Greek agnōstos, unknowable, strictly speaking, the doctrine that humans cannot know of the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of their experience. The term has come to be equated in popular parlance with skepticism about religious questions in general and in particular with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought


The second British census in 2011 counted 14.1 million irreligious people. This made irreligion the second-largest viewpoint on religion after Christianity, larger than the combined populations of non-Christian religions in the UK

Freedom to be irreligious had been limited by the country’s blasphemy law, which punished criticism and mockery of Christianity, particularly the state Church of England. The last conviction was in 1977, with the law being abolished in England and Wales in 2008. Similar offences remain in statute in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and remain theoretically incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998 and European Convention on Human Rights

The American Heritage Dictionary, wikipedia, Encyclopædia Britannica

The American Heritage Dictionary notes that 19th-century British scientist Thomas H. Huxley invented the word agnostic

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