Chapter

Empathetic agnosticism

Paul Horwitz

in The Agnostic Age

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199737727
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895267 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737727.003.0003
Empathetic agnosticism

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This chapter begins with the elaboration of religious agnosticism, which aims to strengthen or perhaps modify the linkage between liberalism, law, and religion. The chapter proposes a “new” agnosticism which does not merely take sides or reject belief but considers that certain aspects of religious truths are not feasible. Such ideas have come about since the concept of William James' empathetic agnosticism first came to the forefront. The chapter illustrates two ways that agnosticism is impossible: penetrating one's religious convictions or approaches is unattainable given low commitment; and taking an agnostic stance demands a lifetime attitude in viewing true knowledge (specifically, religious truths and everything associated with it) as uncertain. The chapter also scrutinizes biblical entries to cite evidences in support or in contradiction to constitutional agnosticism or agnosticism per se.

Keywords: religious agnosticism; liberalism; law; religion; new agnosticism; empathetic agnosticism

Chapter.  25595 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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