Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
  • n. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The view that absolute truth or ultimate certainty is unattainable, especially regarding knowledge not based on experience or perceivable phenomena.
  • n. The view that the existence of God or of all deities is unknown, unknowable, unproven, or unprovable.
  • n. Doubt, uncertainty, or scepticism regarding the existence of a god or gods.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That doctrine which, professing ignorance, neither asserts nor denies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The doctrines of the agnostics; the doctrine that the ultimate cause and the essential nature of tilings are unknowable, or at least unknown.
  • n. Belief in the doctrines of the agnostics.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge
  • n. a religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God

Etymologies

a- + gnostic + -ism (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Coined by T.H. Huxley, the term agnosticism means "no knowledge" and thus contends one is unable to know anything about God

    Default Site Weblog

  • (I still think agnosticism is legitimate doctrine, although Dawkins railed against agnostics in the book).

    Think Progress » ThinkFast: February 1, 2010

  • Packet-agnosticism is a bad idea (which is why different levels of packet-inspection exist at all.)

    DPI is GOOD for you: ‘Um – crap’

  • But agnosticism is all about doubt and uncertainty and the courage to admit ignorance.

    Michael Krasny: Just Say 'I Don't Know'

  • But often agnosticism is really an expression of cant be bothered to think right now ...

    Fuzzy Fidelity

  • [4] Strong agnosticism is a religious application of this position.

    Backing Into an Evidentiary Standard for ID

  • The argument for government agnosticism is that, unlike government endorsement of any particular religious proposition, it is not in principle impossible for everyone to agree to it.

    Balkinization

  • Not along ago, I happened once again upon that old assertion that agnosticism is the only rational belief because, "You can't prove a negative."

    A Bland and Deadly Courtesy

  • When I say that the agnostics have discovered agnosticism, and have now recovered from the shock, I do not mean merely to sneer at the identity of the word agnosticism with the word ignorance.

    The New Jerusalem

  • In order to meet this demand, Huxley invented the word agnosticism, to serve as a label for his own attitude.

    Thomas Henry Huxley A Sketch Of His Life And Work

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