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Agnostic Beliefs about Religion

Updated on February 29, 2020

Ok, so what do you call a dyslexic agnostic insomniac?

Someone who lays awake all night wondering if there really is a dog.

All kidding aside, the beliefs of an agnostic person are filled with reflection, contemplation and truth-seeking. The official definition of Agnosticism is 'the belief that the truth regarding things such as the existance of God, life after death, the soul or reality itself is unknown.' A term coined in 1869 by Thomas Huxley, he used the word to thumb his nose at the entire religious world and it's assumptions and teachings of any kind of faith-based knowledge.

Agnostics are not Atheists

Whereas Atheists choose not to believe in a spiritual entity with any sort of omniscient power, Agnosts merely dispute the truth. An atheist would make the statement "There is no God." On the other hand, an Agnost would make the statement "There might or might not be a God, further investigation is required."

Types of Agnosts

Like anything relating to a classification of religious belief or preference, there are spectrums of types under the umbrella of agnosticism.

The Absolute Agnost operates with the view that God's existence is unknowable through anything but fallible and subjective anecdote. Meanwhile, a Soft Agnost withholds judgment in favor of or against the existence of God until concrete and undisputed proof becomes available. Viewing the whole debate over whether God exists or not, apathetic Agnosts consider the question to be academic in nature and that while God may or may not exist, He/She/It does not care for the universe. Agnostic Theists and Agnostic Atheists are individuals who believe or do not believe in the existence of God, but claim not to know whether this belief is true. Ignostics argue the definition of God rather than the knowledge of his existence, if God cannot be defined then how can His/Her/It’s existences is tested?

Agnosticism is a complex system hinging on a simple question of testable, defined existence. Many agnostic people, much like atheists, refuse to believe without irrefutable proof. Meanwhile, the search for answers is ever-present, and when answers come, there are always more questions.

Agnosticism differs from atheism in the way that rather than forming a judgment, an Agnost recognizes the need for doubt, relying on the search for answers rather than pointing to the search for definitive proof as a way to disprove the existence of the Divine.

Notable Agnosts include:

  • Mark Twain, author of Tom Sawyer and satirical writer.
  • Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons.
  • Zac Efron, super cute star of High School Musical.
  • Protagoras, Greek Sophist.
  • Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the UK.
  • Marie Curie, chemist, physicist, and Nobel Prize winner.
  • Albert Einstein, physicist with great hair.

Comments

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    • profile image

      larry 

      7 years ago

      There was something that happened to create all space, matter, and forces. No one, to my knowledge, knows how or when. If matter, space, and forces is a marage due to chemical reactions acted upon matter, than all is just an allusion and we don't exist either, only to the point at which the chemical reaction observes itself, which again is another illusion. Like looking through two mirrors into infinity. I think that I think, that I think,......................................

    • profile image

      richard 

      7 years ago

      is there such as an agnostic spiritualist

    • profile image

      angie 

      7 years ago

      Does Agnostic people attend parties and gatherings?

    • profile image

      Jason 

      8 years ago

      To those how are Catholic so long a go thank you for killing the Agnostic people so long a go and helping rewrite there believes to blind those who don't fallow what you teach still to this day good job!!! Wich your teaching are the worst case of the telephone game ever and your still doing it pretty soon your teaching and book won't match up Oh that's right they don't... Around of applause for all those how help teach the same shit!!! Great Job Everyone... it's a true shame...

    • profile image

      Chrisopher Hammond 

      8 years ago

      My comment is simply I don't know. There is no written word or religious tenant that offers any consolation for me that the truth is understood. I have found no convincing evidence that any religion points to the truth. The existence of life and the cosmos leads me to believe there exists a creator of which I have no concept of its characteristics. If that makes me an atheist, agnostic or whatever you would like to call it, so be it.

    • profile image

      Anna 

      8 years ago

      I made my Confirmation as a Catholic about 2 months ago (I am 14), but recently I started to question and think about my own personal beliefs. I believe that Jesus was a real person (the Shroud of Turin is fairly good evidence), but when it comes to God, I'm not so sure. I feel that I am Agnostic. I believe in evolution (not the Bible's version of creation - with Adam and Eve). The more I think about it, the less evidence I find for God, apart from the Bible. The reason I am leaning towards Agnosticism is because I am not 100% sure there is a God, but I can't quite let go of the fact that I have been taught in two Catholic/religious schools and so we are taught to believe in God. Also, the majority of my family are completely Atheist, including my Dad. My Mum doesn't know what she is (she thinks she is Agnostic too), so I am not really sure what to believe. I know that I do not agree with some parts of the Bible, and I will not fully believe in God until there is enough evidence to prove the existence of God. Am I Agnostic? And can I say that I am Agnostic even though I was recently confirmed a Catholic? Thank you, Anna.

    • profile image

      johnny 

      8 years ago

      lets all just create a religon that best suits our life styles!

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      Clamel wrote:

      "was all those poeple really agnostic? I was always told Einstein was jewish?"

      Good question. Jewishness is an interesting concept. If your mother is Jewish, then other Jewish people will automatically accept you as being Jewish--even if you're not religiously observant. So it's possible to be culturally Jewish, without being religiously Jewish. This was the case with Einstein.

