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Meditation 347
Agnostic about ALL gods?

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A couple of months ago, Gabriel S., who has provided several articles on this site from his perspective as an atheist, wrote:

"If one is agnostic about the Christian god, one would be agnostic about the Greek, Norse and Egyptian gods and many many more."

While Gabriel's comments have generally been quite intelligent, I found this particular remark to misunderstand the nature of agnosticism.

I will agree that a general statement of agnosticism does not specify which gods one is agnostic about; but neither does a general statement of theism specify which particular gods are believed in. But when we consider the specific beliefs on an individual theist, we normally[1] find a belief in a certain god or group of gods and a profound disbelief in the other varieties.

Is this not how many agnostics think? Do not most of us accept the possibility, however remote, of some forms of god, but entirely reject others? I doubt there are a significant number of agnostics who consider each and every god that believers have proposed to be in the realm of the possible. Such an understanding of agnosticism would require that as soon as someone started a new religion with (for example) Andre Agassi as its deity, agnostics would immediately have to accept the possibility that Mr. Agassi might actually be a god rather than continuing to regard him as a somewhat-past-his-peak[2] tennis player.

I have stated elsewhere on this site that my own agnosticism is based on a lingering possibility of deism. I don't give much credence to other formulations of gods. Perhaps some agnostics share this particular view, but I'm sure many other agnostics have somewhat different opinions. Some might accept the possibility of a generic monotheistic god, while rejecting the specifics involved in any of the monotheistic religions. Others might consider the god of cosmic consciousness to be their possibility. No doubt, some do consider that there are multiple possibilities; however, I do not know of any agnostic who is agnostic about every god ever proposed, past, present or future.

To be an agnostic does not require one to be agnostic about every possible god.



  1. There are some religions which permit the recognition of the gods of other religions.
  2. Words I may have to eat someday, but not very likely.