What Is An Agnostic
An essay about the basic tenets of agnosticism by Bertrand Russell
“What Is an Agnostic” is an essay written by Bertrand Russell which identifies the basic tenets of agnosticism. It is presented in a question and answer format and deals with some of the most fundamental issues of what it means to be a true skeptic. His writing opens with the premise that “an agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned”. This is of course in contrast with atheism which dictates that God absolutely does not exist in any form whatsoever.
Bertrand Arthur Russell (May 18, 1972 – February 2, 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, and political activist. He was also a Nobel Prize winner in Literature who considered himself as an agnostic thinker. Russell regarded religion as little more than superstition which for the most part inflicted harm on people in spite of any positive effects. It was his position that religious extremism served to impede knowledge while fostering fear and dependency. To this end, he deemed religion as responsible for much of our wars, oppression, and misery.
This essay is hosted by Scepsis.net which identifies itself as a “magazine of science and social criticism”. Scepsis's goal, as the title suggests, consists in counterbalancing all sorts of dogmas pervading society. The quarterly is published by a group of young scholars, who do not find themselves under the auspice of any political parties, or any local or foreign trusts, and who therefore are independent in their scientific research and the expression of their opinion.