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Feelosofi –  Agnosticism is a view in the field of religion and philosophy that is often misunderstood. This view carries the idea that humans cannot confirm or prove the existence of God or other supernatural entities. Agnosticism draws a sharp line between belief and disbelief, and in this article, we will dig deeper into this concept.

What Is Agnosticism?

Recognizing Agnosticism

Agnosticism, literally, comes from the Greek word “agnostos,” which means “unknown” or “unknowable.” This view was first popularized by the English philosopher , Thomas Huxley, in the 19th century. Basically, agnosticism is an attitude that states that we, as humans, do not have sufficient knowledge or evidence to determine the existence or nonexistence of God or supernatural entities.
Agnosticism is a philosophical view or attitude that recognizes that we cannot definitely know or prove the existence of God or other divine entities. Agnosticism emphasizes the inability of humans to achieve absolute knowledge about metaphysical matters, especially regarding the existence of God.

Agnostics believe that questions about God and His existence are mysteries that cannot be solved empirically or rationally. They tend to take a skeptical stance towards absolute religious beliefs, while remaining open to possibilities and reflecting on the nature of human existence in a broader context. Agnosticism is often considered an intellectual attitude that is considerate and respectful of the diversity of religious beliefs and individual beliefs.

Not The Same As Atheism

Agnosticism and atheism are two different concepts although they both relate to belief in the existence of God or divine entities. The difference lies in the approach to the question:

  1. Agnosticism : Agnosticism is a philosophical stance that recognizes uncertainty regarding the existence of God or divine entities. Agnostics argue that we cannot definitely prove or disprove the existence of God because his nature is metaphysical and beyond the reach of human observation or understanding. In this case, agnostics do not take a firm stance either as religious believers or as atheists . They usually open themselves to various possibilities and emphasize the inability of humans to have absolute knowledge in these matters.
  2. Atheism : Atheism is the belief that there is no God or divine entity. Atheists believe that there is insufficient empirical or rational evidence to support the existence of God, and therefore, they reject the existence of God. Atheists can have a variety of reasons for this belief, but it boils down to a rejection of belief in the existence of God.

So, the main difference between agnosticism and atheism is in the approach to the question of the existence of God. Agnosticism emphasizes human uncertainty and inability to decide, while atheism is the active belief that God does not exist. However, it is important to remember that there is a wide spectrum within these two concepts, and people may have different views on this. Some people may combine elements of agnosticism and atheism in their views of religion and spirituality.

Varian Agnosticism

Agnosticism Theistic

Theistic agnosticism is a concept that may sound paradoxical, because it combines two views that so far seem contradictory: agnosticism and theism. Theistic agnosticism refers to the view that although a person may have belief in God or a divine entity, they nevertheless recognize the uncertainty and inability of humans to fully understand or prove the existence of God.

In theistic agnosticism, a person may have a personal belief in God, perhaps based on religious beliefs or spirituality, but they do not claim to have absolute knowledge or solid empirical evidence of God’s existence. They may regard their beliefs as a matter of personal faith and belief, while remaining open to uncertainty in this regard.

The concept of theistic agnosticism reflects an awareness of the complexity and mystery of religious belief. It may also reflect an attitude that values ​​humility in the face of metaphysical questions that are difficult to resolve definitively. Thus, theistic agnosticism allows a person to live out their religious beliefs without claiming absolute knowledge or criticizing the beliefs of others who may differ.

Agnosticism Atheistic

Atheistic agnosticism is a concept that combines elements of both agnosticism and atheism . This refers to the view that a person may not have belief in the existence of God or a divine entity, but at the same time, they acknowledge uncertainty in this regard.

In atheistic agnosticism, a person does not actively believe in the existence of God. They may consider that there is not enough empirical or rational evidence to support the existence of God, and therefore, they tend to take an atheist stance in the sense of not believing in God. However, they also recognize that in metaphysical problems such as these, it is difficult to achieve absolute knowledge or allow for complete understanding.

The concept of atheistic agnosticism reflects a skeptical attitude towards religious beliefs while still recognizing uncertainty regarding the existence of God. This can be a view that allows one to live a life without religious beliefs, while respecting the diversity of other people’s beliefs and recognizing the complexity of these metaphysical questions.

