List of agnostics
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Listed here are persons who have identified themselves as theologically agnostic. Also included are individuals who have expressed the view that the veracity of a god's existence is unknown or inherently unknowable.
- Saul Alinsky (1909–1972): American community organizer and writer. He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.
- Poul Anderson (1926–2001): American science fiction author.
- Piers Anthony (born 1934): English-American writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
- Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906): American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President.
- Hannah Arendt (1906–1975): German American writer and political theorist.
- Samuel Beckett (1906–1989): Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969.
- Ambrose Bierce (1842 – c. 1913): American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is probably best known for his short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and his satirical lexicon The Devil's Dictionary.
- Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986): Argentine writer who stated that:
- "Being an agnostic means all things are possible, even God, even the Holy Trinity. This world is so strange that anything may happen, or may not happen. Being an agnostic makes me live in a larger, a more fantastic kind of world, almost uncanny. It makes me more tolerant."
- Henry Cadbury (1883–1974): a biblical scholar and Quaker who contributed to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, stated in a 1936 lecture to Harvard Divinity School students:
- "Most students ... wish to know whether I believe in the existence of God or in immortality, and if so why. They regard it impossible to leave these matters unsettled – or at least extremely detrimental to religion not to have the basis of such conviction. Now for my part I do not find it impossible to leave them open.... I can describe myself as no ardent theist or atheist."
- Albert Camus (1913–1960): French philosopher and novelist who has been considered a luminary of existentialism. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957.
- Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881): Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era.
- Ariel Dorfman (born 1942): Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist.
- Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930): Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.
- W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963): American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
- H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), Writer of strange fiction and horror.
- Bart D. Ehrman: New Testament scholar and "a happy agnostic".
- Edward FitzGerald (1809–1883): English poet and writer, best known as the poet of the first and most famous English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
- Betty Friedan (1921–2006): American writer, activist and feminist. A leading figure in the Women's Movement in the United States, her 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, is often credited with sparking the "second wave" of American feminism in the 20th century.
- Frederick James Furnivall (1825–1910), second editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
- John Galsworthy (1867–1933): English novelist and playwright. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga (1906–1921) and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932.
- Maxim Gorky (1868–1936): Russian and Soviet author who founded Socialist Realism and political activist.
- Thomas Hardy (1840–1928): English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.
- Sadegh Hedayat (1903–1951): Iranian author and writer.
- Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988): American science fiction writer.
- Joseph Heller (1923–1999): American satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II.
- Alexander Herzen (1812–1870): Russian writer and thinker known as the "father of Russian socialism" and one of the main fathers of agrarian populism.
- Aldous Huxley (1894–1963): English writer best known for novels, such as Brave New World, and essays on a wide range of topics.
- A.J. Jacobs (born 1968): American author.
- James Joyce (1882–1941): Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde movement of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for his novel, Ulysses.
- Franz Kafka (1883–1924): Jewish Czech-born writer.
- Nikos Kazantzakis (1883–1957): Greek writer and philosopher, celebrated for his novel Zorba the Greek, considered his magnum opus. He became known globally after the 1964 release of the Michael Cacoyannis film Zorba the Greek, based on the novel. He gained renewed fame with the 1988 Martin Scorsese adaptation of his book The Last Temptation of Christ.
- John Keats (1795–1821): English Romantic poet.
- Omar Khayyám (1048–1131): Persian polymath: poet, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, climatology and Islamic theology.
- Janusz Korczak (1878 or 1879?–1942): Polish-Jewish educator, children's author and pediatrician. After spending many years working as director of an orphanage in Warsaw, Korczak refused freedom and remained with the orphans as they were sent to Treblinka extermination camp during the Grossaktion Warsaw of 1942.
- Stanislaw Lem (1921–2006): Polish science fiction novelist and essayist.
- Lucretius (99 BC–55 BC): Roman poet and philosopher.
- Bernard Malamud (1914–1986): American author of novels and short stories. Along with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, he was one of the great American Jewish authors of the 20th century.
- H. L. Mencken (1880–1956): journalist, satirist, social critic, cynic and freethinker, known as the "Sage of Baltimore".
- Thomas Mann (1875–1955): German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.
- Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977): Russian novelist, poet and short story writer. Best known for his novel, Lolita.
- Eugene O'Neill (1888–1953), American playwright. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936.
- Larry Niven (born 1938): American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld (1970).
- Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935): Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic and translator, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language.
- Marcel Proust (1871–1922): French novelist, critic and essayist, best known for his work, In Search of Lost Time.
- Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837): Russian author of the Romantic era, considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.
- Edward Said (1935–2003): Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and a founding figure in postcolonialism.
- Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917–2007): American historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning writer. Schlesinger was also a close friend and associate of President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
- Mary Shelley (1797–1851): English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein (1818).
- Edward Snowden (born 1983): American computer specialist, privacy activist and former CIA employee and NSA contractor who disclosed classified details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902): American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States. Late in life she led the effort to write the Woman's Bible to correct the injustices she perceived against women in the Bible.
- Olaf Stapledon (1886–1950): British philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction.
- John Steinbeck (1902–1968): American writer best known for novels such as The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.
- Stendhal (1783–1842) (a.k.a. Marie-Henri Beyle): a 19th-century French writer.
- Olaf Stapledon (1886–1950): British philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction like Star Maker and Last and First Men.
- Boris Strugatsky (1925–2012): Soviet-Russian science fiction author who collaborated with his brother, Arkady Strugatsky, on various works. The brothers' famous novel Piknik na obochine has been translated into English as Roadside Picnic in 1977 and was filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky under the title Stalker.
- Charles Templeton (1915–2001): former evangelist and author of A Farewell to God.
- Thucydides (c. 460–c. 395): Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history", because of his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his work.
- Ivan Turgenev (1818–1883): Russian novelist, short story writer and playwright. His first major publication, a short story collection entitled A Sportsman's Sketches, is a milestone of Russian realism, and his novel Fathers and Sons is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction.
- Mark Twain: American humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer, most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Twain has also been identified a deist.
- Adam Bruno Ulam (1922–2000): Polish and American historian and political scientist at Harvard University. Ulam was one of the world's foremost authorities on Russia and the Soviet Union, and the author of twenty books and many articles.
- Ibn Warraq, known for his books critical of Islam.
- Hale White (1831–1913): British writer and civil servant.
- Elie Wiesel (born 1928): Romanian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald concentration camps. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
- Robert Anton Wilson (1932–2007): author, futurologist, cryptocracy historian.
- Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797): British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.
- David Yallop: (born 27 January 1937) British true crime author.
- Émile Zola (1840–1902): French writer who was a prominent figure in the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism.
- Leslie Alexander (born 1943), an American sports owner, owner of the Houston Rockets.
- Warren Buffett (born 1930), an American investor, identified himself as agnostic in response to Warren Allen Smith, who had asked him whether he believed in God.
- Henry Dunant (1828–1910), Swiss businessman and social activist. He is best known as the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frédéric Passy.
- Elon Musk (born 1971), South African-American inventor and entrepreneur. He is best known for founding SpaceX and for co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal (originally X.com).
- Ted Turner, founder of Turner Broadcasting System, now part of Time Warner.
- John Adams (born 1947), American composer.
- Hideaki Anno (born 1960), Japanese animation and film director. Anno is best known for his work on the popular anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Simon Baker (born 1969), Australian television and movie actor.
- Jay Baruchel (born 1982), Canadian actor.
- David Bazan (born 1976), American singer, songwriter, musician and former frontman of Pedro The Lion, an indie rock outfit associated with Christian rock that was controversial among Christians for their language and off-kilter views about religion. Bazan's solo career has been focused around his newfound agnosticism.
- Monica Bellucci (born 1964), Italian actress and fashion model.
- Neil Patrick Harris (born 1973), is an American actor, producer, singer, and director. He is best known for the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D. and the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. In his childhood he grew up to belong to an Episcopal Church with his family, where he sang in choir, but has designated himself as an agnostic on his Myspace.
- Tom Bergeron (born 1955), American television personality and game show host, best known to the public as the host of America's Funniest Home Videos, Hollywood Squares and Dancing with the Stars.
- Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007), Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television.
- Irving Berlin (1888–1989), American composer and lyricist of Jewish heritage, widely considered[by whom?] one of the greatest songwriters in American history.
- Gael García Bernal (born 1978), Mexican actor and director, claims to be "culturally Catholic" and "spiritually agnostic".
- Lewis Black (born 1948), American stand-up comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor.
- Johannes Brahms (1833–1897): German composer and pianist.
- Georges Brassens (1921–1981): French singer-songwriter and poet.
- Benjamin Britten (1913–1976), English composer, conductor, and pianist. He is one of the central figures of 20th century British classical music.
- Gavin Bryars (born 1943), English composer and double bassist.
- Rose Byrne (born 1979), Australian actress.
- Dick Cavett (born 1936), American television talk show host
- Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977), English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work in the United States during the silent film era.
- Aaron Copland (1900–1990), American composer.
- Salvador Dalí (1904–1989), Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain. Dalí, a skilled draftsman, became best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed[by whom?] to the influence of Renaissance masters. His arguably best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media. He allegedly claimed to be both an agnostic and a Roman Catholic.
- Philip DeFranco (born 1985), American internet personality. DeFranco was one of the pioneers of YouTube, having joined in its early days and is best known for creating The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed. DeFranco claimed that he was agnostic in July 2012.
- Ronnie James Dio (1942–2010): American heavy metal singer (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell)
- Richard Dreyfuss (born 1947), American actor.
- Thomas Eakins (1844–1916), American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history.
- Zac Efron (born 1987), actor, star of movies such as High School Musical and 17 Again. Efron was raised agnostic. (his paternal grandfather was Jewish)
- Carrie Fisher, American actress, screenwriter and novelist.
- Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924), French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers.
- Henry Fonda (1905–1982), American film and stage actor.
- Emilia Fox (born 1974), Award-winning English actress.
- Neil Gaiman (born 1960), English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
- Gilberto Gil (born 1942), Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and political commitment.
- Jean-Luc Godard (born 1930), French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He is often identified with the 1960s French film movement La Nouvelle Vague, or "New Wave".
- Matt Groening (born 1954), creator of animated TV series The Simpsons, Futurama, and the comic Life in Hell.
- Bob Guccione (1930–2010), founder and publisher of Penthouse magazine.
- Gustav Holst (1874–1934), English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success.
- John Humphrys (born 1943), British radio and television presenter who hosted a series of programmes interviewing religious leaders, Humphrys in Search of God.
- Leoš Janáček (1854–1928), Czech composer.
- Gene Kelly (1912–1996), American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer.
- Larry King (born 1933), host of Larry King Live.
- Stanley Kubrick (1928–1999), A famous director well known for movies like Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining
- Janez Lapajne (born 1967), Slovenian film director, producer, writer, editor and production designer.
- Cloris Leachman (born 1926): actress.
- Stan Lee (born 1922), American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.
- Lemmy (born 1945): English rock singer and bass guitarist, most famous for founding the rock band Motörhead.
- James Hetfield (born 1963): American heavy metal singer and rhythm guitarist, most famous for co-founding the heavy metal band Metallica.
- Annie Lennox (born 1954), Scottish recording artist
- Emcee Lynx (born 1980), anarchist hip hop musician who identifies as potentially pantheist, agnostic or atheist.
- René Magritte (1898–1967) - Belgian surrealist artist.
- Bill Maher (born 1956), American comedian and political commentator. Maher self identifies as an apatheist.
- Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), Late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation.
- Jhonen Vasquez (born 1974) American comic book writer, and cartoonist; famous for the animated series Invader Zim.
- Dave Matthews (born 1967), American musician and actor.
- Brian May (born 1947), English musician and astrophysicist most widely known as the guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer of the rock band Queen.
- David Mitchell (born 1974), British actor, comedian and writer.
- Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.
- Ernest Newman (1868–1959), English music critic and musicologist.
- Conor Oberst (born 1980), American singer-songwriter who fronts the band, Bright Eyes.
- Hubert Parry (1848–1918): English composer, teacher and historian of music.
- Neil Peart (born 1952), drummer and lyricist for Canadian hard rock band Rush. Many Rush song lyrics criticize religion and theism.
- Sean Penn (born 1960), American actor, two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor.
- Brendan Perry (born 1959), British singer and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as the male half of the duo Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard.
- Brad Pitt (born 1963), American actor, stated that he did not believe in God, and that he was mostly agnostic.
- Sidney Poitier (born 1927), Bahamian American actor, film director, author, and diplomat. His views are also closer to deism.
- Hugo Riemann (1949–1919), German music theorist and composer.
- Joe Rogan (born 1967), American comedian, podcaster, social critic and UFC color commentator.
- Andy Rooney (1919–2011), broadcast personality, who had specified that he was an agnostic and not an atheist, but has also called himself an atheist.
- Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia
- Franz Schubert (1797–1828), Austrian composer.
- Robert Schumann (1810–1856), German composer and influential music critic. Among his biographers and lovers of his music, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era.
- Ridley Scott (born 1937), English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with Alien (1979), his best-known works are sci-fi classic Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men, Kingdom of Heaven, American Gangster, Robin Hood, and Prometheus.
- Adrienne Shelly (1966–2006), American actor, screenwriter and director.
- Howard Stern (born 1954), American radio personality, television host, author, actor, and photographer.
- Sting (born 1951): English musician and lead singer of The Police.
- Matt Stone (born 1971), co-creator of the cartoon series South Park, considers himself an agnostic Jew (his mother is Jewish), though he has also denied the existence of God.
- Osamu Tezuka (1928–1989), Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, producer, activist and medical doctor. He is best known as the creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack. He is often credited as the "Godfather of Anime", and is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during his formative years.
- Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901): Italian composer, one of the most influential of the 19th century.
- Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), British composer. Despite the variety of his works with religious connections, Vaughan Williams was decidedly not a believer. According to his classmate Bertrand Russell, Williams was an atheist while attending Cambridge. According to his widow, he later became an agnostic.
- Confucius (551 BC–479 BC): Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a Chinese religious system known as Confucianism.
- Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), German philosopher. Best known for his work, Critique of Pure Reason.
- Laozi (604 BC?-???), Chinese religious philosopher. Best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching. His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of philosophical religion Taoism.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951), Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947. In his lifetime, he published just one book review, one article, a children's dictionary, and the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). In 1999, his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations (1953) was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy. Wittgenstein wrote in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that ethics, esthetics and even logic are transcendental, so he is considered an idealist.
- Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997), British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, thought by many to be the dominant scholar of his generation.
- Noam Chomsky (born 1928): American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer, Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar.
- Democritus (460 BC–370 BC), Ancient Greek philosopher. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos.
- John Dewey (1859–1952), American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer. His ideas have been influential in education and social reform.
