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Doctrine that one cannot know the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of experience. It is popularly equated with religious skepticism, and especially with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought. T.H. Huxley popularized philosophical agnosticism after coining the term agnostic (as opposed to gnostic) in 1869, to designate one who repudiated traditional Judeo-Christian theism but was not a doctrinaire atheist (seeatheism). Agnosticism may mean no more than the suspension of judgment on ultimate questions because of insufficient evidence, or it may constitute a rejection of traditional Christian tenets.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on agnosticism, visit Britannica.com.