Dictionary Definition of 'agnostic'
A person who holds the belief that the existence of God or a higher power cannot be known or proven.
"She identified as an agnostic, not committing to any religious belief."
Detailed Meaning of 'agnostic'
Agnostics do not claim to know whether God exists or not, but rather that the existence of God is unknown or unknowable. Agnostics believe that there is not enough evidence to prove or disprove the existence of God and therefore, do not commit to any belief about it. This differs from atheism, which is the belief that there is no God or gods, and from theism, which is the belief that there is a God or gods. Agnostics are often characterized by their skepticism and their refusal to make definitive claims about the existence or non-existence of God. Some agnostics also believe that the question of God's existence is unimportant or unanswerable and therefore, they do not focus on it, they may also believe that the concept of God is irrelevant or meaningless.
Examples of 'agnostic' in a Sentence
1. She's an agnostic, uncertain about the existence of a higher power.
2. Many scientists adopt an agnostic perspective on spiritual matters.
3. As an agnostic, he explores different belief systems.
4. Agnostics seek evidence before embracing any religious doctrine.
5. The debate between the atheist and the agnostic was intense.
6. Agnostics often ponder life's purpose without religious guidance.
History and Etymology of 'agnostic'
The noun 'agnostic' has its etymological roots in the Greek language. It is derived from the Greek word 'agnostos,' which is a combination of 'a-' meaning 'without' and 'gnōstos,' meaning 'known' or 'knowable.' Therefore, 'agnostos' originally meant 'unknown' or 'unknowable.' In the late 19th century, the term 'agnostic' was coined to describe a person who holds the belief that the existence of God or a higher power cannot be known or proven definitively. The etymology of 'agnostic' underscores its fundamental concept of uncertainty or lack of knowledge regarding matters of religious or spiritual belief, reflecting the idea that some things may remain beyond human comprehension or empirical verification.
Quiz Categories Containing 'agnostic'