- Epicurus (341 BCE–270 BCE), Ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism.
- Fred Edwords (born 1948), longtime Humanist activist, currently national director of the United Coalition of Reason.
- James Hall (born 1933) describes himself as an agnostic episcopalian. He says that he finds great beauty in the religious tradition, but is reluctant to "sign the dotted line" and agreeing with all theological doctrines.
- Sidney Hook (1902–1989), American philosopher of the Pragmatist school known for his contributions to the philosophy of history, the philosophy of education, political theory, and ethics.
- David Hume (1711–1776), Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and scepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment. Hume is often grouped with John Locke, George Berkeley, and a handful of others as a British Empiricist.
- Edmund Husserl (1859–1938), German philosopher and mathematician and the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology.
- Harold Innis (1894–1952), Canadian political philosopher and professor of political economy at the University of Toronto and the author of seminal works on media, communication theory and Canadian economic history.
- William James (1842–1910), American psychologist and philosopher. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism.
- Anthony Kenny (born 1931), president of Royal Institute of Philosophy, wrote in his essay Why I'm not an atheist after justifying his agnostic position that "a claim to knowledge needs to be substantiated; ignorance need only be confessed."
- Thomas Kuhn (1922–1996), American historian and philosopher of science whose controversial 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was deeply influential in both academic and popular circles, introducing the term "paradigm shift," which has since become an English-language staple.
- James Mill (1773–1836), Scottish historian, economist, political theorist, and philosopher. He was a founder of classical economics, together with David Ricardo, and the father of influential philosopher of classical liberalism, John Stuart Mill.
- G. E. Moore (1873–1958), English philosopher. He was, with Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and (before them) Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of the analytic tradition in philosophy.
- Karl R. Popper, philosopher of science, who promoted falsifiability as a necessary criterion of empirical statements in science.
- Protagoras, (died 420 BCE), Greek Sophist and first major Humanist, who wrote that the existence of the gods was unknowable.
- Pyrrho (360 BC–ca. 270 BC): Greek philosopher of classical antiquity, is credited as being the first Skeptic philosopher and the inspiration for the school known as Pyrrhonism, founded by Aenesidemus in the 1st century BC.
- Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), English philosopher and mathematician, who considered himself a philosophical agnostic, but said that the label "atheist" conveyed a more accurate impression to "the ordinary man in the street".
- Michael Schmidt-Salomon (born 1967), German philosopher, author and former editor of MIZ (Contemporary Materials and Information: Political magazine for atheists and the irreligious). Schmidt-Salomon has specified that he is not a "pure atheist, but actually an agnostic."
- Herbert Spencer (1820–1903), English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era.
- Theophrastus (c. 371 BC – 287 BC): Greek philosopher. He was a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school.
- Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820–1891), Indian Bengali polymath and a key figure of the Bengal Renaissance.
Politics and law
- Norman Angell (1872–1967), English lecturer, journalist, author, and politician. He was member of parliament for the Labour Party in England. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1933.
- Clement Attlee (1883–1967), British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951.
- Michelle Bachelet (born 1951), Chilean politician, President of Chile from 2006 to 2010.
- Vincent Bugliosi (born 1934), Former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney
- Helen Clark (born 1950), New Zealander politician, Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008.
- Carlos Gaviria Díaz (born 1937), Colombian politician said "I am an agnostic, like him Bertrand Russell."
- 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".
- Alan Dershowitz (born 1938), American lawyer, jurist and political commentator, author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law (2013).
- Willem Drees (1886–1988), Dutch politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1948 until 1958.
- Heinz Fischer (born 1938), Austrian politician, President of Austria since 2004.
- Eamon Gilmore (born 1955), Irish politician, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland.
- Boris van der Ham (born 1973), Dutch politician.
- Mariëtte Hamer (born 1958), Dutch politician.
- Bob Hawke (born 1929), 23rd Prime Minister of Australia (from 1983 to 1991).
- François Hollande (born 1954), 24th President of France (since 2012).
- Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–1899), American political leader and orator, and known as "The Great Agnostic".
- Ivo Josipović (born 1957), Croatian politician and composer, third President of Croatia from 2010.
- Bob Kerrey (born 1943) American politician, Governor of Nebraska (1983–1987) and United States Senator from Nebraska (1989–2001)
- Wim Kok (born 1938), Dutch politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1994 until 2002.
- Bruno Kreisky (1911–1990), Austrian Federal Chancellor from 1970 to 1983.
- Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland from 1995 to 2005.
- Ricardo Lagos (born 1938), the first declared agnostic to be elected president of Chile.
- John Key (born 1961), New Zealander politician, Prime Minister of New Zealand since 2008.
- Esther Ouwehand (born 1976), Dutch politician.
- Jan Marijnissen (born 1952), Dutch politician.
- François Mitterrand (1916–1996), President of France from 1981 to 1995.
- Jayaprakash Narayan (Lok Satta), politician, thinker and a social reformer.
- Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), Indian freedom-fighter and the country's first Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964.
- Robert Owen (1771–1858), Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement.
- Susan Rice (born 1964), former United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
- George Lincoln Rockwell (1918–1967), Founder of the American Nazi Party.
- Siddaramaiah (born 1948), Former Karnataka Deputy CM
- Jens Stoltenberg (born 1959), Former Prime Minister of Norway
- Cenk Uygur (born 1970), Turkish American columnist, political commentator, activist, former MSNBC host, co-founder of the American liberal/progressive political and social internet commentary program, The Young Turks, founder of Wolf PAC.
- Joop den Uyl (1919–1987), Dutch politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1973 until 1977.
- Gerdi Verbeet (born 1951), Dutch politician, President of the House of Representatives since 2006.
- Gough Whitlam (born 1916), Prime Minister of Australia, 1972–1975.
- Lee Kwan Yew (1923–2015), Employment lawyer, Prime Minister and Founding Father of Singapore
- Gerrit Zalm (born 1952), Dutch politician, Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 2003 until 2007.
- José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 1960), Former Prime Minister of Spain.
- Haroon Ahmed, British Pakistani scientist in the fields of Microelectronics and electrical engineering.
- Hannes Alfvén (1908–1995): Swedish electrical engineer and plasma physicist. He received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). He is best known for describing the class of MHD waves now known as Alfvén waves.
- Ralph Alpher (1921–2007): American cosmologist. He is famous for the seminal paper on Big Bang nucleosynthesis called the Alpher–Bethe–Gamow paper.
- Sir David Attenborough (born 1926), English natural history presenter and anthropologist.
- Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854–1923): English engineer, mathematician and inventor.
- John Logie Baird (1888–1946): Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first practical, publicly demonstrated television system, and also the world's first fully electronic colour television tube.
- Robert Bárány (1876–1936), Austro-Hungarian otologist. For his work on the physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus of the ear, he received the 1914 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- John Bardeen (1908–1991), American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory.
- Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922), Eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
- Richard E. Bellman (1920–1984), American applied mathematician, celebrated for his invention of dynamic programming in 1953, and important contributions in other fields of mathematics.
- Emile Berliner (1851–1929), German-born American inventor. He is best known for developing the disc record gramophone (phonograph in American English).
- Claude Bernard (1813–1878), French physiologist. He was the first to define the term milieu intérieur (now known as homeostasis, a term coined by Walter Bradford Cannon).
- J. Michael Bishop (born 1930), American immunologist and microbiologist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Harold E. Varmus and was co-winner of 1984 Alfred P. Sloan Prize.
- Nicolaas Bloembergen (born 1920), Dutch-American physicist. Bloembergen shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Arthur Schawlow and Kai Siegbahn for their work in laser spectroscopy.
- David Bohm (1917–1992), American-born British quantum physicist who contributed to theoretical physics, philosophy of mind, neuropsychology.
- George Boole (1815–1864), English mathematician and logician. Best known for developing Boolean algebra. He has also been labeled a deist as well.
- Robert Bosch (1861–1942), German industrialist, engineer and inventor, founder of Robert Bosch GmbH.
- Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858–1937), Indian polymath: a physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, as well as an early writer of science fiction. He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent. IEEE named him one of the fathers of radio science. He is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction. He was the first person from the Indian subcontinent to receive a US patent, in 1904. He also invented the crescograph.
- James Henry Breasted (1865–1935), American archaeologist and historian.
- Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), Polish-Jewish British mathematician, biologist, historian of science, theatre author, poet and inventor. He is best remembered as the presenter and writer of the 1973 BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man, and the accompanying book.
- Frank Macfarlane Burnet (1899–1985), Australian virologist. He is best known for his contributions to immunology. He received the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance and developing the theory of clonal selection.
- Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934), Spanish pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist. He is considered by many to be the father of modern neuroscience. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996.
- Anton Julius Carlson (1875–1956), Swedish American physiologist.
- Wallace Carothers (1896–1937), American chemist and inventor. He is credited with the invention of nylon.
- Henry Cavendish (1731–1810), British scientist. Noted for his discovery of hydrogen or what he called "inflammable air". He is also known for the Cavendish experiment, his measurement of the Earth's density, and early research into electricity.
- Owen Chamberlain (1920–2006), American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his discovery, with collaborator Emilio Segrè, of antiprotons, a sub-atomic antiparticle.
- 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".
- Marie Curie (1867–1934), Polish physicist and chemist. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity and she became the first 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.
- Heber Doust Curtis (1872–1942), American astronomer. He is best known for his participation in the Great Debate with Harlow Shapley on the nature of nebulae and galaxies, and the size of the universe.
- 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.
- Max Delbrück (1906–1981), German-American biophysicist. He, along with Alfred D. Hershey and Salvador E. Luria, won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.
- David Deutsch (born 1953), British physicist at the University of Oxford. He is a non-stipendiary Visiting Professor in the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the Centre for Quantum Computation (CQC) in the Clarendon Laboratory of the University of Oxford. He pioneered the field of quantum computation by formulating a description for a quantum Turing machine, as well as specifying an algorithm designed to run on a quantum computer.
- Paul Dirac (1902–1984): British theoretical physicist, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, predicted the existence of antimatter, and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933.
- John William Draper (1811–1882): American (English-born) scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian and photographer. He is credited with producing the first clear photograph of a female face (1839–40) and the first detailed photograph of the Moon (1840).
- Eugène Dubois (1858–1940), Dutch paleoanthropologist and geologist. He earned worldwide fame for his discovery of Pithecanthropus erectus (later redesignated Homo erectus), or 'Java Man'.
- Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), French sociologist, who had a Jewish Bar Mitzvah at thirteen, was briefly interested in Catholicism after a mystical experience, but later became an agnostic.
- Freeman Dyson (born 1923), British-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.
- Albert Einstein (1879–1955), Jewish born theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence, .
- John Ericsson (1803–1889), Swedish-American inventor and mechanical engineer.
- Enrico Fermi (1901–1954), Italian-American physicist. Best known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics. He was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity.
- Edmond H. Fischer (born 1920), Swiss American biochemist. He and his collaborator Edwin G. Krebs were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1992 for describing how reversible phosphorylation works as a switch to activate proteins and regulate various cellular processes.
- Val Logsdon Fitch (born 1923), American nuclear physicist. He and co-researcher James Watson Cronin were awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics for a 1964 experiment using the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory that proved that certain subatomic reactions do not adhere to fundamental symmetry principles. Specifically, they proved, by examining the decay of K-mesons, that a reaction run in reverse does not merely retrace the path of the original reaction, which showed that the reactions of subatomic particles are not indifferent to time. Thus the phenomenon of CP violation was discovered.
- Howard Florey (1898–1968), Australian pharmacologist and pathologist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the making of penicillin.
- Lee De Forest (1863–1961), American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that takes relatively weak electrical signals and amplifies them. He is considered to be one of the fathers of the "electronic age", as the Audion helped to usher in the widespread use of electronics. He is also credited with one of the principal inventions that brought sound to motion pictures.
- Edward Frankland (1825–1899), British chemist. He was an expert in water quality and analysis, and originated the concept of combining power, or valence (chemistry), in chemistry.
- Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958), British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite.
- Jerome I. Friedman (born 1930), American physicist. In 1968–1969, commuting between MIT and California, he conducted experiments with Henry W. Kendall and Richard E. Taylor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center which gave the first experimental evidence that protons had an internal structure, later known to be quarks. For this, Friedman, Kendall and Taylor shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
- Milton Friedman (1912–2006), American economist, writer and public intellectual, winner of Nobel Prize in Economics.
- William Froude (1810–1879), English engineer, hydrodynamicist and naval architect. He was the first to formulate reliable laws for the resistance that water offers to ships (such as the hull speed equation) and for predicting their stability.
- Dennis Gabor (1900–1979), Hungarian-British electrical engineer and inventor. Known for his invention of holography and received the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics.
- Francis Galton (1822–1911), English Victorian polymath: anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician. He is also a cousin of Charles Darwin.
- Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900–1979), English-American astronomer who in 1925 was first to show that the Sun is mainly composed of hydrogen, contradicting accepted wisdom at the time.
- Roy J. Glauber (born 1925), American theoretical physicist. He was awarded one half of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence", with the other half shared by John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch.
- Camillo Golgi (1843–1926), Italian physician, pathologist, scientist. He, along with Santiago Ramón y Cajal, won the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their studies of the structure of the nervous system.
- David Gross (born 1941), American particle physicist and string theorist. Along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of asymptotic freedom.
- John Gurdon (born 1933), British developmental biologist. He is best known for his pioneering research in nuclear transplantation and cloning.
- Murray Gell-Mann (born 1929), American physicist and linguist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles.
- Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002), American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, science historian and popularizer. Gould called himself a "Jewish agnostic".
- Hans Hahn (1879–1934), Austrian mathematician who made contributions to functional analysis, topology, set theory, the calculus of variations, real analysis, and order theory. His most famous student was Kurt Gödel, whose Ph.D. thesis was completed in 1929.
- Alan Hale (born 1958), American astronomer, known for his co-discovery of the Comet Hale-Bopp.
- William Stewart Halsted (1852–1922), American surgeon who emphasized strict aseptic technique during surgical procedures, was an early champion of newly discovered anesthetics, and introduced several new operations, including the radical mastectomy for breast cancer.
- Theodor W. Hänsch (born 1941), German physicist. He received one fourth of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics for "contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique", sharing the prize with John L. Hall and Roy J. Glauber.
- Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992), Austrian economist and philosopher. Best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism. Along with Gunnar Myrdal, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1974."
- J. B. S. Haldane (1892–1964), British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist.
- Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–1894), German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, color vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism. In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation of thermodynamics. As a philosopher, he is known for his philosophy of science, ideas on the relation between the laws of perception and the laws of nature, the science of aesthetics, and ideas on the civilizing power of science.
