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Agnosticism: Timeline

  
  
  
  
  

  • 18th century

    • 1754: De Bonald (1754-1840), in his theory that language is of divine origin, containing, preserving, and transmitting the primitive revelation of Good to man; De Lammenais (1782-1854), in his theory that individual reason is powerless, and social reason alone competent; Bonetty (1798-1879), in his advocacy of faith in God, the Scriptures, and the Church, afford instances of Catholic theologians attempting to combine belief in moral and religious truths with the denial that valid knowledge of the same is attainable by reason apart from revelation and tradition. - Agnosticism, Biblewiki.
  • 19th century

    • 1800s

    • 1820s

      • 1820: To these systems of Fideism and Traditionalism should be added the theory of Mansel (1820-71), which Spencer regarded as a confession of Agnosticism, that the very inability of reason to know the being and attributes of God proves that revelation is necessary to supplement the mind's shortcomings. - Agnosticism, Biblewiki.
    • 1840s

    • 1860s

      • 1860: Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word agnostic in 1860. - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • 1860s: Huxley's agnosticism is believed to be a natural consequence of the intellectual and philosophical conditions of the 1860s, when clerical intolerance was trying to suppress scientific discoveries which appeared to clash with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis and other established Jewish and Christian doctrines. - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • September 23, 1860: In a letter to Charles Kingsley (September 23, 1860) he wrote very fully concerning his beliefs: "I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
      • September 23, 1860: In a letter of September 23, 1860, to Charles Kingsley, Huxley discussed his views extensively: - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • 1861: Job Harriman (1861-1925) was an ordained minister who later became an agnostic and a socialist. - Job Harriman, Wikipedia.
      • May 5, 1863: I have champed up all that chaff about the ego and the non-ego, noumena and phenomena, and all the rest of it, too often not to know that in attempting even to think of these questions, the human intellect flounders at once out of its depth." And again, to the same correspondent, the 5th of May 1863: "I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
      • May 6, 1863: And again, to the same correspondent, May 6, 1863: - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • 1869: AGNOSTICISM. The term "agnostic" was invented by Huxley in 1869 to describe the philosophical and religious attitude of those who hold that we can have scientific or real knowledge of phenomena only, and that so far as what may lie behind phenomena is concerned - God, immortality, &c. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1869: Though Huxley began to use the term "agnostic" in 1869, his opinions had taken shape some time before that date. - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • 1869: (1) The word Agnostic (Greek a, privative + gnostikós "knowing") was coined by Professor Huxley in 1869 to describe the mental attitude of one who regarded as futile all attempts to know the reality corresponding to our ultimate scientific, philosophic, and religious ideas. - Agnosticism, Biblewiki.
      • 1869: Though Huxley only began to use the term "agnostic" in 1869, his opinions had taken shape some time before that date. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
    • 1870s

    • 1880s

      • 1881: Hutton, who in 1881 wrote that the word "was suggested by Huxley at a meeting held previous to the formation of the now defunct Metaphysical Society at Mr Knowles's house on Clapham Common in 1869, in my hearing. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1881: Creighton and James Seth he founded in 1892 The Philosophical Review. He also wrote Kantian Ethics and the Ethics of Evolution (1881); The Ethical Import of Darwinism (1888); Belief in God (1890), and Agnosticism and Religion (1896). - Jacob Gould Schurman, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1884: MacCosh published a short pamphlet (1884) containing interesting but perhaps not conclusive arguments on the Agnosticism of Hume and Huxley. - David Hume, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1888: 1888) he applied to Christian theology the metaphysical agnosticism which seemed to result from Kant's criticism, and which had been developed in Hamilton's Philosophy of the Unconditioned. While denying all knowledge of the supersensuous, Mansel deviated from Kant in contending that cognition of the ego as it really is is itself a fact of experience. - Henry Longueville Mansel, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1888: He also wrote Kantian Ethics and the Ethics of Evolution (1881); The Ethical Import of Darwinism (1888); Belief in God (1890), and Agnosticism and Religion (1896). - Jacob Gould Schurman, Wikipedia.
      • February, 1889: "Agnosticism is not properly described as a "negative" creed, nor indeed as a creed of any kind, except in so far as it expresses absolute faith in the validity of a principle which is as much ethical as intellectual. This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to agnosticism." - Agnosticism, Wikiquote.
      • April, 1889: He also authored articles, one in particular directed against Huxley's Agnosticism, entitled "'Cowardly Agnosticism' A Word with Professor Huxley," in the April 1889 issue of The Fortnightly Review. - William Hurrell Mallock, Wikipedia.
      • 1889: "I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took." - Agnosticism, Wikiquote.
      • 1889: "The justification of the agnostic principle lies in the success which follows upon its application, whether in the field of natural or in that of civil history; and in the fact that, so far as these topics are concerned, no sane man thinks of denying its validity." - Thomas Henry Huxley, Wikiquote.
      • 1889: And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable" (Huxley, Agnosticism, 1889). - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • 1889: "Agnosticism is not properly described as a "negative" creed, nor indeed as a creed of any kind, except in so far as it expresses absolute faith in the validity of a principle which is as much ethical as intellectual." - Thomas Henry Huxley, Wikiquote.
      • 1889: "When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist or a pantheist, a materialist or an idealist, a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer. The one thing on which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis" — had more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure that I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble." - Agnosticism, Wikiquote.
      • 1889: "The extent of the region of the uncertain, the number of the problems the investigation of which ends in a verdict of not proven, will vary according to the knowledge and the intellectual habits of the individual agnostic. I do not very much care to speak of anything as unknowable." - Thomas Henry Huxley, Wikiquote.
      • 1889: "So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant." - Thomas Henry Huxley, Wikiquote.
      • 1889: " This is what agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to agnosticism." - Thomas Henry Huxley, Wikiquote.
    • 1890s

