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agnosticism

[ag-nos-tuh-siz-uh m]
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noun
  1. the doctrine or belief of an agnostic.
  2. an intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge.

Origin of agnosticism

First recorded in 1870–75; agnostic + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for agnosticism

n.

1870, from agnostic + -ism.

The agnostic does not simply say, "I do not know." He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. [Robert G. Ingersoll, "Reply to Dr. Lyman Abbott," 1890]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

agnosticism in Culture

agnosticism

[(ag-nos-tuh-siz-uhm)]

A denial of knowledge about whether there is or is not a God. An agnostic insists that it is impossible to prove that there is no God and impossible to prove that there is one. (Compare atheism.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.