List of agnostics

List of agnostics

Listed here are persons who have identified themselves as "agnostics". Also included are those who have expressed the view that it is unknown or inherently unknowable whether God or other deities exist.



*Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentine writer. Borges said: []

Politics and law

*Michelle Bachelet (b. 1951), President of Chile. [Bachelet said "I am a woman, socialist, separated and agnostic." See Newsweek article " [ An Unlikely Pioneer] ".]
*Helen Clark, New Zealand Prime Minister. [ [,2106,3430410a6220,00.html "Do you believe in him now, Helen?"] ]
*Clarence Darrow, (1857-1938), American lawyer, who defended John T. Scopes' right to teach Darwin's theory of evolution in the famous Tennessee "Monkey Trial". [Darrow wrote "I am an agnostic as to the question of God." See [ Why I Am An Agnostic] .]
*Heinz Fischer, incumbent Austrian President. [ [ Wiener Zeitung] , published July 08, 2004 (German). "The agnostic Fischer is married for 35 years with Margit." (Translation by [ PROMT Online Translator] ).]
*Carlos Gaviria Díaz, (b. 1937), Colombian politician, said "I am an agnostic, like him Bertrand Russell." [" [ The scream is not a vehicle of ideas] " (In Spanish. See also: [ English translation] by PROMT Online Translator. Accessed 13 October 2006.)]
*Bob Hawke, (1929-), 23rd Prime Minister of Australia (from 1983 to 1991). [Blanche d'Alpuget, "Robert J. Hawke", 87]
*Robert G. Ingersoll, (1833 - 1899), American political leader and orator, and known as "The Great Agnostic". [Ingersoll said that "It seems to me that the man who knows the limitations of the mind, who gives the proper value to human testimony, is necessarily an Agnostic." [ Why Am I Agnostic?] , Robert Green Ingersoll, 1889. See also [ Ingersoll's complete works] , which includes many speeches and writings on religion and agnosticism.]
*Ricardo Lagos (b. 1938), the first declared agnostic to be elected president of Chile. [ [ Chile Moves On] , Mark Falcoff, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, April 1, 2000.]
*George Lincoln Rockwell, (1918-1967), Founder of the American Nazi Party. [ Rockwell wrote in his autobiography "I am an agnostic, which means that to all proposals and explanations of the mysteries of life and eternity, I say, 'I do not know and I don't believe you or any other human does either.'" "This Time the World", chapter 3, George Lincoln Rockwell, ISBN 1-59364-014-5]
*Gough Whitlam (1916-): Prime Minister of Australia, 1972-1975.
*Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (b. 1960), Prime Minister of Spain. ["The country's Left-leaning Prime Minister, a self-declared agnostic, became a bête noire of the Catholic Church during his first term in office by legalising same-sex marriage, introducing fast-track divorce and allowing embryonic stem-cell research." [] ]

