Since ancient times, India has known atheists, but I have not heard of any agnostic person tlll in recent past. The idea of
agnosticism seems to have come to India from the west. This word therefore puzzles me. A theist afirms that yes, there
is a god in whom he believes. An atheist says that no, there is no god. Both of these are firm statements and each
person making these has something to say that is specific. However, the statement that "There is probably no god "
sounds hollow. It is as good as saying "There is probably some god." In either case, someone who says this, does not
appear to have much to say. If you have a 10% doubt that god may exist, you are an agnostic. It is the same if
you have 20% , 50% or 90% doubt. So where does agnosticism stand? Does it really mean anything? If an agnostic is
so much in un-resolvable doubt, should he declare himself as an agnostic, that is, a person not capable of resolving his
The usual excuse for such a doubt is that no one can be 100% sure of anything, but we are so sure of many things in life.
If we have doubt on any subject, we take pains to resolve our doubt. Is it so difficult to resolve a doubt on the existance
of god that it can never be resolved and so force a person to remain an agnostic for all his life? If this were so, there would
be no atheists in the world. Does the agnostic lack something that an atheist has? Or, does an atheist overstep a
limit of sound judgement?
Russel and Dawkins didn't coin the term. Darwin's Bulldog did.
Move the goalposts all you want, hey …even Presidents call Ketchup a vegetable, …I guess it must be.
But, only if it makes one feel better than those who think ketchup is actually a condiment.
What ever floats your boat.
You want fries with that?
How many threads have you started where you try to redefine these words, …only to abandon and start anew?
I've counted four, are there more?
Do you know Ben Franklin? …he has a really neat definition.
"I ... invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic,' ... antithetic to the 'Gnostic' of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. [T.H. Huxley, "Science and Christian Tradition," 1889]
The adjective is first recorded 1873."
How did you know that?
I grew up in a home with an extensive library, Darwin, Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Descartes, de Bono, de Beauvoir, …(just a few "D's", we did have many Dictionaries, but were never taught that they were the ultimate arbiter of meaning alone); were required reading in my home if you wanted to understand dad.
My father also had a close connection to Thomas Huxley's grandson, Aldus; from close associations to the research in the '50s that fueled much of Aldus Huxley's work.