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03-Nov-2019 04:42

Etymology, however, and now common usage, do permit less limited uses of the term.The Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, for instance, in his (1908), distinguished the extremes of true materialism on the one hand and the bold idealism of George Berkeley, an 18th-century idealist, on the other.If these two varieties of agnosticism be admitted, then Huxley’s original agnosticism may be marked off from the latter as (not religious but) secular and from the former as (not religious but) atheist—construing “atheist” here as a word as wholly negative and neutral as “atypical” or “asymmetrical.” These, without pejorative insinuations, mean merely “not typical” or “not symmetrical” (the atheist is thus one who is simply without a belief in God).Huxley himself allowed for the possibility of an agnosticism that was in these senses religious—even Christian—as opposed to atheist.It is also possible to speak of a religious agnosticism.But if this expression is not to be contradictory, it has to be taken to refer to an acceptance of the agnostic principle, combined either with a conviction that at least some minimum of affirmative doctrine can be established on adequate grounds, or else with the sort of religion or religiousness that makes no very substantial or disputatious doctrinal demands.It was indeed on this misunderstanding that Huxley and his associates were attacked both by enthusiastic Christian polemicists and by Friedrich Engels, the co-worker of Karl Marx, as “shame-faced atheists,” a description that is perfectly applicable to many of those who nowadays adopt the more comfortable label.), confidently challenges not merely religious or metaphysical knowledge but all knowledge claims that venture beyond immediate experience.

By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms.Thus, in another 1889 essay “Agnosticism and Christianity,” he contrasted “scientific theology,” with which “agnosticism has no quarrel,” with “Ecclesiasticism, or, as our neighbours across the Channel call it, Clericalism,” and his complaint against the latter’s proponents was not that they reach substantive conclusions different from his own but that they maintain “that it is morally wrong not to believe certain propositions, whatever the results of strict scientific investigation of the evidence of these propositions.” The second possibility, that of an agnosticism that is religious as opposed to secular, was realized perhaps most strikingly in the Buddha.

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