- Gerhard Herzberg (1904–1999), German pioneering physicist and physical chemist, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1971.
- David Hilbert (1862–1943), German mathematician. He is recognized as one of the most influential and universal mathematicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861–1947), English biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929, with Christiaan Eijkman, for the discovery of vitamins. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, in 1901. He was appointed President of the Royal Society from 1930 to 1935.
- Gerard 't Hooft (born 1946), Dutch theoretical physicist. He shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics with his thesis advisor Martinus J. G. Veltman "for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions".
- Fred Hoyle (1915–2001), English astronomer and mathematician.
- Edwin Hubble (1889–1953), American astronomer who played a crucial role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as the leading observational cosmologist of the 20th century. Hubble generally is known for Hubble's law. He is credited with the discovery of the existence of galaxies other than the Milky Way and his galactic red shift discovery that the loss in frequency—the redshift—observed in the spectra of light from other galaxies increased in proportion to a particular galaxy's distance from Earth. This relationship became known as Hubble's law. His findings fundamentally changed the scientific view of the universe.
- Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), German naturalist and explorer. His quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography.
- Andrew Huxley (1917–2012), English physiologist and biophysicist. He (along with Alan Hodgkin) won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his experimental and mathematical work on the basis of nerve action potentials, the electrical impulses that enable the activity of an organism to be coordinated by a central nervous system.
- Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895), English biologist and coiner of the term agnosticism.
- Robert Jastrow (1925–2008), American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist.
- Edwin Thompson Jaynes (1922–1998), American physicist and statistician. He wrote extensively on statistical mechanics and on foundations of probability and statistical inference. He also pioneered the field of Digital physics.
- James Hopwood Jeans (1877 – 1946), English physicist, astronomer and mathematician.
- Jerome Karle (born 1918): American physical chemist. Jointly with Herbert A. Hauptman, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985, for the direct analysis of crystal structures using X-ray scattering techniques.
- August Kekulé (1829–1896), German organic chemist. He was one of the most prominent chemists in Europe, especially in theoretical chemistry. He was the principal founder of the theory of chemical structure.
- John Kendrew (1917–1997), English biochemist and crystallographer who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Max Perutz; their group in the Cavendish Laboratory investigated the structure of heme-containing proteins.
- John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), British economist. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, as well as its various offshoots.
- Michio Kaku (born 1947), American theoretical physicist.
- Alfred Kastler (1902–1984), French physicist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1966.
- Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736–1813), Italian-French mathematician and astronomer. He made significant contributions to all fields of analysis, number theory, and classical and celestial mechanics.
- Irving Langmuir (1881–1957), American chemist and physicist. He was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry.
- Anthony James Leggett (born 1938), English-American physicist. Professor Leggett is widely recognized as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics, and his pioneering work on superfluidity was recognized by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics.
- Joseph Leidy (1823–1891), American paleontologist.
- Mario Livio (born 1945), Israeli-American astrophysicist.
- Seth Lloyd (born 1960), American mechanical engineer. He is a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- James Lovelock (born 1919), British scientist, environmentalist and futurologist. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis.
- Percival Lowell (1855–1916), American businessman, author, mathematician, and astronomer who fueled speculation that there were canals on Mars, founded the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and formed the beginning of the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto 14 years after his death.
- Frank Malina (1912–1981), American aeronautical engineer and painter, especially known for becoming both a pioneer in the art world and the realm of scientific engineering.
- Rudolph A. Marcus (born 1923), Canadian-born chemist who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his theory of electron transfer.
- Lynn Margulis (1938–2011), American biologist. She is best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles, and her contributions to the endosymbiotic theory, which is now generally accepted for how certain organelles were formed. She is also associated with the Gaia hypothesis, based on an idea developed by the English environmental scientist James Lovelock.
- Dan McKenzie (geophysicist) (born 1942), British geophysicist.
- Simon van der Meer (1925–2011), Dutch particle accelerator physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1984 with Carlo Rubbia for contributions to the CERN project which led to the discovery of the W and Z particles, two of the most fundamental constituents of matter.
- Albert Abraham Michelson (1852–1931), American physicist known for his work on the measurement of the speed of light and especially for the Michelson-Morley experiment. In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973), Austrian Economist and Philosopher. He was a prominent figure in the Austrian School of economic thought.
- Ludwig Mond (1839–1909), German-born British chemist and industrialist.
- Robert S. Mulliken (1896–1986), American physicist and chemist, primarily responsible for the early development of molecular orbital theory, i.e. the elaboration of the molecular orbital method of computing the structure of molecules. Dr. Mulliken received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1966.
- Nathan Myhrvold (born 1959), American computer scientist, technologist, mathematician, physicist, entrepreneur, nature and wildlife photographer, master chef.
- David Nalin (born 1941), American physiologist. Nalin had the key insight that Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) would work if the volume of solution patients drank matched the volume of their fluid losses, and that this would drastically reduce or completely replace the only current treatment for cholera, intravenous therapy. Nalin's discoveries have been estimated to have saved over 50 million lives worldwide.
- Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930), Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the displaced victims of the First World War and related conflicts.
- Erwin Neher (born 1944), German biophysicist. Along with Bert Sakmann, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1991.
- Ronald George Wreyford Norrish (1897–1978), British chemist. As a result of the development of flash photolysis, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967 along with Manfred Eigen and George Porter for their study of extremely fast chemical reactions.
- Robert Noyce (1927–1990), American physicist, businessman, and inventor. He co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip which fueled the personal computer revolution.
- Sherwin B. Nuland (born 1930), American surgeon and author of How We Die.
- Paul Nurse (born 1949), 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, called himself an atheist, but specified that "sceptical agnostic" was a more "philosophically correct" term.
- Bill Nye (born 1955), American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, mechanical engineer and scientist. Popularly known as "Bill Nye the Science Guy".
- George Olah (born 1927), 1994 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, discoverer of superacids,
- Mark Oliphant (1901–2000): Australian physicist and humanitarian. He played a fundamental role in the first experimental demonstration of nuclear fusion and also the development of the atomic bomb.
- Karl Pearson (1857–1936): English mathematician who has been credited for establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics.
- Saul Perlmutter (born 1959), American astrophysicist. He shared both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics with Brian P. Schmidt and Adam Riess for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
- Henri Poincaré (1854–1912): French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher of science. He is often described as a polymath, and in mathematics as The Last Universalist, since he excelled in all fields of the discipline as it existed during his lifetime.
- Siméon Denis Poisson (1781–1840), French mathematician, geometer, and physicist.
- George Pólya (1888–1985), Hungarian Jewish mathematician. He was a professor of mathematics from 1914 to 1940 at ETH Zürich and from 1940 to 1953 at Stanford University. He made fundamental contributions to combinatorics, number theory, numerical analysis and probability theory. He is also noted for his work in heuristics and mathematics education.
- Carolyn Porco (born 1953), American planetary scientist. She is best known for her work in the exploration of the outer solar system, beginning with her imaging work on the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the 1980s.
- Vladimir Prelog (1906–1998), Croatian organic chemist. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975.
- Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (born 1951), Indian-American neuroscientist. Best known for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and visual psychophysics.
- C. V. Raman (1888–1970), Indian physicist whose work was influential in the growth of science in India. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 for the discovery that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the light that is deflected changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman effect.
- Lisa Randall (born 1962): American theoretical physicist and a student of particle physics and cosmology. She works on several of the competing models of string theory in the quest to explain the fabric of the universe. Her best known contribution to the field is the Randall–Sundrum model, first published in 1999 with Raman Sundrum.
- John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1842–1919): English physicist who, with William Ramsay, discovered the element argon, an achievement for which he earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904. He also discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh scattering, explaining why the sky is blue, and predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves. Rayleigh's textbook, The Theory of Sound, is still referred to by acoustic engineers today.
- Grote Reber (1911–2002), American amateur astronomer and pioneer of radio astronomy. He was instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky's pioneering work, and conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies. His 1937 radio antenna was the second ever to be used for astronomical purposes and the first parabolic reflecting antenna to be used as a "radio telescope".
- Robert Coleman Richardson (born 1937), American experimental physicist. He, along with David Lee, as senior researchers, and then graduate student Douglas Osheroff, shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for their 1972 discovery of the property of superfluidity in helium-3 atoms in the Cornell University Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics.
- Charles Richet (1850–1935), French physiologist. He won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on anaphylaxis.
- Isaac Roberts (1829–1904), Welsh engineer and business man best known for his work as an amateur astronomer, pioneering the field of astrophotography of nebulae.
- Richard J. Roberts (born 1943), British biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing.
- Józef Rotblat (1908–2005), Polish-British physicist. Along with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
- Carl Sagan (1934–1996), astronomer and skeptic.
- Frederick Sanger (1918–2013), English biochemist and a two-time Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.
- Nicholas Saunderson (1682–1739), English scientist and mathematician.
- Peter Schuster (born 1941), Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Vienna.
- Harlow Shapley (1885–1972), American astronomer. Best known for determining the correct position of the Sun within the Milky Way galaxy.
- Charles Scott Sherrington (1857–1952), English neurophysiologist, histologist, bacteriologist, and pathologist. He, along with Edgar Adrian, won the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- George Gaylord Simpson (1902–1984), American paleontologist. He is considered to be one of the most influential paleontologist of the 20th century, and a major participant in the modern evolutionary synthesis.
- Jens C. Skou (born 1918), Danish chemist. In 1997 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (together with Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker) for his discovery of Na+, K+-ATPase.
- Homer Smith (1895–1962), American physiologist. His research work focused on the kidney and he discovered inulin at the same time as A.N. Richards.
- William Smith (geologist) (1769–1839), English geologist, credited with creating the first nationwide geological map. He is known as the "Father of English Geology" for collating the geological history of England and Wales into a single record, although recognition was very slow in coming.
- George Smoot (born 1945), American astrophysicist, cosmologist, Nobel laureate, and $1 million TV quiz show prize winner (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?). He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer with John C. Mather that led to the measurement "of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation."
- Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865–1923): German-American mathematician and electrical engineer.
- Piero Sraffa (1898–1983): influential Italian economist whose book Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities is taken as founding the Neo-Ricardian school of Economics.
- Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893–1986), Hungarian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937. He is credited with discovering vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle.
- Leo Szilard (1898–1964), Austro-Hungarian physicist and inventor.
- Igor Tamm (1895–1971), Soviet physicist who received the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov and Ilya Frank, for their 1934 discovery of Cherenkov radiation.
- Edward Teller (1908–2003), Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb". Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy (the Jahn–Teller and Renner–Teller effects), and surface physics.
- Thorvald N. Thiele (1838–1910), Danish astronomer, actuary and mathematician, most notable for his work in statistics, interpolation and the three-body problem. He was the first to propose a mathematical theory of Brownian motion. Thiele introduced the cumulants and (in Danish) the likelihood function; these contributions were not credited to Thiele by Ronald A. Fisher, who nevertheless named Thiele to his (short) list of the greatest statisticians of all time on the strength of Thiele's other contributions.
- E. Donnall Thomas (1920–2012), American physician, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, and director emeritus of the clinical research division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In 1990 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Joseph E. Murray for the development of cell and organ transplantation. Thomas developed bone marrow transplantation as a treatment for leukemia.
- John Tyndall (1820–1893), Prominent 19th century experimental physicist. Known for producing a number of discoveries about processes in the atmosphere.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson (born 1958), American astrophysicist, science communicator, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, and a Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.
- Stanislaw Ulam (1909–1984), Polish-Jewish mathematician. He participated in America's Manhattan Project, originated the Teller–Ulam design of thermonuclear weapons, invented the Monte Carlo method of computation, and suggested nuclear pulse propulsion.
- Martinus J. G. Veltman (born 1931), Dutch theoretical physicist. He shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics with his former student Gerardus 't Hooft for their work on particle theory.
- Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902), German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician. Referred to as "the father of modern pathology," he is considered one of the founders of social medicine.
- John von Neumann (1903–1957), Hungarian-American mathematician and polymath who made major contributions to a vast number of fields, including set theory, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, ergodic theory, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics, linear programming, game theory, computer science, numerical analysis, hydrodynamics, and statistics, as well as many other mathematical fields. It is indicated that he was an "agnostic Catholic" due to his agreement with Pascal's Wager.
- Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is best known for independently proposing a theory of evolution due to natural selection that prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.
- André Weil (1906–1998), French mathematician. He is especially known for his foundational work in number theory and algebraic geometry.
- Walter Frank Raphael Weldon (1860–1906), English evolutionary biologist and a founder of biometry. He was the joint founding editor of Biometrika, with Francis Galton and Karl Pearson.
- Norbert Wiener (1894–1964), American mathematician and child prodigy. He is regarded as the originator of cybernetics.
- Eugene Wigner (1902–1995), Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles"; the other half of the award was shared between Maria Goeppert-Mayer and J. Hans D. Jensen. Wigner is important for having laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics as well as for his research into the structure of the atomic nucleus. It was Eugene Wigner who first identified Xe-135 "poisoning" in nuclear reactors, and for this reason it is sometimes referred to as Wigner poisoning. Wigner is also important for his work in pure mathematics, having authored a number of theorems.
- Frank Wilczek (born 1951), American theoretical physicist. Along with David J. Gross and Hugh David Politzer, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004.
- Steve Wozniak (born 1950), Co-founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple I and Apple II.
- Chen Ning Yang (born 1922), Chinese-born American physicist who works on statistical mechanics and particle physics. He and Tsung-dao Lee received the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction.
- Hubert Yockey (born 1916), American physicist and information theorist.
- Hans Zinsser (1878–1940), American bacteriologist and a prolific author. He is known for his work in isolating the typhus bacterium and developing a protective vaccine.
Celebrities and athletes
- Steve Austin (born 1964), American professional wrestler, WWE Hall of Famer.
- Kristy Hawkins (born 1980), American IFBB professional bodybuilder and scientist.
- Edmund Hillary (1919–2008), New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. He along with Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed as having reached the summit of Mount Everest.
- Pat Tillman (1976–2004), American professional football player and U.S. Army veteran.
- Rafael Nadal (born 1986), Spanish professional tennis player, winner of eleven Grand Slam singles titles.
- Rob Van Dam (born 1970), American professional wrestler, winner of three separate major promotion world championships.
- Nicholas Von Hoffman (2010). Radical: A Portrait of Saul Alinsky. Nation Books. pp. 108–109. ISBN 9781568586250.
He passed the word in the Back of the Yards that this Jewish agnostic was okay, which at least ensured that he would not be kicked out the door.
- Charles E. Curran (2011). The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church: A Theological Perspective. Georgetown University Press. p. 32. ISBN 9781589017436.