    • profile image

      JessicaNicole(: 

      9 years ago

      Well I really don't believe that God is here . And if he is he doesn't interact w/ peoples life . I just don't know what I am considered

    • profile image

      kris 

      9 years ago

      I was raised catholic and as I matured I grew to beleive that religion in general is just a racket. Does religion have its place in society. YES! Many people could not function without the promise of Life everlasting. It also gives people a reason to be and do good. I do not need a bribe of heaven to be a good person. Its like telling a 5 yr old, if your good, Santa will come. I always told people I was an atheist. This is like dropping the abomb. These kind and religious people ATTACKED!!! Learning about Agnostic beliefs just might let me keep all my teeth, when asked, what religion are you?

    • profile image

      Eli 

      9 years ago

      @Susan Ng..

      Human

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 

      9 years ago

      Hi, I lately have been feeling more toward agnostic but like one reader above, I love God and I often feel spiritual. Nice to know more about it, :)

    • profile image

      Brittany 

      9 years ago

      This has helped me very much with my school project XD

      Also Ive come to see what religion I truely believe in !

    • profile image

      cookie 

      9 years ago

      thanks i needed facts

    • profile image

      Buddhacat1988 

      9 years ago

      I'm an agnostic panentheist, which, I suppose, puts me in the agnostic theist category. However, I do not need irrefutable proof, since we really don't have that regarding the Big Bang. An event similar to the origin of our universe is obviously not observable. I nonetheless accept that theory because the evidence points to a very great *probability* that it is correct.

      Thus with religious suppositions--If there is a great probability, then I will consider Kierkegaard's challenge and take the leap of faith. However, I haven't run across any where there is enough of a probability, although Buddhism and Taoism come closer than the ones that believe in a personal deity that micromanages the world.

      (Referral to ancient scriptures isn't evidence to me. A scripture saying it's God's word is circular reasoning. You'd have to accept the truth of that statement before that statement has any relevance).

    • profile image

      Chasuk 

      9 years ago

      I've been an agnostic for over thirty years, thanks to Bertrand Russell and his essay "Why I Am Not A Christian."

      I suppose that you could classify me as an Agnostic Atheist, tinged by increasing apathy. Oddly, for me, the debate has become more interesting than the question.

      Thank you for the article, gamergirl.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      10 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Recent comments left which were disrespectful to the spirit of the Hub have been removed. My apologies to my readers.

    • profile image

      JustynRichie 

      10 years ago

      i've said i was agnostic for the past two years, or so. but never knew there were so many different types of agnost, and that they have different beliefs, some fairly significant. this article has opened my mind a little more, and now i can i tell people what kind of agnost i am....

      (:

    • profile image

      ~patrick 

      10 years ago

      To believe is to put all your eggs in someone else's basket. Agnostics simply want to know; They are aware of what they don't know--and they tend to have many eggs to share.

    • profile image

      elaine 

      10 years ago

      I'm looking at this page simply because my sister says that she is agnostic and although I've heard of this, since it is involving a family member I thought I would try to research it. I do believe in the bible, I'm actually a Seventh Day Adventist, for me I know that GOD exists because of all the answered prayers, I also have to wonder if Agnostics have done any studies at all of the bible? Well anyway, for me I would rather put my faith and trust in a GOD who is offering everlasting life, versus a scientist who is STILL trying to understand the secret to a longer life. I would rather live in a world with a perfect body, never get sick and never die. People our time on this Earth is very, very short. You never know when you will live your last day, wouldn't you rather not take a chance, just on the chance that there is everlasting life? It doesn't cost anything to believe.

    • profile image

      Clamel 

      11 years ago

      was all those poeple really agnostic? I was always told Einstein was jewish?

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 

      11 years ago from Central Oregon

      I had no idea there were terms for different kinds of agnostics. My mother was Catholic. As a little girl I was taught prayers and beliefs of that religion. Being a small child and thinking as one, I told myself I would hate anyone who didn't believe in God (shows my understanding of the subject). Sometime later my father told me he was agnostic and explained what that meant. I remembered my thoughts about the subject and considered how I could ever hate this man who I loved probably more than God.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Marshall 

      12 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Yippee! You're alive and well. I was worried as I didn't see you on the forums, etc. for a while. Good to *see* you again. Many hugs - Steph

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Hey Steph! I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina, actually. I'm glad your hubby found some sense in this, dearie. :D

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Marshall 

      12 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Oh.. I see. That might be my husband. He goes to church with me, but wonders why, and tells me that his belief needs not be paraded in front of anyone else. This makes sense for him.... Thank you! And how/where are you Charlotte? Just wondering... *hi* Steph

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 

      12 years ago

      Spiritualist... I like the sound of that. Haha! :D Thanks, Charlotte. :)

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      You'd be a Spiritualist, in that case Susan. Everyone worships in their own way, which is cool. :)

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 

      12 years ago

      What do you call someone who believes there is a Supreme Being but does not practice any one religion? :O Someone who focuses on philosophies and principles instead of rituals and practices?

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you, kerryg! My fiance happens to be an agnostic nihilist. :D

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 

      12 years ago from USA

      Very interesting to learn about the different types of agnosticism. In practice, I fall closest to the Absolute Agnostic camp, apparently, though I consider myself Christian because of my respect and love for Jesus's teachings.

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