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Religions and ethical systems

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Agnostics and Agnosticism:
Uncertainty about whether God exists

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Summary:

The world is composed mainly of Theists: people who believe in the existence of one or more Gods and/or Goddesses out of the many thousands that have been worshipped down through history.

A minority of people are strong Atheists who deny that any deity or deities exist. They believe that the hundreds of the religious creation stories that exist in the world have it all wrong: A deity or deities did not create humans; it was humans who created -- and continue to create -- the many thousands of Gods and Goddess that people have devoutly and sincerely worshiped over hundreds of thousands of years.

However, there is a third group who, when asked whether a deity or deities exist, don't have a yes or no answer. They are the 10% of American adults who hold Agnostic beliefs about God's existence.

Some agnostics who enjoy religious discussion, fellowship, or ritual join a local congregation of the Unitarian-Universalist Association or an Ethical Culture group. Many others are solitary Agnostics.

Topics covered in this section:

bulletQuotations. Etymology. History. Beliefs of Agnostics.
 
bulletAgnostic-Atheists. Agnostic-Theists. More definitions. Famous Agnostics.
 
bulletAgnostic: Numbers, Internet resources, Books.

bullet An article by famed lawyer Vincent Bugliosi, titled: "Why do I Doubt both the Atheists and the Theists?"

bullet An article by Susan Humphreys: "Can Theists and Atheists coexist?" Although primarily about Atheists, much of it applies to Agnostics as well

Full disclosure:

The author of this section is the webmaster of this web site. He was raised a Christian. As a child, he dutifully said his prayers ever night. He attended Sunday School at the Leaside United Church in what is now Metropolitan Toronto, ON, Canada. He had difficulties understanding some of the Bible stories. While learning the Exodus story, he sympathized with the Egyptians who lost their first-born children, and faced extreme hardship because of the death of the first-born of their livestock. While being taught about the Flood of Noah, he sympathized with the newborns, infants, children, youth, adults and elderly who died an awful death through drowning. Never having sensed the presence of God at any time in his life, he  became an Agnostic in his early teen years. He has unsuccessfully and continually sought God ever since. He has remained an Agnostic for six decades -- so far. But who knows what the future may bring? The Bible may be right in Deuteronomy 4:29, Proverbs 8:17, Jeremiah 29:13. Matthew 7:7-8, and Luke 11:9-10 when it says that those who seek God will find him. One can always hope.

Copyright © 1997 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update and review: 2013-MAY-16
Author: B.A. Robinson.
 

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