Saul D. Alinsky, an agnostic Jew, organized the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago in the late 1930s and started the Industrial Areas Foundation in 1940 to promote community organizations and to train community organizers.
- Deal Wyatt Hudson (1987). Deal Wyatt Hudson, Matthew J. Mancini, ed. Understanding Maritain: Philosopher and Friend. Mercer University Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780865542792.
Saul Alinsky was an agnostic Jew for whom religion of any kind held very little importance and just as little relation to the focus of his life's work: the struggle for economic and social justice, for human dignity and human rights, and for the alleviation of the sufferings of the poor and downtrodden.
- Sandra Miesel (1978). Against Time's Arrow: The High Crusade of Poul Anderson. Borgo Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-89370-124-6.
- Piers Anthony. "Piers Anthony Interview". Retrieved 13 May 2012.
I am agnostic because I feel each person should make up his own mind about his religion.
- Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1885). "Susan B. Anthony". Our famous women: An authorized record of the lives and deeds of distinguished American women of our times. A.D. Worthington. p. 59.
- Dale McGowan (2011). Parenting Beyond Belief- Abridged Ebook Edition: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids without Religion. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. p. 138. ISBN 9780814474266.
“Serene agnostic”Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was the first woman, in 1848, to call for woman suffrage, launching the women's movement. She was joined by sister agnostic Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906).
- Peter Baehr (2010). Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences. Stanford University Press. p. 66. ISBN 9780804756501.
Both Hannah Arendt and Aron were assimilated, agnostic Jews (so were Mannheim and Riesman), who became politically radicalized only with the rise of the Nazi movement;...
- "They were both agnostics, though both set a high associative value on the language in which the traditional religions of their forebears had been expressed, and in conversation and writing were not averse to ironic reference to certain metaphysical concepts." Anthony Cronin, Samuel Beckett: the last modernist (1999), page 90.
- "Contrary to McWilliams's claim, however, in the public arena Bierce was not merely an agnostic but a staunch unbeliever regarding the question of Jesus' divinity." Donald T. Blume, Ambrose Bierce's Civilians and soldiers in context: a critical study, page 323.
- I. Shenker (6 April 1971). "Borges, a Blind Writer With Insight". New York Times.
- Henry Cadbury, "My Personal Religion", republished on the Quaker Universalist Fellowship website.
- David Simpson writes that Camus affirmed "a defiantly atheistic creed." Albert Camus (1913–1960), The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006, (Retrieved 14 June 2007).
- Haught, James A. (1996). 2,000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt. Prometheus Books. pp. 261–262. ISBN 1-57392-067-3.
- "I have recently argued that this linguistic indeterminacy, or as J. Hillis Miller terms it, undecidability, places Carlyle as a perhaps unwilling and yet important contributor to the upsurge of an anti- religious agnosticism that would set in motion the demise of orthodox belief both prophesied and dreaded by Nietzsche." Paul E. Kerry, Marylu Hill, Thomas Carlyle Resartus: Reappraising Carlye's Contribution to the Philosophy of History, Political Theory, and Cultural Criticism (2010), page 69.
- Sophia A. McClennen (2009). Ariel Dorfman: An Aesthetics of Hope. Duke University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8223-4604-3.
Dorfman is a confirmed agnostic and it would be a mistake to ascribe too close an affinity between him and Jeremiah.
- Golgotha Pres (2011). The Life and Times of Arthur Conan Doyle. BookCaps Study Guides. ISBN 9781621070276.
In time, he would reject the Catholic religion and become an agnostic.
- "To be clear, in all the annals of American and African American history, one will probably not find another agnostic as preoccupied with and as familiar with so much biblical, religious, and spiritual rhetoric as WEB Du Bois." Brian Johnson, W.E.B. Du Bois: Toward Agnosticism, 1868–1934, page 3.
- "Q&A: Bart Ehrman: Misquoting Jesus". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
- V.Bernet (23 April 2008). "Agnostic's questions have biblical answers". Kansas City Star.
In the church of his youth in Lawrence, Kansas, with nearly every pew at capacity last week, Bart D. Ehrman, chairman of the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, announced that he was an agnostic. He joked that atheists think agnostics are wimpy atheists and that agnostics think atheists are arrogant agnostics.
- David G. Riede (2005). Allegories Of One's Own Mind: Melancholy In Victorian Poetry. Ohio State University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-8142-1008-6.
Unlike Tennyson and the Brownings, however, Fitzgerald was an agnostic, and consequently he lacked the strong sense of conscience and duty that might have disciplined and given shape to his anomic imagination.
- "To be sure, when she wrote her groundbreaking book, Friedan considered herself an "agnostic" Jew, unaffiliated with any religious branch or institution." Kirsten Fermaglich, American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares: Early Holocaust Consciousness and Liberal America, 1957–1965 (2007), page 59.
- S.Winchester (2003). The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860702-4.
[...] Furnivall was a deeply committed socialist and (until his later agnosticism set in), a somewhat enthusiastic Christian [...]
- Ramesh Chopra (2005). Academic Dictionary Of Philosophy. Gyan Books. p. 142. ISBN 9788182052246.
His agnosticism is best seen in his 'Moods, Songs, and Doggerels'.
- "...Gorky - a religious agnostic praised as a social realist by the communist regime during the demise of imperial Russia..." James Redmond, Drama and Philosophy, page 161.
- "Gorky had long rejected all organized religions. Yet he was not a materialist, and thus he could not be satisfied with Marx's ideas on religion. When asked to express his views about religion in a questionnaire sent by the French journal Mercure de France on April 15, 1907, Gorky replied that he was opposed to the existing religions of Moses, Christ, and Mohammed. He defined religious feeling as an awareness of a harmonious link that joins man to the universe and as an aspiration for synthesis, inherent in every individual." Tova Yedlin, Maxim Gorky: A Political Biography, page 86.
- Geoffrey Harvey (2003). The Complete Critical Guide to Thomas Hardy. Routledge. p. 23. ISBN 9780415234917.
Although Hardy's agnosticism was less forceful than Stephen's, significantly it was Hardy whom he chose to witness his renunciation of Holy Orders on 23 March 1875.
- Seyyed Hossein Nasr (2006). Islamic Philosophy from Its Origin to the Present: Philosophy in the Land of Prophecy. SUNY Press. pp. 166–167. ISBN 9780791467992.
Also Iran's most famous modern writer, Sadegh Hedayat, who was an agnostic and antireligious activist, did much to introduce the new skeptical view of Khayyam among modernized Persians to the extent that some by mistake think of him as the founder of Khayyam studies in Iran.
- J. Neil Schulman (1999). "Job: A Comedy of Justice Reviewed by J. Neil Schulman". Robert Heinlein Interview: And Other Heinleiniana. Pulpless. Com. p. 62. ISBN 9781584450153.
Lewis converted me from atheism to Christianity — Rand converted me back to atheism, with Heinlein standing on the sidelines rooting for agnosticism.
- Carole M. Cusack (2010). Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 57. ISBN 9780754693604.
Heinlein, like Robert Anton Wilson, was a lifelong agnostic, believing that to affirm that there is no God was as silly and unsupported as to affirm that there was a God.
- Joseph Heller, Adam J. Sorkin (1993). Adam J. Sorkin, ed. Conversations With Joseph Heller. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 75. ISBN 9780878056354.
Mandel: You are expressing an agnostic attitude toward reality and I am glad to see you so healthy. Heller: I realize that even if I received convincing physical evidence that there is a God and a heaven and hell, it wouldn't affect me one bit. I think the experience of life is more important than the experience of eternity. Life is short. Eternity never runs out.
- Alexander Herzen, Kathleen Parthé, Robert Neil Harris (2012). A Herzen Reader. Northwestern University Press. p. 367. ISBN 9780810128477.
Zernov writes: “Herzen was the only leader of the intelligentsia who was more an agnostic than a dogmatic atheist and for this reason he remained on the fringe of the movement."
- Harold Bloom, ed. (2003). Aldous Huxley. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7910-7040-6.
As late as 1962 he wrote to Reid Gardner, “I remain an agnostic who aspires to be a gnostic” (Letters 935).
- During an interview on his book The Year of Living Biblically with George Stroumboulopoulos on the CBC Program 'The Hour' Jacobs states "I'm still an agnostic, I don't know whether there's a god."
- "Neither Joyce's agnosticism nor his sexual libertinism were known to his mentors at Belvedere and he remained to the end a Prefect of the Sodality of Mary." Bruce Stewart, James Joyce (2007), page 14.
- "Kafka did not look at writing as a “gift” in the traditional sense. If anything, he considered both his talent for writing and what he produced as a writer curses for some unknown sin. Since Kafka was agnostic or even an atheist, it is best to assume his sense of sin and curse were metaphors." Franz Kafka - The Absurdity of Everything, Tameri.com.
- "Kafka was also alienated from his own heritage by his parent's perfunctory religious practice and minimal social formality in the Jewish community, though his style and influence is sometimes attributed to Jewish folk lore. Kafka eventually declared himself a socialist atheist, Spinoza, Darwin and Nietzsche some of his influences." C.D. Merriman, Franz Kafka.
- James F. Lea (1979). Kazantzakis: the politics of salvation. University of Alabama Press. p. 180. ISBN 9780817370022.
H. Kazantzakis, Nikos Kazantzakis, p. 433, relates how their marriage ceremony was moving "even for atheists like ourselves."
- Lewis Owens (2003). Creative Destruction: Nikos Kazantzakis and the Literature of Responsibility. Mercer University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780865548039.
Middleton claims that Kazantzakis is not an "atheist" but an "antitheist," rejecting the theistic God who is attributed with eternity, necessity,
- "Keats shared Hunt's dislike of institutionalized Christianity, parsons, and the Christian belief in man's innate corruption, but, as an unassertive agnostic, held well short of Shelley's avowed atheism." John Barnard, John Keats, pages 38-39.
- Ralph Ellis. Mary Magdalene. Edfu Books Ltd. p. 223. ISBN 9781905815197.
Omar Khayyam, for instance, the great Muslim mathematician and poet, was actually a Sufi Agnostic: From his youth to his death Khayyam remained a materialist, a pessimist, and an Agnostic. Khayyam looked at all religions questions with a skeptical eye, and hated the fanaticism, narrow-mindedness, and the spirit of vengeance of the mullahs. And Khayyam himself once said: "We are the victims of an age when men of science are discredited, and only a few remain who are capable of engaging in scientific research. Our philosophers spend all their time in mixing true with false and are interested in nothing but outward show; such little learning as they have they extend on material ends. When they see a man sincere and unremitting in his search for the truth, one who will have nothing to do with falsehood and pretence, they mock and despise him."
- Janusz Korczak (1978). Ghetto diary. Holocaust Library.
You know I am an agnostic, but I understood: Pedagogy, tolerance, and all that.
- Chris Mullen (March 7, 1983). "Korczak's Children: Flawed Faces in a Warsaw Ghetto". The Heights. p. 24.
An assimilated Jew, he changed his name from Henryk Goldschmidt and was an agnostic who did not believe in forcing religion on children.
- The Month, Volume 39. Simpkin, Marshall, and Company. 1968. p. 350.
When Dr. Janusz Korczak, a Jewish philanthropist and agnostic, voluntarily chooses to follow the Jewish orphans under his care to the Nazi extermination camp in Treblinka...
- Noack, Hans-Joachim (15 January 1996). "Jeder Irrwitz ist denkbar Science-fiction-Autor Lem über Nutzen und Risiken der Antimaterie (engl: Each madness is conceivable Science-fiction author Lem about the benefits and risks of anti-matter)". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Lucretius did not deny the existence of gods either, but he felt that human ideas about gods combined with the fear of death to make human beings unhappy. He followed the same materialist lines as Epicurus, and by denying that the gods had any way of influencing our world he said that humankind had no need to fear the supernatural." Ancient Atheists. BBC.co.uk.
- Markose Abraham (2011). American Immigration Aesthetics: Bernard Malamud and Bharati Mukherjee As Immigrants. AuthorHouse. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-4567-8243-6.
An agnostic humanist, Malamud has unflinching faith in man's ability to choose and make “his own world” from the “usable past”.
- "When asked what he would do if on his death he found himself facing the twelve apostles, the agnostic Mencken answered, "I would simply say, 'Gentlemen, I was mistaken.'"" American Experience; Monkey Trial; People & Events: The Jazz Age, PBS Online, 1999–2001. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
- Catherine Patricia Riesenman (1966). The early reception of Thomas Mann's "Doktor Faustus": history and main problems. Indiana University. p. 158.
Mann's "agnostic humanism" admits the existence of God as an incontestable fact but refuses a dogmatic definition of the nature of God (p. 77).
- "Nabokov is a self-affirmed agnostic in matters religious, political, and philosophical." Donald E. Morton, Vladimir Nabokov (1974), page 8.
- "O'Neill, an agnostic and an anarchist, maintained little hope in religion or politics and saw institutions not serving to preserve liberty but standing in the way of the birth of true freedom." John P. Diggins, Eugene O'Neill's America: desire under democracy (2007), page 130.
- "The religion of Larry Niven, science fiction author". Adherents.com. 28 July 2005. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- Fernando Pessoa, Richard Zenith (2002). The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa. Grove Press. ISBN 9780802139146.
Whether or not they exist, we're slaves to the gods.
- "Marcel Proust was the son of a Christian father and a Jewish mother. He himself was baptized (on 5 August 1871, at the church of Saint-Louis d'Antin) and later confirmed as a Catholic, but he never practiced that faith and as an adult could best be described as a mystical atheist, someone imbued with spirituality who nonetheless did not believe in a personal God, much less in a savior." Edmund White, Marcel Proust: A Life (2009).
- Finch, Alison. The Oxford Companion to French Literature: Marcel Proust. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866104-7.
Proust's mother was Jewish; he and his younger brother were brought up as Catholics. He no doubt grew up with an awareness of the diversity of religious and cultural traditions; this awareness is part of what gives A la recherche du temps perdu its breadth. The adult Proust seems to have been an atheist or agnostic (albeit one with a keen sense of awe and mystery); certainly his mature work shows, in religious and other areas, a scepticism by turns quizzical or delighted or anguished. Such scepticism has been part of the French literary tradition for centuries, but Proust was to foreground it in a particularly modern mode.
- David M. Bethea (1998). Realizing Metaphors: Alexander Pushkin and the Life of the Poet. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-299-15974-0.
For Pushkin himself was agnostic, in the sense that, exquisitely perched between paganism and Orthodoxy, violence and civilization, east and west, he would have loved to believe, but he felt too attached to this world, too fascinated by it, to come to rest in any stance other than the simultaneously exhilarating and wearying stand-in-relation-to.
- Adel Iskander, Hakem Rustom (2010). Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24546-4.
