Know Thyself


Hello, my name is Daniel Aliya, and I am the curator of this site. This site is mostly about MY agnosticism and my ideas and beliefs. I capitalized MY to recognize that my agnosticism is probably not the same as someone else's. Words mean usually what most people believe they mean, dictionaries as such are repositaries of commonly accepted usages.

Thomas Huxley

Webster defines agnosticism as "the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable;" and broadly an agnostic as "one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god."

I disagree with that definition, for example, as an atheist, I do not BELIEVE in an ultimate reality (I like the part of the definition refering to 'God' as the ultimate reality).

I prefer the definition offered by Thomas Henry Huxley, pictured to the left, who coined the word in 1869. In 1889, he refined his definition in a way that I love:

"Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle. That principle is of great antiquity; it is as old as Socrates; as old as the writer who said, 'Try all things, hold fast by that which is good'...

I do consider agnosticsm a method, of questioning everything, not doubting everything, just questioning. I would simplify the definition by considering agnosticism to be ACTIVE SKEPTICISM.

Many have said that the credo of agnosticism is "There are no absolutes," which is an absolute by itself of course, but Bertrand Russell, a famous agnostic, played those word games long ago, telling us that "THIS SENTENCE IS A LIE." I prefer the motto that probably goes back to Carneades more than 2000 years ago that "Change is the only constant."

Change Is The Only Constant, coupled with Know Thyself, make a potent combination in our search of the answer to the philosophical questions.

Last modified August 27, 2014
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