cience and technology

*Sir David Attenborough (1926-) - English natural history presenter and anthropologist. [ [ Interview] with Simon Mayo, BBC Radio Five Live, 2 December 2005.]
* Francis Crick (1916-2004), Nobel-laureate co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, who described himself as a skeptic and an agnostic with "a strong inclination towards atheism". [Francis Crick, "What Mad Pursuit: a Personal View of Scientific Discovery", Basic Books reprint edition, 1990, ISBN 0-465-09138-5, p. 145.]
* Marie Curie (1867–1934): Polish-French physicist and chemist. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity and she became the first and the only Nobel laureate to win two Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911. [Cite book |last=Reid |first=Robert William |title=Marie Curie |year=1974 |location=London |publisher=Collins |pages=page 19 |isbn=0-00-211539-5 |quote=Unusually at such an early age, she became what T. H. Huxley had just invented a word for: agnostic. ]
*Charles Darwin, (1809-1882), founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection, once described himself as being generally agnostic, though he was a member of the Anglican Church and attended Unitarian services. [Darwin wrote: "my judgment often fluctuates... In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind." [ The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin] , Ch. VIII, p. 274. New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1905. See Charles Darwin's views on religion]
*Émile Durkheim (1858-1917), French sociologist, who had a Jewish confirmation at thirteen, was briefly interested in Catholicism after a mystical experience, but later became an agnostic. [On Durkheim, Larry R. Ridener, referencing a book by Lewis A. Coser, wrote: "Shortly after his traditional Jewish confirmation at the age of thirteen, Durkheim, under the influence of a Catholic woman teacher, had a shortlived mystical experience that led to an interest in Catholicism. But soon afterwards he turned away from all religious involvement, though emphatically not from interest in religious phenomena, and became an agnostic." See [ Ridener's page on famous dead sociologists] . See also Coser's book: Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context, 2nd Ed., Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1977: 143-144]
*Albert Einstein (1879–1955), German-born theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence, E = m c^2. ["My position concerning God is that of an agnostic."Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., "The Expanded Quotable Einstein", Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216. As quoted at [] (Accessed 20 June 2007)]
*Milton Friedman, (1912-2006), American economist, writer and public intellectual, winner of Nobel Prize in Economics. [In correspondence with conservative Christian commentator John Lofton, Milton Friedman wrote: "I am an agnostic. I do not ‘believe in’ God, but I am not an atheist, because I believe the statement, ‘There is a god’ does not admit of being either confirmed or rejected." "An Exchange: My Correspondence With Milton Friedman About God, Economics, Evolution And “Values”", by John Lofton, [ The American View] , Oct-Dec 2006, (Accessed 12 January 2007)]
*Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, science historian and popularizer. Gould called himself a "Jewish agnostic". ["...I certainly felt bemused by the anomaly of my role as a Jewish agnostic, trying to reassure a group of Catholic priests that evolution remained both true and entirely consistent with religious belief." [ Nonoverlapping Magisteria] , by Stephen Jay Gould, "Natural History" 106 (March 1997): 16-22; Reprinted from " [ Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms] ", New York: Harmony Books, 1998, pp. 269-283.]
*Thomas Henry Huxley, (1825-1895), English biologist and coiner of the term "agnosticism". ["Every variety of philosophical and theological opinion was represented there, and expressed itself with entire openness; most of my colleagues were "ists" of one sort or another; and, however kind and friendly they might be, I, the man without a rag of a label to cover himself with, could not fail to have some of the uneasy feelings which must have beset the historical fox when, after leaving the trap in which his tail remained, he presented himself to his normally elongated companions. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of agnostic.'" [ Part 2 - Agnosticism] ", by T.H. Huxley, from " [ Christianity and Agnosticism: A Controversy] ", New York: D. Appleton and Comany, 1889. Hosted at the Secular Web. (Accessed 5 April 2008)]
*Sherwin B. Nuland (b. 1930), American surgeon and author of How We Die.cite web | last = Morris | first = Edward | title = Finding the father inside | publisher = BookPage | month = January | year = 2003| url = | accessdate = 2007-06-11]
*Paul Nurse (b. 1949), 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, called himself an atheist, but specified that "sceptical agnostic" was a more "philosophically correct" term. ["I gradually slipped away from religion over several years and became an atheist or to be more philosophically correct, a sceptical agnostic." [ Nurse's autobiography at] ]
*Carl Sagan, (1934-1996), astronomer and skeptic. ["Famed scientist Carl Sagan was also a renowned sceptic and agnostic who during his life refused to believe in anything unless there was physical evidence to support it." "Unbeliever's Quest" by Jerry Adler, in "Newsweek", March 31 1997. [ Excerpt] hosted at HighBeam Research accessed 2 November 2007.]
* Peter Schuster (1941—), Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Vienna.cite website |first=Peter |last=Schuster |title= Interview with Peter Schuster |url= |work=National Catholic Reporter |accessdate=2008-04-25 |quote=... I was a Catholic, but I no longer consider myself one. I suppose I am agnostic. Let’s put it his way -- I have difficulties with the idea of a personal God. I don’t have trouble with God as creator of the world as a whole.]
* Steve Wozniak (1950—): Co-founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple I and Apple II.cite website |first=steven |last=Wozniak |title= Letters-General Questions Answered |url= | |accessdate=2007-09-26 |quote=... I am also atheist or agnostic (I don't even know the difference). I've never been to church and prefer to think for myself. I do believe that religions stand for good things, and that if you make irrational sacrifices for a religion, then everyone can tell that your religion is important to you and can trust that your most important inner faiths are strong.]

ee also

* Lists of secularists: Atheists, Humanists
* List of secularist organizations

External links

* [ Agnostics in The Celebrity Atheist List]
* [ Famous Black Freethinkers]
* [ Famous Dead Nontheists]

Notes and references


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