      • 1893: Stephen, An Agnostic's Apology (1893); R. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1896: In an 1896 lecture titled Why I Am An Agnostic, Ingersoll related why he was an agnostic: - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
      • 1896: Ward in his Gifford lectures for 1896-1898 (Naturalism and Agnosticism, 1899), Huxley's challenge ("I know what I mean when I say I believe in the law of the inverse squares, and I will not rest my life and my hopes upon weaker convictions") is one which a spiritualistic philosophy need not shrink from accepting at the hands of naturalistic agnosticism. - Agnosticism, 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1896: "For the most part we inherit our opinions. We are the heirs of habits and mental customs. Our beliefs, like the fashion of our garments, depend on where we were born. We are molded and fashioned by our surroundings." - Robert G. Ingersoll, Wikiquote.
      • 1897: "The fact that a category lives subjectively in the act of knowing is no proof that the category does not at the same time truly express the nature of the reality known", [Seth, "Two Lectures on Theism" (New York, 1897) p. - Agnosticism, Biblewiki.
      • 1899: Beside the article "Psychology" in the Ency. Brit. (9th, 10th and 1 1th ed.) he has published Naturalism and Agnosticism (1899, 3rd ed. - James Ward (Pyschologist), 1911encyclopedia.
      • 1899: Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism (1899). - Naturalism, 1911encyclopedia.
  • 20th century

    • 1900s

    • 1910s

    • 1920s

      • July 13, 1925: "I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means." - Agnosticism, Wikiquote.
      • 1927: Bertrand Russell's pamphlet, Why I Am Not a Christian, based on a speech delivered in 1927 and later included in a book of the same title, is considered a classic statement of agnosticism. - Agnosticism, Wikipedia.
    • 1930s

    • 1940s

    • 1950s

    • 1960s

    • 1980s

    • 1990s

      • 1990s: Through his writings of 1990s, he established himself as a freethinker and appeared to be an agnostic. - Humayun Azad, Wikipedia.
      • 1990: From 8.2% in 1990,[143] 16.1% in 2007 described themselves as agnostic, atheist, or simply having no religion. - United States, Wikipedia.
      • 1994: (Jančar himself is an agnostic.) However, he had been attacking the liberal media for similar attitudes since 1994, when his essay "Egyptian Pots of Meat" blamed the media for having helped the rise of the chauvinistic Slovenian National Party. - Drago Jančar, Wikipedia.
      • 1999: His book, Au bonheur de vivre: libres propos d'un mécréant (Éditions Complexe, 1999), traces the evolution of his religious philosophy which began with devout Catholicism and evolved into agnostic humanism. - Paul Danblon, Wikipedia.
      • 1999: "I am a skeptic about everything, including God and atheism. I am not certain about issues of cosmology. Sometimes I believe that our universe is the result of random forces. Other times I believe that there must be some order or purpose, though I do not begin to understand what or who it could be. I do not expect that these cosmic doubts will ever be resolved in my mind. I am more certain that the miraculous stories that form the basis of most religious beliefs are myths. Yet I respect the Bible and enjoy reading and teaching it. Indeed, I find it even more fascinating as a human creation than as a divine revelation. I consider myself a committed Jew, but I do not believe that being a Jew requires belief in the supernatural. When I attend synagogue, as I often do, or conduct Sabbath, Passover, or Chanukah services at home, I recite prayers. I am comfortable with these apparent contradictions. I am part of a long tradition that links to my heritage through the words and melodies of prayer. Indeed, it is while praying that I experience my greatest doubts about God, and it is while looking at the stars that I make the leap of faith. But it is not faith in the empirical truths of religious stories or in the authority of hierarchical religious organizations. If there is a governing force, He (or She or It) is certainly not in touch with those who purport to be speaking on His behalf." - Agnosticism, Wikiquote.
  • 21st century







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