Agnosticism is the view that the truth value o certaint claims—especially claims aboot the existence or non-existence o ony deity, but an' a' ither releegious an metaphysical claims—is unkent or unkenable. Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, an is whiles uised tae indicate doubt or a skeptical approach tae questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance aboot the similarities or differences atween belief an knawledge, rather than aboot ony specific claim or belief.
Thomas Henry Huxley, an Inglis biologist, coined the wird agnostic in 1869. Housomeivver, earlier thinkers an written works hae promotit agnostic pynts o view. Thay include Protagoras, a 5t-century BCE Greek philosopher, an the Nasadiya Sukta creation meeth in the Rig Veda, an auncient Hindu releegious text. Syne Huxley coined the term, mony ither thinkers hae written extensively aboot agnosticism.
- Carroll, Robert (2009-02-22). "agnosticism". The Skeptic's Dictionary. skepdic.com. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- "The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Protagoras (c. 490 - c. 420 BCE)". Retrieved 2008-10-06.
While the pious might wish to look to the gods to provide absolute moral guidance in the relativistic universe of the Sophistic Enlightenment, that certainty also was cast into doubt by philosophic and sophistic thinkers, who pointed out the absurdity and immorality of the conventional epic accounts of the gods. Protagoras' prose treatise about the gods began 'Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not or of what sort they may be. Many things prevent knowledge including the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life.'
- Patri, Umesh and Prativa Devi. "Progress of Atheism in India: A Historical Perspective". Atheist Centre 1940-1990 Golden Jubilee. Vijayawada, February 1990. Retrieved 2007-04-02.