The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. However, later in the same lecture, discussing modern non-anthropomorphic concepts of God, Russell states: It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter It is no use to talk to me of analogies and probabilities. 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 I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion Later in the essay, Russell adds:
Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. 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 So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. While eventually doubting parts of his faith, Darwin continued to help in church affairs, even while avoiding church attendance. It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. In , Huxley wrote: Though Huxley began to use the term "agnostic" in , his opinions had taken shape some time before that date. Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them. Later in the essay, Russell adds: An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. However, later in the same lecture, discussing modern non-anthropomorphic concepts of God, Russell states: Christian agnosticism Wikiquote has quotations related to: Why should I not? Ross championed agnosticism in opposition to the atheism of Charles Bradlaugh as an open-ended spiritual exploration. It is no use to talk to me of analogies and probabilities. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion And again, to the same correspondent, May 6, In a letter of September 23, , to Charles Kingsley , Huxley discussed his views extensively: I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. Although radical and unpalatable to conventional theologians, Weatherhead's agnosticism falls far short of Huxley's, and short even of weak agnosticism: Of the origin of the name agnostic to describe this attitude, Huxley gave the following account: If one arrives at a negative conclusion concerning the first part of the question, the second part of the question does not arise; and my position, as you may have gathered, is a negative one on this matter.
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