, whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian, affirm the possibility of knowledge, even of metaphysical realities such as God and the soul,[11] because human intelligence ("intus", within and "legere", to read) has the power to reach the essence and existence of things since it has a non-material, spiritual element. They affirm that “not being able to see or hold some specific thing does not necessarily negate its existence,” as in the case of gravity, entropy, mental telepathy, or reason and thought.[12] For other uses, see Intelligence (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Essence (disambiguation). ... For the philosophical movement, see Existentialism. ... Look up spiritual in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... For other uses, see: information entropy (in information theory) and entropy (disambiguation). ... Telepathy, from the Greek τῆλε, tele, remote; and πάθεια, patheia, to be effected by, describes the hypothetical transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... Personification of thought (Greek Εννοια) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model the world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. ...


According to these scholars, agnosticism is impossible in actual practice, since one either lives as if God did not exist (etsi Deus non daretur), or lives as if God did exist (etsi Deus daretur).[13][14][15] These scholars believe that each day in a person’s life is an unavoidable step towards death, and thus not to decide for or against God, the all-encompassing foundation, purpose, meaning of life, is to decide in favor of atheism.[16][13] Even if there were truly no evidence for God, Christian philosopher Blaise Pascal offered to agnostics what is known as Pascal’s Wager: the infinite expected value of acknowledging God is always greater than the expected value of not acknowledging his existence, and thus it is a safer “bet” to choose God.[16] Atheist redirects here. ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 20 [[1624 // ]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... Infinity is a word carrying a number of different meanings in mathematics, philosophy, theology and everyday life. ...


These religious scholars argue that God has placed in his creation much evidence of his existence,[12] and continues to personally speak to humans.[17] Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli write about a strong, cumulative case with their 20 arguments for God’s existence.[18] Some scholars say though that when agnostics demand from God that he proves his existence through laboratory testing, they are asking God, a superior being, to become man’s servant.[19] According to Joseph Ratzinger later elected as Pope Benedict XVI, agnosticism or more specifically strong agnosticism is a self-limitation of reason that contradicts itself when it acclaims the power of science to know the truth.[20][17] When reason imposes limits on itself on matters of religion and ethics, this leads to dangerous pathologies of religion and pathologies of science, such as destruction of humans and ecological disasters.[20][17][21] Agnosticism, stated Benedict XVI, is a choice of comfort, pride, dominion, and utility over truth, and is opposed by the following attitudes: the keenest self-criticism, humble listening to the whole of existence, the persistent patience and self-correction of the scientific method, and a readiness to be purified by the truth.[17] Peter Kreeft Peter Kreeft is a Catholic apologist for Christianity, professor of philosophy at Boston College and The Kings College, and author of over 45 books including Fundamentals of the Faith, Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven, and Back to Virtue. ... Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (b. ... Papal Arms of Pope Benedict XVI. The papal tiara was replaced with a bishops mitre, and pallium of the Pope was added beneath the coat of arms. ... Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation). ...


See also

Agnostic Theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. ... Asimovs Guide to the Bible, 1967 and 1969. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authorities creating it for them. ... Gnosticism (Greek: gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect god, the demiurge, who is frequently identified with the Abrahamic God. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, when he was only one year old, succeeding his mother Mary... The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was an attempt by Thomas Jefferson to glean the teachings of Jesus from the Christian Gospels. ... Thomas Huxley, coiner of the term agnostic. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... For other uses, see Rationalism (disambiguation). ... For the physics theory with a similar name, see Theory of Relativity. ... Religiosity is a comprehensive sociological term used to refer to the numerous aspects of religious activity, dedication, and belief. ... Religious skepticism is a type of skepticism relating to religion, but should not be confused with atheism. ... Russells teapot, sometimes called the Celestial Teapot, was an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell, intended to refute the idea that the burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions. ... This article is about secularism. ... This article is about the psychological term. ... Solipsism (Latin: solus, alone + ipse, self) is the philosophical idea that My mind is the only thing that I know exists. ... The Skeptics Annotated Bible, SAB, is a skeptical analysis of the Bible available for free online and in Plucker format for PalmPilots. ... Note: This article is largely based on an out-of-copyright 1911 encyclopedia article. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Major Religions Ranked by Size
  2. ^ a b American Heritage Dictionary, 2000, under 'agnostic'
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Additions Series, 1993
  4. ^ Hume, David, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" (1748)
  5. ^ Agnosticism, II., Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent. [1]
  6. ^ Agnosticism, VIII., Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent.[2]
  7. ^ Cline, Austin. Atheism vs. Agnosticism: What's the Difference? Are they Alternatives to Each Other?. Retrieved on 2006-09-24.
  8. ^ Huxley, Thomas. Collected Essays, 237-239. ISBN 1-85506-922-9. 
  9. ^ Russell, Bertrand. Collected Papers, Vol 10, 255. 
  10. ^ Collected Papers, Vol. 10, p.258
  11. ^ Shed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, Journal of Islamic Philosophy, p 21-22.
  12. ^ a b Laurence B. Brown (2007). Religion of Islam: Agnosticism. Retrieved on 2008-05-25.
  13. ^ a b Sandro Magister (2007). Habermas writes to Ratzinger and Ruini responds. Retrieved on 2008-05-25.
  14. ^ Why can’t I live my life as an agnostic? (2007). Retrieved on 2008-05-25.
  15. ^ Ratzinger, Joseph (2006). Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. Ignatius Press. ISBN 9781586171421. 
  16. ^ a b Argument from Pascal's Wager (2007). Retrieved on 2008-05-25.
  17. ^ a b c d Ratzinger, Joseph (2005). The Yes of Jesus Christ: Spiritual Exercises in Faith, Hope, and Love. Cross Roads Publishing. 
  18. ^ Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God, from the Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli, SJ, Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  19. ^ Ratzinger, Joseph (2007). Jesus of Nazareth. Random House. 
  20. ^ a b Ratzinger, Joseph (2004). Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief And World Religions. Ignatius Press. 
  21. ^ Benedict XVI, Address at the University of Regensburg 2006

Not to be confused with New Catholic Encyclopedia. ... Not to be confused with New Catholic Encyclopedia. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Man's Place In Nature, Thomas Huxley, ISBN 0-375-75847-X
  • Why I Am Not a Christian, Bertrand Russell, ISBN 0-671-20323-1
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume, ISBN 0-14-044536-6
  • Language, Truth, and Logic, A.J. Ayer, ISBN 0-486-20010-8
  • Atheism, the Case Against God, George H. Smith, ISBN 0-87975-124-X
  • CIA estimate of religious affiliation by country uses "other", "none", or "unspecified" as descriptive terms

External links

Look up Agnosticism in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Agnosticism
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Agnosticism.
  • Agnostic Discussion Forums: Gathering place for agnostics to share views.
  • What Is An Agnostic? by Bertrand Russell, [1953].
  • Why I am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell (March 6, 1927).
  • Why I Am An Agnostic by Robert G. Ingersoll, [1896].
  • Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Agnosticism
  • The Internet Infidels Discussion Forums(Worldwide)
  • The Secular Web
  • Apathetic Agnostics
  • Some reflections and quotes about agnosticism
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry
  • Agnosticism - from ReligiousTolerance.org
  • Agnosticismo Spanish/Español with videos.
  • Agnostic Universe
  • What do Agnostics Believe? - A Jewish perspective
  • agnosticism Robert Todd Carroll, Skeptic's Dictionary
  • Fides et Ratio – the relationship between faith and reason Karol Wojtyla [1998]
  • A critical examination of the agnostic Buddhism of Stephen Batchelor
  • Catholic Encyclopedia on agnosticism
  • A primer on negative atheism and agnosticism
Image File history File links Portal. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Agnosticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2215 words)
Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the truth values of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims and theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities—are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent, and therefore, (some agnostics may go as far to say) irrelevant to life.
Agnosticism is not to be confused with a view specifically opposing the doctrine of gnosis and Gnosticism—these are religious concepts that are not generally related to agnosticism.
Agnostic views are as old as philosophical skepticism, but the terms agnostic and agnosticism were created by Huxley to sum up his thoughts on contemporary developments of metaphysics about the "unconditioned" (Hamilton) and the "unknowable" (Herbert Spencer).
Encyclopedia4U - Agnosticism - Encyclopedia Article (1114 words)
The terms agnosticism and agnostic were coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869 to describe the philosophical and theological view that the truth of the unexistence or existence of God, immortality, and the like are inherently unknowable.
Agnosticism is not to be confused with a view specifically opposing the doctrine of gnosis and Gnosticism - these are religious concepts that are not directly related to agnosticism.
Huxley's agnosticism is believed to be a natural consequence of the intellectual and philosophical conditions of the 1860s, when clerical intolerance was trying to suppress scientific discoveries which appeared to clash with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis and other established christian doctrines.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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