agnostic


agnostic
\ \ [19] Agnostic is an invented word. It was coined by the English biologist and religious sceptic T H Huxley (1825–95) to express his opposition to the views of religious gnostics of the time, who claimed that the world of the spirit (and hence God) was knowable (gnostic comes ultimately from Greek gnōsisknowledge’).
\ \ With the addition of the Greek-derived prefix a- ‘not’ Huxley proclaimed the ultimate unknowability of God. The circumstances of the coinage, or at least of an early instance of the word’s use by its coiner, were recorded by R H Hutton, who was present at a party held by the Metaphysical Society in a house on Clapham Common in 1869 when Huxley suggested agnostic, basing it apparently on St Paul’s reference to the altar of ‘the Unknown God’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • agnostic — AGNÓSTIC, Ă, agnostici, ce, adj., s.m. şi f. 1. adj. Care aparţine agnosticismului, privitor la agnosticism. 2. s.m. şi f. Adept al agnosticismului. – Din fr. agnostique. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  agnóstic …   Dicționar Român

  • agnostic — (n.) 1870, one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known [Klein]; coined by T.H. Huxley (1825 1895), supposedly in September 1869, from Gk. agnostos unknown, unknowable, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • agnostic — [ag näs′tik] n. [coined (1870) by HUXLEY Thomas Henry < A 2 + GNOSTIC] a person who believes that the human mind cannot know whether there is a God or an ultimate cause, or anything beyond material phenomena adj. of or characteristic of an… …   English World dictionary

  • Agnostic — Ag*nos tic, a. [Gr. a priv. + ? knowing, ? to know.] Professing ignorance; involving no dogmatic; pertaining to or involving agnosticism. {Ag*nos tic*al*ly}, adv. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Agnostic — Ag*nos tic, n. One who professes ignorance, or denies that we have any knowledge, save of phenomena; one who supports agnosticism, neither affirming nor denying the existence of a personal Deity, a future life, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • agnostic — index skeptical Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • agnostic — n *atheist, deist, freethinker, unbeliever, infidel …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • agnostic — [n] person unsure that God exists doubter, freethinker, materialist, skeptic, unbeliever; concept 361 Ant. believer …   New thesaurus

  • agnostic — ► NOUN ▪ a person who believes that nothing can be known concerning the existence of God. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to agnostics. DERIVATIVES agnosticism noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Agnostic — the philosophical view that the truth values of certain claims particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent, and therefore, (some agnostics may go as far to… …   Mini philosophy glossary

  • agnostic — [[t]ægnɒ̱stɪk[/t]] agnostics 1) N COUNT An agnostic believes that it is not possible to know whether God exists or not. Compare atheist. Vasari claimed with horror that he was, if not an atheist, then an agnostic. Syn: unbeliever 2) ADJ Agnostic… …   English dictionary


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