Said was of Christian background, a confirmed agnostic, perhaps even an atheist, yet he had a rage for justice and a moral sensibility lacking in most believers. Said retained his ethical compass without God and persevered in an exile once forced and now chosen, affected by neither malice nor fear.
- John Cornwell (2010). Newman's Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 128. ISBN 9781441150844.
A hundred and fifty years on, Edward Said, an agnostic of Palestinian origins, who strove to correct false Western impressions of 'Orientalism', would declare Newman's university discourses both true and 'incomparably eloquent'...
- Antonio Monda (2007). Do You Believe?. Vintage. pp. 141, 146.
I am an agnostic...I began not to believe in the existence of God when I was in high school.
- Helen M. Buss, D. L. Macdonald, Anne McWhir (2001). Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley: Writing Lives. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 141. ISBN 9780889209435.
Its implicit antagonist-reader and protagonist-editor are his Roman Catholic wife Mary Jane, and his troubled agnostic daughter, Mary Shelley:...
- Broder, John M.; Shane, Scott (June 15, 2013). "For Snowden, a Life of Ambition, Despite the Drifting". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
Toward the end of 2003, Mr. Snowden wrote that he was joining the Army, listing Buddhism as his religion (“agnostic is strangely absent,” he noted parenthetically about the military recruitment form). He tried to define a still-evolving belief system. “I feel that religion, adopted purely, is ultimately representative of blindly making someone else’s beliefs your own.”
- Dale McGowan (2011). Parenting Beyond Belief- Abridged Ebook Edition: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids without Religion. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. p. 138. ISBN 9780814474266.
“Serene agnostic” Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was the first woman, in 1848, to call for woman suffrage, launching the women's movement. She was joined by sister agnostic Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906).
- Patrick A. McCarthy (1982). Olaf Stapledon. Twayne. ISBN 9780805768268.
There may be a God or universal spirit apart from man, as Victor admits; but he maintains Stapledon's consistently agnostic position that we should "be true to our own little insect intelligence...
- Jackson J. Benson (1984). The true adventures of John Steinbeck, writer: a biography. Viking Press. p. 248. ISBN 9780670166855.
Ricketts did not convert his friend to a religious point of view — Steinbeck remained an agnostic and, essentially, a materialist — but Ricketts's religious acceptance did tend to work on his friend, ...
- "It must be extremely consoling, he admitted, to have faith in religion, yet even for an agnostic, like himself, life held many beautiful realities - the art of Raphael or Titian, the prose of Voltaire and the poetry of Byron in Don Juan." F. C. Green, Stendhal (2011), page 200.
- Robert Crossley (1994). Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future. Syracuse University Press. p. 388. ISBN 9780815602811.
In a lecture to the New Renascence School in London, he reiterated the central paradox of his own spiritual life: "Agnosticism, far from destroying religion, is the gateway to live religion." ...In a 1949 anthology on religion, Olaf gave simple, precise expression to a problem he had wrestled with all his life: the emotional inadequacy of atheism and the intellectual unacceptability of theism. Spirit, for him, meant a character of aspiration, not a substance attributed to souls or deities.
- Boris Strugatsky. "Boris Strugatsky: "The seeds of culture do not die even in the soil, which seems to be frozen to the bottom,"". Cobepwehho Cekpetho. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
I was an atheist, or as it is now for some reason, say, an agnostic. I (unfortunately or fortunately) I can not bring myself to believe in the existence of a conscious self Omnipotence that controls my life and the life of humanity.
- CBC News reports that Templeton "eventually abandoned the pulpit and became an agnostic." Journalist, evangelist Charles Templeton dies
- "The Modern Spirit". Thucydides. Taylor & Francis. 1925. p. 16.
Thucydides' own attitude towards the gods is that of a well-poised agnostic : If there be any, they do not concern themselves with human affairs.
- Joseph Mali (2003). "1". Mythistory: The Making of a Modern Historiography. University of Chicago Press. p. 19. ISBN 9780226502625.
For Thucydides held to an agnostic conception of history: he did not believe in any supernatural or merely natural forces in it; rather, he conceived history— in overtly dramatic terms—to be a test of character, an ongoing attempt of men to assert themselves in, and over against, reality that they could not fully understand nor really change.
- Mary Frances Williams (1998). Ethics in Thucydides: The Ancient Simplicity. University Press of America. p. 6. ISBN 9780761810568.
As scholars came to accept, around the turn of the century, arguments that proclaimed Thucydides' agnosticism or atheism, religion was considered to be either of no interest to the author or to be actively despised by him, and this likewise influenced the treatment of ethics in the 'History'.
- "For example, Leonard Schapiro, Turgenev, His Life and Times (New York: Random, 1978) 214, writes about Turgenev's agnosticism as follows: "Turgenev was not a determined atheist; there is ample evidence which shows that he was an agnostic who would have been happy to embrace the consolations of religion, but was, except perhaps on some rare occasions, unable to do so"; and Edgar Lehrman, Turgenev's Letters (New York: Knopf, 1961) xi, presents still another interpretation for Turgenev's lack of religion, suggesting literature as a possible substitution: "Sometimes Turgenev's attitude toward literature makes us wonder whether, for him, literature was not a surrogate religion - something in which he could believe unhesitatingly, unreservedly, and enthusiastically, something that somehow would make man in general and Turgenev in particular a little happier."" Harold Bloom, Ivan Turgenev, pages 95-96.
- "In one of our walks about Hartford, when he was in the first fine flush of his agnosticism, he declared that Christianity had done nothing to improve morals and conditions..." William Dean Howells, My Mark Twain .
- "William Dean Howells and Mark Twain had much in common. They were agnostic but compassionate of the plight of man in an indifferent world..." Darrel Abel (2002), Classic Authors of the Gilded Age, iUniverse, ISBN 0-595-23497-6
- "At the most, Mark Twain was a mild agnostic, usually he seems to have been an amused Deist. Yet, at this late date his own daughter has refused to allow his comments on religion to be published." Kenneth Rexroth, "Humor in a Tough Age;" The Nation, 7 March 1959. 
- Adam Bruno Ulam (2002). Understanding the Cold War: A Historian's Personal Reflections (2 ed.). Transaction Publishers. p. 24. ISBN 9781412840651.
While very religious when very young, by sixteen I had turned agnostic.
- "Warraq, 60, describes himself now as an agnostic..." Dissident voices, World Magazine, 16 June 2007, Vol. 22, No. 22.
- Mary Virginia Brackett, Victoria Gaydosik (2006). The Facts on File Companion to the British Novel: Beginnings through the 19th century. Infobase Publishing. p. 479. ISBN 9780816051335.
...White experienced an enormous spiritual change, moving from Unitarianism through theism, then becoming an agnostic, and finally finding more peace in a resignation and acceptance of life without a deity.
- Wiesel, Elie (2000). And the Sea Is Never Full: Memoirs, 1969-. Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8052-1029-3.
Some of the questions: God? “I'm an agnostic.” A strange agnostic, fascinated by mysticism.
- Wilson explains that he is agnostic about everything in the preface to his book Cosmic Trigger.
- Dale McGowan (2011). Parenting Beyond Belief- Abridged Ebook Edition: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids without Religion. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. p. 138. ISBN 9780814474266.
The first influential feminist book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was written by deist-turned-agnostic Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) in 1792, urging that women be treated as “rational creatures”.
- "biography of David Yallop". True Knowledge BETA - The Internet Answer Engine. True Knowledge. 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- The Herald, "Why did this "saint" fail to act on sinners within his flock?", Anne Simpson, 26 May 2007
- Evenhuis, Anthony (1998). Messiah Or Antichrist?: A Study of the Messianic Myth in the Work of Zola. University of Delaware Press. ISBN 978-0-87413-634-0.
Given Émile Zola's reputation as an agnostic and a radical thinker, he has often been avoided by scholars with a religious background.
- "The 400 Richest Americans: #322 Leslie Alexander". Forbes.com. 21 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- Faces of the New Atheism: The Scribe, by Nicholas Thompson, Wired Magazine, Issue 14.11, November 2006 (Retrieved 30 November 2006).
- "The first Nobel Peace Prize went, in 1901, to Henri Dunant. Dunant was the founder of the Red Cross, but he could not become its first elective head-so it is widely believed- because of his agnostic views." Oscar Riddle, The Unleashing of Evolutionary Thought (2007), page 343.
- "Devoutly Calvinist for most of his life, but became bitter and disdainful toward religion in his latter years." NNDB.com, Henry Dunant.
- Elon Musk. "Going to Mars with Elon Musk". The Henry Ford. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
Well, I do. Do I think that there's some sort of master intelligence architecting all of this stuff? I think probably not because then you have to say: "Where does the master intelligence come from?" So it sort of begs the question. So I think really you can explain this with the fundamental laws of physics. You know its complex phenomenon from simple elements.
- "Elon Musk and Rainn Wilson discuss colonizing Mars, global warming, and the fear of failure". Retrieved 14 July 2013.
Wilson: "What do you worship?" Musk: "Well, I don’t really worship anything, but I do devote myself to the advancement of humanity, uh, using technology." Wilson: "Can science and religion coexist?" Musk: "Probably not." Wilson: "Do you pray?" Musk: "I didn't even pray when I almost died of Malaria."
- Sellers, Patricia (19 November 2013). "Ted Turner at 75". CNN.
- "John Adams takes biblical Passion into 21st century - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- On his religious beliefs: ANNO: "I don't belong to any kind of organized religion, so I guess I could be considered agnostic. Japanese spiritualism holds that there is kami (spirit) in everything, and that's closer to my own beliefs." Anno's Roundtable Discussion.
- "I was religious when I was younger. I was Catholic, raised Catholic. I had certain issues about that. I consciously lapsed. I made a conscious decision to avoid it. I'm agnostic. I'm not saying I don't have faith; I absolutely have faith but don't necessarily have faith in God. I have faith in humanity." Guardian's' Simon Baker refocuses anger of youth into busy career by Luane Lee, Scripps Howard News Service, 2 January 2003.
- "The oh-so-Jewy-looking Baruchel is a quarter Jewish, at least half Catholic, exposed to both religions, but now agnostic." JewOrNotJew.com, 7 February 2011. 
- Monica Bellucci. "Monica-Bellucci.net". Monica Bellucci. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
I am an agnostic, even though I respect and am interested in all religions. If there's something I believe in, it's a mysterious energy; the one that fills the oceans during tides, the one that unites nature and beings.
- Interview with Penn Jillette in which he mentions his agnosticism.
- Raphael Shargel (2007). Ingmar Bergman: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-57806-218-8.
A religious reconciliation, for example, appears unlikely for Mr. Bergman, an agnostic. "I hope I never get so old I get religious," he said.
- "'God Bless America,' a favorite song of believers, was written by Irving Berlin. It now turns out that Berlin was an agnostic. In Freethought Today (Madison, Wisconsin, Freedom From Religion Foundation, May 2004) Dan Barker documents that Berlin, the son of a Jewish cantor, was an agnostic, that 'patriotism was his religion.'" Warren Allen Smith, Gossip from Across the Pond: Articles Published in the United Kingdom's Gay and Lesbian Humanist, 1996–2005, page 106.
- INTERVIEW: Padre, Padre: Mexico's Native Son Gael Garcia Bernal Stars in the Controversial "The Crime of Father Amaro"
- Jack Huberman (2008). The Quotable Atheist. Nation Books. ISBN 9781568584195.
Introduced as an “angry agnostic” on Comedy Central's Bar Mitzvah Bash.
- Jan Swafford (2012). Johannes Brahms: A Biography. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 620. ISBN 9780307809896.
George Henschel came to Brahms's apartment in the afternoon of April 3, to find the rooms already overflowing with a display of funeral pomp ironic for an agnostic who had lived plainly: silver crosses on black velvet, a huge brass candelabrum with candles blazing, flowers piled higher than the coffin.
- Chris Tinker (2005). Georges Brassens And Jacques Brel: Personal And Social Narratives In Post-war Chanson. Liverpool University Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780853237686.
Brassens, agnostic, could never be certain about the existence of God, one way or the other.
- "His life partner, Peter Pears, would describe Britten as “an agnostic with a great love for Jesus Christ." Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)
- Andrew Ford (2011). Illegal Harmonies: Music in the Modern Age (3 ed.). Black Inc. p. 77. ISBN 9781921870217.
In place of the Frenchman's unquestioning faith, for example, there was Britten's agnosticism; and in contrast to the uxorious Messiaen, Britten was a homosexual: this, at a time when homosexual practices were still illegal in the United Kingdom.
- Jeremy Begbie, Steven R. Guthrie, ed. (2011). Resonant witness: conversations between music and theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 192–193. ISBN 9780802862778.
I have already cited British composers whom one might describe as “mystical agnostics,”yet it is striking that these (with the arguable exceptions of Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten), are scarcely to be counted among the major innovators in twentieth-century music.
- Mervyn Cooke (1996). Britten: War Requiem. Cambridge University Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780521446334.
From the Tribunal's subsequent report we learn (intriguingly) that Britten also declared 'I do not believe in the Divinity of Christ, but I think his teaching is sound and his example should be followed.'
- Bradley Bambarger (23 Jan 1999). "Classical - Keeping Score". Billboard. p. 40.
Although an agnostic myself," says English composer Gavin Bryars, "I find that the conventions of religion — the rituals — can be very consoling. If you have ever been to a secular funeral, you know that they tend to be chaotic things.
- "Actress Rose Byrne on ‘Knowing’ Religion & the End of the World" in BBook.com:  "Yeah, I'd say I'm agnostic".
- Dick Cavett (February 7, 2007). "Ghost Stories". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
I’m not an atheist exactly, but remain what you might call “suggestible.” (Is there a category of almost-atheist? A person who does not have the courage of his nonconvictions? I guess Woody Allen has, as so often, had the ultimate comic word on the subject. “You cannot prove the nonexistence of God; you just have to take it on faith.”)
- Charles Chaplin, Jr. My Father, Charlie Chaplin. pp. 239–240.
"I'm not an atheist," I can remember him saying on more than one occasion. "I'm definitely an agnostic. Some scientists say that if the world were to stop revolving we'd all disintegrate. But the world keeps on going. Something must be holding us all in place--some Supreme Force. But what it is I couldn't tell you.
- Howard Pollack (1999). Aaron Copland:: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man. University of Illinois Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780252069000.
Arnold Dobrin similarly reported, "Aaron Copland has not followed the religion of his parents. He is an agnostic but one who is deeply aware of the grandeur and mystery of the universe."
- Robert Descharnes, Gilles Néret (1994). Salvador Dalí, 1904-1989. Benedikt Taschen. p. 166. ISBN 9783822802984.
Dalí, dualist as ever in his approach, was now claiming to be both an agnostic and a Roman Catholic.
- Philip DeFranco. "WORST BUG BITE EVER?!". The Philip DeFranco Show. YouTube.
- "Ronnie James Dio talks religion - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Nicholas Ballasy (27 January 2011). "Actor Richard Dreyfuss: ‘If There’s a God,’ Politically Uncivil ‘Guys Are in Trouble’". Retrieved 28 April 2012.
“But I’m an agnostic,” Dreyfuss added. “I’m willing to be surprised, but I’m an agnostic. But if there’s a God and he’s morally involved in our affairs, those guys are in trouble.”
- Akela Reason (2010). Thomas Eakins and the Uses of History. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 119. ISBN 9780812241983.
Eakins's selection of this subject has puzzled some art historians who, unable to reconcile what appears to be an anomalous religious image by a reputedly agnostic artist, have related it solely to Eakins's desire for realism, thus divesting the painting of its religious content. Lloyd Goodrich, for example, considered this illustration of Christ's suffering completely devoid of “religious sentiment” and suggested that Eakins intended it simply as a realist study of the male nude body. As a result, art historians have frequently associated 'Crucifixion' (like Swimming) with Eakins's strong interest in anatomy and the nude.
- Amy Beth Werbel (2007). Thomas Eakins: Art, Medicine, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia. Yale University Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780300116557.
Given Eakins' outspoken agnosticism, his motivation to paint a crucifixion scene is frankly curious.
- Kathleen A. Foster, Mark Bockrath (1997). Thomas Eakins Rediscovered: Charles Bregler's Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Yale University Press. p. 233. ISBN 9780300061741.
Samuel Murray, himself a Catholic, "believed that Eakins never was a Christian"; Bregler described TE as an agnostic.
- Sidney Kirkpatrick (2006). The Revenge of Thomas Eakins. Yale University Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780300108552.
Further, Eakins' agnosticism and his views on such topics as science and technology, evident in his youth and carried on throughout his career, more directly coincided with the accepted doctrine and practices of Jefferson faculty members than perhaps with any other fraternity of like-minded professionals in the city.
- Zac Efron & Nikki Blonsky's Secret Off Screen Romance? By Tina Sims, The National Ledger, 1 August 2007 (Retrieved 25 March 2008)
- "I was raised agnostic, so we never practiced religion..." "Zac Efron - the new American hearthrob", Strauss, Neil Rolling Stone, 23 August 2007, p. 43.
- Smith, Warren Allen (25 October 2000). Who's Who in Hell. Barricade Books. ISBN 1-56980-158-4.
I would describe myself as an enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God.
- Émile Vuillermoz, Steven Smolian (1969). Gabriel Fauré. Chilton Book Co. p. 74.
We have just said that Faure was not a religious man. He was incapable of intolerance or sectarianism, but his agnosticism was complete.
- Richard L. Smith, Caroline Potter, ed. (2006). French music since Berlioz. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 174. ISBN 9780754602828.
The resolutely agnostic Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) was certainly one of its greatest alumni.
- "Henry Fonda claims to be an agnostic. Not an atheist but a doubter." Howard Teichmann, Fonda: My Life, page 303.
- In response to the question "Do you believe in God?", Fox said "I would love to, but I wonder sometimes what he believes in. Religion seems to have been created by man to help and guide humankind. I've no idea, really.""Analyse this: Inside the mind of actress Emilia Fox". iconocast.com.
- Neil Gaiman (January 1989). Neil Gaiman interviewed by Steve Whitaker. FA #109. pp. 24–29.
I think we can say that God exists in the DC Universe. I would not stand up and beat the drum for the existence of God in this universe. I don't know, I think there's probably a 50/50 chance. It doesn't really matter to me.
- Astor, Michael (16 March 2007). "Brazilian pop star Gil tours U.S.". Associated Press via USA Today (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Gannett Company). Retrieved 17 May 2008.
- Steven Dillon (2004). Derek Jarman and Lyric Film: The Mirror and the Sea. University of Texas Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780292702240.
Le Fanu characterizes Tarkovsky as a metaphysical opposite of Godard: a spiritual creator contrasted with an ironic one, a believer in the creative power of the word compared to an agnostic.
- See "Sidelines" section of Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 19, Number 3, which references a quote from New York Times Magazine, 12-27-98.
- "Mr. Penthouse, seminarian? — GetReligion". getreligion.org. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Bayan Northcott. "Gustav Holst". Classical-Music.com. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
For Holst, the function of the composer was not so much to express his or her personality as to serve as a kind of supra-personal receptor to potentially musical impulses from all around, and, not least – though Holst himself seems to have remained essentially agnostic – from above.
- About Holst. Barnes Music Festival. 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
Both musicians were agnostic and flirted with atheism.
- "He [Humphrys] went looking for God and ended up an angry agnostic – unable to believe but enraged by the arrogance of militant atheists." In God we doubt, John Humphrys The Sunday Times, 2 September 2007 (Retrieved 1 April 2008)
- Wingfield, P. (1999). Janácek Studies. Cambridge University Press. p. 47. ISBN 9780521573573. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Yudkoff, Alvin Gene Kelly: A Life of Dance and Dreams, Watson-Guptill Publications: New York, NY (1999) pages 58–59
- "When we got married, I said, 'Look, since I'm agnostic, I have no right to tell you not to teach them what you believe. But give them an opening.' So if they ever ask me, I'd tell them the same thing I'm telling you: 'I don't buy that God, I don't know if there's an afterlife.' Pogrebin, Abigail (2005). Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish. New York: Broadway. pp. 318–322. ISBN 978-0-7679-1612-7.
- I. Harb and M. Košir (20 November 2009). "Slovenci niso pobijali tjulnjev, ampak sami sebe (Slovenians Didn't Kill Seals, They Killed Each Other - interview with Janez Lapajne)". Delo - priloga Vikend - Lapajne said: "First of all, I do not want to belong to any ideological group, which is probably understandable for an agnostic." ("Najprej, ne želim pripadati nobeni ideološki skupini, kar je za agnostika verjetno razumljivo.").
- "Cloris Leachman Drives Fast, Dances Well, Adores Her Grandkids - Grandparents.com | "Does faith play a big role in your life?" Cloris Leachman: Not in a God, no. I am an atheist. I'm not even atheist. I don't think any of us has the answer. I'm an agnostic."". grandparents.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- The Onion: "Is there a God?" Stan Lee: "Well, let me put it this way... [Pauses.] No, I'm not going to try to be clever. I really don't know. I just don't know." Is There A God, The A.V. Club, 9 October 2002.
- Green, Thomas. "Q&A: Musician Lemmy Kilmister". The Art Desk. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Green, Chris. "Q&A: Musician James Hetfield". Chris Yong. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Lennox, Annie (18 December 2010). "Annie Lennox on the Secret History of Christmas Songs". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones). Retrieved 24 December 2010.
- "The closest word I’ve found to describe [my] belief system is Pantheism, but I could also call myself an agnostic (because I don’t claim to know if my own conception of divinity is ultimately true) or an atheist (because I believe that religions based around personified deities are definitely not true)." — The Universe According to Lynx (30 June 2007), Soundtrack for Insurrection, circlealpha.com. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
- Jacques Meuris (1994). René Magritte, 1898-1967. Benedikt Taschen. p. 70. ISBN 9783822805466.
We shall not at this juncture risk analyzing an agnostic Magritte haunted perhaps by thoughts of ultimate destiny. "We behave as if there were no God" (Marien 1947).
- Maher said "I'm not convinced that God exists. But I do allow the possibility. I'm not an atheist. I'm open... My view on spirituality is I don't know. I never will as long as I'm alive. So why waste time dwelling on something I can never know?" See Transcript from Larry King Live - 11 August 2005.
- "It is particularly poor salesmanship for Ms. Raabe to cite Mahler's supposed conversion from Judaism to Catholicism. In both law and common understanding, a choice made under duress is discounted as lacking in free will. Mahler converted as a mere formality under compulsion of a bigoted law that barred Jews from directorship of the Vienna Hofoper. Mahler himself joked about the conversion with his Jewish friends, and, no doubt, would view with bitter amusement the obtuseness of Ms. Raabe's understanding of the cruel choice forced on him: either convert to Christianity or forfeit the professional post for which you are supremely destined. When Mahler was asked why he never composed a Mass, he answered bluntly that he could never, with any degree of artistic or spiritual integrity, voice the Credo. He was a confirmed agnostic, a doubter and seeker, never a soul at rest or at peace." Joel Martel, MAHLER AND RELIGION; Forced to Be Christian, New York Times.
- Stuart Feder (2004). "Mahler at Midnight". Gustav Mahler: A Life in Crisis. Yale University Press. pp. 63–64. ISBN 9780300103403.
Mahler had followed the common path of assimilationist Jews, particularly those who were German-speaking and university-educated: toward a dignified job, a position in the community, and a respectable income. Besides the fact that anti-Semitism was rife in Vienna, the post Mahler sought was a government position and normally open only to those who declared themselves to belong to the state religion, Catholicism. Mahler's superior, the intendant of the opera, reported directly to the emperor. Like the many Jews who were candidates for lesser government jobs, Mahler was officially baptized on 23 February 1897. His appointment arrived soon after.
- Norman Lebrecht (2010). Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 84. ISBN 9780375423819.
In January 1897 Mahler is told that "under present circumstances it is impossible to engage a Jew for Vienna." "Everywhere", he bemoans, "the fact that I am a Jew has at the last moment proved an insurmountable obstacle." But he does not despair, having made arrangements to remedy his deficiency. On February 23, 1897, at Hamburgs Little Michael Church, Gustav Mahler is baptized into the Roman Catholic faith. He is the most reluctant, the most resentful, of converts. “I had to go through it,” he tells Walter. “This action,” he informs Karpath, “which I took out of self-preservation, and which I was fully prepared to take, cost me a great deal.” He tells a Hamburg writer: “I've changed my coat.” There is no false piety here, no pretense. Mahler is letting it be known for the record that he is a forced convert, one whose Jewish pride is undiminished, his essence unchanged. “An artist who is a Jew,” he tells a critic, "has to achieve twice as much as one who is not, just as a swimmer with short arms has to make double efforts." After the act of conversion he never attends Mass, never goes to confession, never crosses himself. The only time he ever enters a church for a religious purpose is to get married.
- "He was born a Jew but has been described as a life-long agnostic. At one point he converted to Catholicism, purely for the purpose of obtaining a job that he coveted -- director of the Court Opera of Vienna. It was unthinkable for a Jew to hold such a prestigious position, hence the utilitarian conversion to the state religion." Warren Allen Smith, Celebrities in Hell, pages 76-77.
- Barrie Kosky (2008). On Ecstasy. Melbourne Univ. Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 9780522855340.
Mahler's ambivalent Jewish-Christian Nietzschean agnostic personality found a living, breathing, sweating counterpart in Bernstein's muscles, bones and flesh.
- Otto Klemperer (1986). Martin J. Anderson, ed. Klemperer on Music: Shavings from a Musician's Workbench. London: Toccata Press. pp. 133–147.
Mahler was a thoroughgoing child of the nineteenth century, an adherent of Nietzsche, and typically irreligious. For all that, he was – as all his compositions testify – devout in the highest sense, though his piety was not to be found in any church prayer-book.
- Kenneth Lafave (2002). "Mahler, Gustav". Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
From the beginning, Mahler declared that his music was not for his own time but for the future. An agnostic, he apparently saw long-term success as a real-world equivalent of immortality. "Mahler was a thoroughgoing child of the nineteenth century, an adherent of Nietzsche, and typically irreligious," the conductor Otto Klemperer recalled in his memoirs, adding that, in his music, Mahler evinced a "piety. . . not to be found in any church prayer-book." This appraisal is confirmed by the story of Mahler's conversion to Catholicism in 1897. Although his family was Jewish, Mahler was not observant, and when conversion was required in order to qualify as music director of the Vienna Court Opera—the most prestigious post in Europe—he swiftly acquiesced to baptism and confirmation, though he never again attended mass. Once on the podium, however, Mahler brought a renewed spirituality to many works, including Beethoven's Fidelio, which he almost single-handedly rescued from a reputation for tawdriness.
- "'It would be safe to say that I'm agnostic,' Matthews says. 'However, I do feel as though we owe a faith to the world and to ourselves. We owe a grace and gratitude to things that have brought us here. But I think it's very ignorant to say, 'Well, for everything, God has a plan.' That's like an excuse. ... Maybe the real faithful act is to commit to something, to take action, as opposed to saying, 'Well, everything is in the hand of God.'" See Boston Globe Article 'Dave Matthews Gets Serious - and Playful' by Steve Morse (4 March 2001)
- "If you say ‘there is no God,’ where is evidence there is no God? You can say ‘I don’t know.’ Being an agnostic to me is a scientific point of view, which is supportable. In my experience, I felt at times that there is a God of some kind. I don’t subscribe to any organized religion – that’s a different matter. But if there is a God, we have very little idea of what that God may be. That’s inherent in what we are,” he said." - Brian May, RT.com, 26 July 2011.
- Mitchell, David (2012). Back Story: A Memoir. HarperCollins. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978-0007351725.
- Edvard Munch, Arne Eggum (1978). Edvard Munch: symbols & images, Volume 1978, Part 2. National Gallery of Art. p. 237.
But Munch was not completely averse to every form of religion; one might rather say that throughout his life he remained a thoughtful agnostic.
- Jerrold Northrop Moore (1999). Edward Elgar: A Creative Life. Oxford University Press. p. 423. ISBN 9780198163664.
Newman was an agnostic.
- Oberst said: "If I’m forced to categorize myself I guess I’d say I was an agnostic." Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes: Bright Ideas, by A. D. Amorosi, Harp magazine, May 2007. (Retrieved 15 October 2007)
- Joe Staines (2010). The Rough Guide to Classical Music (5 ed.). Penguin. p. 398. ISBN 9781405383219.
Parry was an avowed agnostic yet he produced some of Britain's finest sacred choral music.
- "I'm a linear thinking agnostic, but not an atheist folks." Peart, Neil (1996). The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa. ISBN 1-55022-667-3.
- "Sean Penn’s Religion and Political Views | The Hollowverse". hollowverse.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- When asked whether he believed in God, he replied: "I generally am wary of the black and white veering more towards the grey with regard to these matters but am closer to atheism when push comes to shove in terms of not believing the extravagant claims of theology. After all "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan If the following definition of an atheist is correct then I would certainly nail my flag to that mast! :o) "An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support." - John Buchan" Brendan believe in God or something??.
- "BILD: Do you believe in God? Brad Pitt (smiling): 'No, no, no!' BILD: Is your soul spiritual? Brad Pitt: 'No, no, no! I’m probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You'll either find out or not when you get there, until then there's no point thinking about it.'" Brad Pitt interview: "With six kids each morning it is about surviving!" By Norbert Körzdörfer, Bild.com, 23 July 2009
- Sidney Poitier (2009). Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter. HarperCollins. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-06-149620-2.
The question of God, the existence or nonexistence, is a perennial question, because we don't know. Is the universe the result of God, or was the universe always there?
- Sidney Poitier (2009). Life Beyond Measure. HarperCollins. pp. 85–86. ISBN 9780061737251.
I don't see a God who is concerned with the daily operation of the universe. In fact, the universe may be no more than a grain of sand compared with all the other universes. ...It is not a God for one culture, or one religion, or one planet.
- Daniel Harrison (1994). Harmonic Function in Chromatic Music: A Renewed Dualist Theory and an Account of Its Precedents. University of Chicago Press. p. 256. ISBN 9780226318080.
On the matter of undertones, then, we may fairly conclude that Hugo Riemann was a churchgoing agnostic.
- Rooney wrote: "I call myself an agnostic, not an atheist, because in one sense atheists are like Christians or Muslims. They’re sure of themselves. A Christian says with certainty, there is a god; an atheist says with certainty, there is no god. Neither knows" Sincerely, Andy Rooney (2001), Public Affairs ISBN 1-58648-045-6
- Rooney said: "Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don't push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion." Marian Christy, "Conversations: We make our own destiny", Boston Globe, 30 May 1982 (from Newsbank).
- Rooney said: "I am an atheist... I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense." From a speech at Tufts University, 18 November 2004.
- "Larry Sanger Blog » I am not Jewish (not one of the Frozen Chosen)". larrysanger.org. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Elizabeth Norman McKay (1996). Franz Schubert: a biography. Clarendon Press. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-19-816523-1.
...quite what he expected: no doubt on account of both his agnosticism and his lack of money or sure prospects...
- Arthur Hutchings (1967). Church Music in the Nineteenth Century. London: Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 0837196957.
The unctuous style we hear every Christmas is found in church music by Schubert and the Chevalier Neukomm, both known in private letters to be agnostic.
- John Daverio. Robert Schumann: Herald of a "New Poetic Age". Oxford University Press. p. 471. ISBN 9780199839315.
Yet Schumann's religiosity was devoid of dogmatism. In a self-characterization written in 1830, he described himself as “religious, but without religion”; according to Wasielewski, this description held into the 1850s.
- Cath Clarke. "Ridley Scott interview". TimeOut London. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
God occupies the director’s thoughts more than He used to, says Scott, who’s an agnostic, converted from atheism. ‘You could have ten scientists in this room. You could ask them all: who’s religious? About three to four will put their hands up. I’ve asked these guys from Nasa. And they say: When you get to the end of your theories, you come to a wall… you come to a question. Who thought up this shit?’ Scott was turned off religion by his Church of England upbringing (‘altar boy… terrible burgundy wine… all that stuff’). Now? ‘Now my feeling goes with “could be”.’
- Adrienne Shelly said: "I'm an optimistic agnostic. I'd like to believe." Rhys, Tim (August 1996), Suddenly Adrienne Shelly, MovieMaker Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- "I know intellectually there is no god. But in case there is, I don’t want to piss him off by saying it." Howard Stern, Interview w/ Steppin’ Out, 21 May 2004.
- "I am an agnostic and I was interested in reading the pre-Christian idea that winter is more about regeneration than salvation. I stayed away from that triumphal, 'God is in his heaven, isn't everything wonderful?' kind of thing."
- Stone said "...I'm Jewish simply because... my mom is Jewish... but... I grew up completely secular and completely agnostic... I am the worst Jew in the world. I know nothing about the religion. I'm completely agnostic (my poor mother)." 'South Park' Creator Matt Stone on Fighting Terrorism on NPR's program Fresh Air, 14 October 2004, (quote begins at 15:05, ends at 16:00)
- When asked if there was a God, Stone answered "No." Is there a God?, by Stephen Thompson, The Onion A.V. Club, 9 October 2002
- Frederik L. Schodt (2007). The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. p. 141. ISBN 9781933330549.
His family was associated with a Zen Buddhist sect, and Tezuka is buried in a Tokyo Buddhist cemetery, but his views on religion were actually quite agnostic and as flexible as his views on politics.
- Dan Barker, The Good Atheist - Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God, p.93
- Scott L. Balthazar, ed. (2004). The Cambridge Companion to Verdi. Cambridge University Press. p. 13. ISBN 9780521635356.
Verdi sustained his artistic reputation and his personal image in the last years of his life. He never relinquished his anticlerical stance, and his religious belief verged on atheism. Strepponi described him as not much of a believer and complained that he mocked her religious faith. Yet he summoned the creative strength to write the Messa da Requiem (1874) to honor Manzoni, his "secular saint," and conduct its world premiere.
- Arturo Toscanini (2002). Harvey Sachs, ed. The letters of Arturo Toscanini. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 262. ISBN 9780375404054.
I've asked you whether you're religious, whether you believe! I do—I believe—I'm not an atheist like Verdi, but I don't have time to go into the subject.
- "Here we have a man who, while at Cambridge, was 'a most determined atheist'--those were the words of his fellow-undergraduate Bertrand Russell--and who was dismissed at the age of 25 from his post as organist in a church at South Lambeth because he refused to take Communion. Later, according to his widow, he 'drifted into a cheerful agnosticism'." The Unknown Vaughan Williams, Michael Kennedy, Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 99. (1972–1973), pp. 31-41.
- Wolfram Eberhard (1986). A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. Psychology Press. p. 82. ISBN 9780415002288.
Confucius was an agnostic, but he did not deny the existence of supernatural beings.
- John Hersey (1986). The Call. Penguin Books. p. 208. ISBN 9780140086959.
The second, Confucius, was a humanist, an agnostic, and a supreme realist.
- Lee Dian Rainey (2010). Confucius & Confucianism: The Essentials. John Wiley & Sons. p. 62. ISBN 9781405188418.
Others have read what Confucius said about ritual and the supernatural and concluded that Confucius was an agnostic and not at all interested in the religious side of life.
- "While this sounds skeptical, Kant is only agnostic about our knowledge of metaphysical objects such as God. And, as noted above, Kant's agnosticism leads to the conclusion that we can neither affirm nor deny claims made by traditional metaphysics." Andrew Fiala, J. M. D. Meiklejohn, Critique of Pure Reason - Introduction, page xi.
- Ed Hindson, Ergun Caner (2008). Ed Hindson, Ergun Caner, Edward J. Verstraete, ed. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. Harvest House Publishers. p. 82. ISBN 9780736920841.
It is in this sense that modern atheism rests heavily upon the skepticism of David Hume and the agnosticism of Immanuel Kant.
- Michael Vlach. "Immanuel Kant". Theological Studies. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
Kant’s philosophy was even more skeptical in regard to metaphysical issues like God, the soul, and freedom. According to Kant, these types of issues are beyond the limits of reason. Thus, the human mind cannot obtain any rational knowledge of anything beyond the physical world. Kant’s theory would have an important influence on philosophy of religion since he asserted that concepts like God and the soul could not be known through reason. His theories have led some to claim that he is the father of agnosticism. Interestingly, Kant did believe in God and originated a form of the moral argument for God’s existence.
- Gary D. Badcock (1997). Light of Truth and Fire of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 9780802842886.
Kant has no interest in prayer or worship, and is in fact agnostic when it comes to such classical theological questions as the doctrine of God or of the Holy Spirit.
- Norman L. Geisler, Paul K. Hoffman, ed. (2006). "The Agnosticism of Immanuel Kant". Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe. Baker Books. p. 45. ISBN 9780801067129.
- Frank K. Flinn (2007). Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Infobase Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 9780816075652.
Following Locke, the classic agnostic claims not to accept more propositions than are warranted by empirical evidence. In this sense an agnostic appeals to Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), who claims in his Critique of Pure Reason that since God, freedom, immortality, and the soul can be both proved and disproved by theoretical reason, we ought to suspend judgement about them.
- "It is ridiculous to describe that Laozi had started the Dao religion. In fact Laozi is much more sympathetic to atheism than even Greek philosophers in general. To the most, like Buddha and philosophers of Enlightenment, Laoism is agnostic about God." Chen Lee Sun, Laozi's Daodejing-From the Chinese Hermeneutical and the Western Philosophical Perspectives: The English and Chinese Translations Based on Laozi's Original Daoism (2011), page 119.
- Norman Malcolm, G. H. Von Wright (2001). Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir. Oxford University Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 9780199247592.
I believe that Wittgenstein was prepared by his own character and experience to comprehend the idea of a judging and redeeming God. But any cosmological conception of a Deity, derived from the notions of cause or of infinity, would be repugnant to him. He was impatient with 'proofs' of the existence of God, and with attempts to give religion a rational foundation. ...I do not wish to give the impression that Wittgenstein accepted any religious faith — he certainly did not — or that he was a religious person. But I think that there was in him, in some sense, the possibility of religion. I believe that he looked on religion as a 'form of life' (to use an expression from the Investigations) in which he did not participate, but with which he was sympathetic and which greatly interested him. Those who did participate he respected — although here as elsewhere he had contempt for insincerity. I suspect that he regarded religious belief as based on qualities of character and will that he himself did not possess. Of Smythies and Anscombe, both of whom had become Roman Catholics, he once said to me: 'I could not possibly bring myself to believe all the things that they believe.' I think that in this remark he was not disparaging their belief. It was rather an observation about his own capacity.
- William Child (2011). Wittgenstein. Taylor & Francis. p. 218. ISBN 9781136731372.
"Was Wittgenstein religious? If we call him an agnostic, this must not be understood in the sense of the familiar polemical agnosticism that concentrates, and prides itself, on the argument that man could never know about these matters. The idea of a God in the sense of the Bible, the image of God as the creator of the world, hardly ever engaged Wittgenstein's attention. . ., but the notion of a last judgement was of profound concern to him." - (Engelmann)
- Tim Labron (2006). Wittgenstein's Religious Point of View. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 47. ISBN 9780826490278.
Wittgenstein has no goal to either support or reject religion; his only interest is to keep discussions, whether religious or not, clear.
- Edward Kanterian (2007). Ludwig Wittgenstein. Reaktion Books. pp. 145–146. ISBN 9781861893208.
- Connie Aarsbergen-Ligtvoet (2006). Isaiah Berlin: A Value Pluralist and Humanist View of Human Nature and the Meaning of Life. Rodopi. p. 133. ISBN 978-90-420-1929-4.
The traditional religious strategies of grounding morality are blocked for Berlin. Being an agnostic, brought up in the empiricist tradition, he cannot refer to a holy book. With his Jewish background, he could have referred to the book of Genesis, to the Seven Laws of Noah as applying to the whole of humankind. As an agnostic, however, he needs a secular justification.
- "Like everyone participating I'm what's called here a "secular atheist," except that I can't even call myself an "atheist" because it is not at all clear what I'm being asked to deny." Noam Chomsky, Edge Discussion of Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival, November 2006 (Retrieved 21 April 2008).
- Chomsky, Noam. "Remarks on Religion". Retrieved 7 April 2012.
Do I believe in God? Can't answer, I'm afraid.
- "Most histories of atheism choose the Greek and Roman philosophers Epicurus, Democritus, and Lucretius as the first atheist writers. While these writers certainly changed the idea of God, they didn't entirely deny that gods could exist." Ancient Atheists, BBC.co.uk.
- "Dewey started his career as a Christian but over his long lifetime moved towards agnosticism. His philosophical writings start out apologetic; over his life he gradually lost interest in formal religion and focused more on democratic ideals. Moreover, he became very devoted to applying the scientific method of inquiry to both democracy and education." Shawn Olson, John Dewey - American Pragmatic Philosopher, 2005.
- "Epicurus taught that the soul is also made of material objects, and so when the body dies the soul dies with it. There is no afterlife. Epicurus thought that gods might exist, but if they did, they did not have anything to do with human beings." Ancient Atheists, BBC.co.uk.
- "Frederick Edwords, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association, who labels himself an agnostic..." Atheism 101, by William B. Lindley, Truth Seeker Volume 121 (1994) No. 2, (Retrieved 14 April 2008)
- James Hall. Philosophy of Religion: Lecture 3 (DVD). The Teaching Company.
- "This faith in rationality emerged early in Hook's life. Even before he was a teenager he proclaimed himself to be an agnostic." Edward S. Shapiro, Letters of Sidney Hook: Democracy, Communism, and the Cold War, 1995, page 2.
- Douglas J. Soccio (2009). Archetypes of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy. Cengage Learning. p. 291. ISBN 9780495603825.
James Boswell was troubled that the agnostic Hume, whom many erroneously believed to be an atheist, could be so cheerful in the face of death.
- Paul S. Penner (1995). Altruistic Behavior: An Inquiry Into Motivation. Rodopi. p. 5. ISBN 9789051838923.
You can be a realist, an idealist, an agnostic such as Edmund Husserl in his bracketing of the subject, or a synthesizer such as the Buddha in his concept of codependent origination.
- Paul Heyer (2003). Harold Innis. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7425-2484-2.
As an agnostic who favorably cites Marx and questions the role of religion in modernity, Innis would certainly have raised eyebrows at the University of Toronto or virtually any other academic institution in Canada at this time.
- "The views of William James on agnostic attitudes and arguments regarding theistic belief were uncharacteristically harsh and wide of the mark." Creighton Peden, Larry E. Axel, God, values, and empiricism: issues in philosophical theology (1989), page 239.
- Kenny, Anthony (2006). "Why I'm not an atheist". What I Believe. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-8971-0.
- Mike W. Martin (2007). Creativity: Ethics and Excellence in Science. Lexington Books. p. 13. ISBN 9780739120538.
A softer skepticism, one more sympathetic to the aspirations of science, does not renounce the possibility of objective truth, but instead is agnostic about that possibility. Thomas Kuhn is such a skeptic.
- "James Mill". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- William C. Lubenow (1998). The Cambridge Apostles, 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination, and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life. Cambridge University Press. p. 405. ISBN 978-0-521-57213-2.
G.E. Moore was another agnostic Apostle. After an intense religious phase as a boy, Moore came to call himself an infidel...
- "Referring to himself as an agnostic and an advocate of critical realism, Popper gained an early reputation as the chief exponent of the principle of falsification rather than verification." Karl Popper: philosopher of critical realism, by Joe Barnhart, The Humanist magazine, July–August 1996. (Retrieved 13 October 2006)
- Only fragments of Protagoras' treatise On the Gods survive, but it opens with the sentence: "Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not or of what sort they may be. Many things prevent knowledge including the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life."
- Adrian Kuzminski (2008). Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism. Lexington Books. pp. 41–42. ISBN 9780739125069.