Perspective Of Agnosticism In Everyday Life

Ethics And Morality

Here are some ways the perspective of agnosticism can influence ethics and morality in everyday life:

  1. Ethics Based on Rationality : Agnostics often attempt to formulate ethical principles based on rational and logical considerations rather than relying on religious law. They may reflect on the consequences of their actions and decide on the basis of sound ethical considerations.
  2. Respect for Diversity : Agnostics tend to respect the diversity of different religious beliefs and ethical views. They may be more open to understanding and tolerance of different views, as they also recognize uncertainty when it comes to religious beliefs.
  3. Ethical Independence : Agnostics may feel more independent in devising their own ethical principles rather than adhering to the dogma of a particular religion. They can make empathy, justice, and wisdom the guiding principles of their morality.
  4. Focus on Worldly Life : Agnostics tend to focus more on life in this world rather than thinking about the afterlife. Therefore, they may be more oriented towards creating positive change in this world and taking responsibility for their actions in this world.
  5. Respect for Science : Agnostics may be more open to science and the scientific method as a tool for understanding the world and providing reliable ethical guidance. They often view science as a powerful source of knowledge to guide their moral decisions.

It is important to remember that the perspective of agnosticism in ethics and morality can vary from individual to individual. Despite uncertainty regarding religious beliefs, many agnostics maintain a strong ethical framework and moral principles that they adhere to. They often seek the best way to live ethically and responsibly according to their view of the world and life.

The Quest For Truth

Here are some ways the perspective of agnosticism influences the daily search for truth:

  1. Open Attitude : Agnostics tend to have an open attitude towards various views, beliefs and knowledge. They realize that there is no absolute understanding of the truth, and therefore, they are willing to listen to the views of others and undergo intellectual exploration.
  2. Rational Considerations : Agnostics often approach the search for truth with rational and logical considerations. They may be more likely to rely on evidence and testable arguments rather than beliefs based on faith alone.
  3. Emphasis on Science : Many agnostics value the scientific method as a powerful tool for seeking truth. They may be more inclined to seek scientific explanations for the phenomena and problems they encounter.
  4. Tolerance for Uncertainty : Agnostics develop a tolerance for uncertainty in the search for truth. They realize that some questions may not have definitive answers, and this makes them more patient and accepting of uncertainty in knowledge.
  5. Ethical Considerations : In their search for truth, agnostics often consider the ethical aspects of their actions. They may assess whether a truth or knowledge can be used to provide positive benefits or create a better impact in their lives and society.
  6. Openness To Change : Agnostics are usually more open to change in their understanding of truth. They readily accept that their views may evolve as time passes and new knowledge emerges.

In the search for everyday truth, an agnosticism perspective often results in an approach that is careful, critical, and oriented towards rational thinking. They may see the search for truth as an ongoing journey and not always having a definite end goal. This makes them more flexible in accepting new knowledge and developing a deeper understanding of the world and life.


Agnosticism is a view that emphasizes human uncertainty in determining the existence of God or supernatural entities. This is not a form of atheism , but rather a skeptical attitude that allows for a diversity of beliefs. Agnostics are truth seekers who are always open to new knowledge.


What Is The Difference Between Agnosticism And Atheism?

Agnosticism is an attitude that expresses uncertainty about the existence of God, while atheism is the belief that God does not exist.

Do Agnostics Have Ethics And Morality?

Agnostics often rely on the principles of secular ethics and philosophy to guide their actions.

Do Agnostics Seek Truth?

Yes, agnostics are truth seekers who are always open to new knowledge.

Can Agnosticism Coexist With Religious Belief?

Yes, theistic agnosticism allows a person to maintain religious beliefs.

How Does Agnosticism Affect A Person’s Outlook On Life?

Agnosticism tends to make a person more skeptical and open to a variety of views and beliefs.


  • Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction” oleh Robin Le Poidevin (2000).
  • The Varieties of Religious Experience” oleh William James (1902).
  • The Agnostic Reader” oleh S.T. Joshi (2007).
  • Why I Am Agnostic” oleh Robert G. Ingersoll (1899).
  • Agnosticism and Christianity” oleh Thomas Henry Huxley (1889).
  • Agnosticism and Theism in the Nineteenth Century” oleh Alan G. Padgett (1985).
  • Agnosticism and the Gospel” oleh Thomas Huxley (1889).
  • What Is Agnosticism?” oleh Bertrand Russell (1953).
  • Agnosticism and Christianity and Other Essays” oleh Thomas Henry Huxley (1889).
  • The Philosophy of Agnosticism” oleh George Jacob Holyoake (1896).

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Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Agnosticism," Feelosofi, 1 November 2023, https://feelosofi.com/en/agnosticism/
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast