Agnosticism

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Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable.[1] Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the similarities or differences between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief.

Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word agnostic in 1869. However, earlier thinkers and written works have promoted agnostic points of view. They include Protagoras, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher,[2] and the Nasadiya Sukta creation myth in the Rig Veda, an ancient Hindu religious text.[3] Since Huxley coined the term, many other thinkers have written extensively about agnosticism.

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Defining agnosticism

Demographic research services normally list agnostics in the same category as atheists and/or non-religious people.[4] Some sources use agnostic in the sense of noncommittal.[5] Agnosticism often overlaps with other belief systems. Agnostic theists identify themselves both as agnostics and as followers of particular religions, viewing agnosticism as a framework for thinking about the nature of belief and their relation to revealed truths. Some nonreligious people, such as author Philip Pullman, identify as both agnostic and atheist.[6]

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