In particular, Flintoff notes the similarity between Pyrrho's agnosticism and suspension of judgment and the Buddha's refusal to countenance beliefs about the nature of things, including his insistence that such beliefs were to be neither affirmed nor denied.
- Don E. Marietta (1998). Introduction to Ancient Philosophy. M.E. Sharpe. p. 162. ISBN 9780765602169.
Pyrrho advocated agnosticism and suspension of judgment about the nature of the world. His Skepticism also applied to matters of ethics; he held that nothing is just or honorable by its nature.
- Russell said: "As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one prove that there is not a God. 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... None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of Homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof. Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line." Am I an Agnostic or an Atheist?, from Last Philosophical Testament 1943–1968, (1997) Routledge ISBN 0-415-09409-7. Russell was chosen by LOOK magazine to speak for agnostics in their well-known series explaining the religions of the U.S., and authored the essay "What Is An Agnostic?" which appeared 3 November 1953 in that magazine.
- MIZ title in German: Materialien und Informationen zur Zeit (MIZ) (Untertitel: Politisches Magazin für Konfessionslose und AtheistInnen)
- "Like many other so-called "Atheists" I am also not a pure atheist, but actually an agnostic..." Life without God: A decision for the people (Automatic Google translation of the original, hosted at Schmidt-Salomon's website), by Michael Schmidt-Salomon 19 November 1996, first published in: Education and Criticism: Journal of Humanistic Philosophy and Free Thinking January 1997 (Retrieved 1 April 2008)
- Julie A. Reuben (1996). The Making of the Modern University: Intellectual Transformation and the Marginalization of Morality. University of Chicago Press. p. 54. ISBN 9780226710204.
Herbert Spencer, the agnostic whose ideas were best known in the United States, did not deny the existence of God.
- Roland W. Scholz (2011). Environmental Literacy in Science and Society: From Knowledge to Decisions. Cambridge University Press. p. 62. ISBN 9780521183338.
Contrary to his teacher Aristotle, Theophrast was an agnostic naturalist who “denied the existence of a dominant intelligence outside the universe” (Nordenskiöld, 1928, p.45).
- Asok Sen (1977). Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar and his Elusive Milestones. Riddhi-India. p. 157.
Vidyasagar did not explicitly deny the existence of God. His position was that of an agnostic who refused to be distracted from the ethical and practical tasks of society, by abstract ideals of divine perfection.
- "However, by the time he composed his memoirs Angell had come to realize how inappropriate it had been for 'an agnostic, a heretic, a revolutionary' like himself 'to preach his heretical and revolutionary doctrines' to a readership that was not only 'bourgeois' but 'churchy'." Martin Ceadel, Living the great illusion: Sir Norman Angell, 1872–1967 (2009), page 38.
- Jerry H. Brookshire: Clement Attlee. Manchester University Press, 1995. p. 10; 15; 35.
- Bachelet said "I am a woman, socialist, separated and agnostic." See Newsweek article An Unlikely Pioneer.
- Do you believe in him now, Helen?
- The scream is not a vehicle of ideas (In Spanish. See also: English translation by PROMT Online Translator. Retrieved 13 October 2006.)
- Darrow wrote "I am an agnostic as to the question of God." See Why I Am An Agnostic.
- In a C-SPAN2 BookTV interview recorded on 11 November 2013 and aired on 22 December 2013, Alan Dershowitz said, "I'm an agnostic."
- (Dutch) Agnosticisme of atheïsme
- Wiener Zeitung, published 8 July 2004 (German). "The agnostic Fischer is married for 35 years with Margit." (Translation by PROMT Online Translator).
- O'Toole, Jason (15 October 2007). "Take me to your leader". Hot Press. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "150 stemmen tellen — Waar de 2e plaats wel nummer 1 is!". 150volksvertegenwoordigers.nl. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "150 stemmen tellen — Waar de 2e plaats wel nummer 1 is!". 150volksvertegenwoordigers.nl. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Blanche d'Alpuget, Robert J. Hawke, 87
- "Prince et chanoine : les nouveaux métiers de Hollande". Direct Matin. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- 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.
- Josipović said "Yes, it is true, I am declared agnostic." See Slobodna Dalmacija article in Croatian language.
- Bruni, Frank (10 December 2012). "The God Glut". New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Holland: Tolerance fuels social experiment the Dutch way - Cover Story - Statistical Data Included". findarticles.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Rolf Steininger, Günther Bischof, Michael Gehler: Austria in the Twentieth Century. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, 2002; p. 270
- Chile Moves On, Mark Falcoff, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1 April 2000.
- "150 stemmen tellen — Waar de 2e plaats wel nummer 1 is!". 150volksvertegenwoordigers.nl. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Default Parallels Plesk Panel Page". web.archive.org. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Alain Woodrow (1996). "Francois Mitterrand: an agnostic mystic". The Tablet.
In spiritual matters Francois Mitterrand was equally ambiguous. Although he always defined himself as an agnostic, he was fascinated by religion and obsessed, if not haunted, by death.
- Cecilia Bromleymartin (1996). "The French mourn Francois Mitterrand". Catholic Herald.
Although an avowed agnostic, Mitterrand was one of eight children raised in a comfortably-off Catholic family and was educated in Catholic boarding schools before going on to study law in Paris.
- Tiersky, Ronald. François Mitterrand: a Very French President. 2003, Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 287.
- "Associates of Gandhi". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.co.in. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Guha, Ramachandra (23 September 2003). "LEADER ARTICLE Inter-faith Harmony: Where Nehru and Gandhi Meet". The Times Of India.
- P. D. Anthony (2003). The Ideology of Work. Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 9780415264631.
Even an agnostic employer like Robert Owen, unwilling to rest upon the final authority of God, demanded obedience and exercised responsibility for employees whom he regarded as dependent and requiring the moulding influence of a benevolent owner.
- W. Devereux Jones (2007). The Flight of the Wasps: The Europrotestants: Their Roots and Culture, from the Earliest Times to the End of the 20th Century. AuthorHouse. p. 273. ISBN 9781425971717.
The earliest major reformer to take an interest in the British workers was not a churchman, but an agnostic named Robert Owen (died 1858).
- Ronald W. Walker (1998). Wayward Saints: THE GODBEITES AND BRIGHAM YOUNG. University of Illinois Press. pp. 74–75. ISBN 9780252067051.
Robert Owen, the New Lanark industrialist, social reformer, and religious agnostic, urged factory managers to be more mindful of the men, women, and children they employed; advocated parliamentary regulation of the mills; argued for the organization of workers into unions; and had taken steps to build an American utopian Zion at New Harmony, Indiana.
- 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
- Erik Fossen; Håvard Bjelland (31 December 2011). "Man må tro at det nytter" [One must believe that it is possible]. Bt.no (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Six Degrees of Barack Obama | Cenk Uygur". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Amsterdam | Nieuws". amsterdam.pvda.nl. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Zalm spreekt schande van schenden regels Stabiliteitspact | Netwerk". web.archive.org. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "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." 
- JPararajasingham. "Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God". Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Sometime after this, Hannes Alfvén was brought to the presence of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion. The latter was curious about this young Swedish scientist who was being much talked about. After a good chat, Ben Gurion came right to the point: "Do you believe in God?" Now, Hannes Alfvén was not quite prepared for this. So he considered his answer for a few brief seconds. But Ben-Gurion took his silence to be a "No." So he said: "Better scientist than you believes in God."" As told by Hannes Alfvén to Asoka Mendis, Hannes Alfvén Birth Centennial.
- "Nuclear power is uniquely unforgiving: as Swedish Nobel physicist Hannes Alfvén said, "No acts of God can be permitted."" Amory Lovins, Inside NOVA - Nuclear After Japan: Amory Lovins, pbs.org.
- "Alfven dismissed in his address religion as a "myth," and passionately criticized the big-bang theory for being dogmatic and violating basic standards of science, to be no less mythical than religion." Helge Kragh, Matter and Spirit in the Universe: Scientific and Religious Preludes to Modern Cosmology (2004), page 252.
- Ralph A. Alpher. "COSMOLOGY AND HUMANISM" (PDF). Humanism Today. p. 15. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
This leads inevitably to my identifying philosophically as an agnostic and a humanist, and explains my temerity in sharing my views with you.
- Interview with Simon Mayo, BBC Radio Five Live, 2 December 2005.
- Brigham Narins, ed. (2001). Notable Scientists from 1900 to the Present: A-C. Gale Group. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-7876-1752-3.
When she became a teenager, Sarah changed her name to Hertha as an expression of her independence, and, although she remained proud of her Jewish heritage, also regarded herself as an agnostic.
- R. W. Burns (2000). John Logie Baird, Television Pioneer. IET. p. 10. ISBN 9780852967973.
Even Baird's conversion to agnosticism while living at home does not appear to have stimulated a rebuke from the Reverend John Baird. Moreover, Baird was freely allowed to try to persuade others—including visiting clergy—to his beliefs.
- Robert W. Baloh. "Robert Bárány and the controversy surrounding his discovery of the caloric reaction". Neurology.org. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
Although anti-Semitism was again on the rise in Austria, it is unlikely that anti-Semitism was a factor in the hostility toward Bárány because he was an agnostic who did not believe in Zionism.
- Lillian Hoddeson, Vicki Daitch (2002). True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen. Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 9780309169547.
John's mother, Althea, had been reared in the Quaker tradition, and his stepmother, Ruth, was Catholic, but John was resolutely secular throughout his life. He was once “taken by surprise” when an interviewer asked him a question about religion. “I am not a religious person,” he said, “and so do not think about it very much." He went on in a rare elaboration of his personal beliefs. "I feel that science cannot provide an answer to the ultimate questions about the meaning and purpose of life. With religion, one can get answers on faith. Most scientists leave them open and perhaps unanswerable, but do abide by a code of moral values. For civilized society to succeed, there must be a common consensus on moral values and moral behaviour, with due regard to the welfare of our fellow man. There are likely many sets of moral values compatible with successful civilized society. It is when they conflict that difficulties arise."
- Bruce, Robert V (1973). "After the Telephone". Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude. Cornell University Press. p. 490. ISBN 9780801496912.
He had remained steadfast in agnosticism and therefore, as Mabel took comfort in remarking, "he never denied God." Neither did he affirm God. He and Mabel occasionally attended Presbyterian services and sometimes Episcopalian, at which Mabel could follow the prayer book. Since otherwise she depended on Alec's interpreting, their church goings were rare; but their children attended Presbyterian services regularly. In 1901 Bell came across a Unitarian pamphlet and found its theology congenially undogmatic. "I have always considered myself as an Agnostic," he wrote Mabel, "but I have now discovered that I am a Unitarian Agnostic."
- Robert S. Roth, ed. (1986). The Bellman Continuum: A Collection of the Works of Richard E. Bellman. World Scientific. p. 4. ISBN 9789971500900.
He was raised by his father to be a religious skeptic. He was taken to a different church every week to observe different ceremonies. He was struck by the contrast between the ideals of various religions and the history of cruelty and hypocrisy done in God's name. He was well aware of the intellectual giants who believed in God, but if asked, he would say that each person had to make their own choice. Statements such as "By the State of New York and God ..." struck him as ludicrous. From his childhood he recalled a particularly unpleasant scene between his parents just before they sent him to the store. He ran down the street saying over and over again, "I wish there was a God, I wish there was a God."
- "Concerning Emile Berliner, The Jew TO BE a Jew may mean one of several identities. For example, the Jew, Emile Berliner, the late inventor, called himself agnostic." B'nai B'rith, The National Jewish monthly: Volume 43; Volume 43.
- "In 1899, Berliner wrote a book, Conclusions, that speaks of his agnostic ideas on religion and philosophy." Seymour Brody, Jewish heroes & heroines of America: 151 true stories of Jewish American heroism (2003), page 119.
- John G. Simmons (2002). Doctors and Discoveries: Lives That Created Today's Medicine. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-618-15276-6.
Upon his death on February 10, 1878, Bernard received a state funeral - the first French scientist to be so honored. The procession ended at Pere Lachaise cemetery, and Gustave Flaubert described it later with a touch of irony as "religious and very beautiful." Bernard was an agnostic.
- "J. Michael Bishop". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God". JPararajasingham. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "By the time he reached his late teens, he had become firmly agnostic." F. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm (1997), page 21.
- International Association for Semiotic Studies, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, International Social Science Council (1995). "A tale of two amateurs". Semiotica, Volume 105. Mouton. p. 56.
MacHale's biography calls George Boole 'an agnostic deist'. Both Booles' classification of 'religious philosophies' as monistic, dualistic, and trinitarian left little doubt about their preference for 'the unity religion', whether Judaic or Unitarian.
- International Association for Semiotic Studies, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, International Social Science Council (1996). Semiotica, Volume 105. Mouton. p. 17.
MacHale does not repress this or other evidence of the Boole's nineteenth-century beliefs and practices in the paranormal and in religious mysticism. He even concedes that George Boole's many distinguished contributions to logic and mathematics may have been motivated by his distinctive religious beliefs as an 'agnostic deist' and by an unusual personal sensitivity to the sufferings of other people.
- Siemon-Netto, Uwe (July 2007). "The Legacy of a Philanthropist". The Atlantic Times. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
Bosch was an agnostic who funneled large sums of money to the Lutheran Church of Württemberg led by Bishop Theophil Wurm, a leader in the anti-Nazi Confessing Church movement.
- Bhabani Prasad Sahu (December 2008). "Lessons of Scientific Temper from Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose" (PDF). pp. 25–26. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose had consciously broken this idea of a religious temple. He upheld the other meanings of ‘mandir’ (temple), according to the dictionary, which also originally means a house or even ocean. His ‘Basu Bijnan Mandir’ was actually the house or ocean of knowledge, scientific knowledge, which does not base on mere belief but on scientific methods to eradicate ignorance. He also explained the basics of this scientific methods. While discussing the similarities and dissimilarities between a poet and a scientist, he clearly said: “The path, a scientist has to follow, is quite uneven and he had to control himself in this not-so-easy path of observation and experiment.” (ibid) Not mere imagination and belief, but ‘observation and experiment’ are the ultimate way of gaining scientific knowledge or reaching the goal of acquiring truth. The idealistic mentality of the blind believers of supernatural power or god and of the so-called religious people, propagates the idea that man cannot completely know ‘Him’, the ultimate power or God. ...Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose might not be an atheist in the strictest sense of the term as it is used today. In several of his speeches and writings he had casually mentioned of God; for example: “I had never been deprived of blessings of God” (Asha O Biswas), or “if God has directed for any special pilgrimage for science“ (Bijnan Prachare Bharater Daan) etc. But if we carefully consider him in totality, it will be obvious that these are the outcome of the general mode of literal expression, as is done colloquially in day-to-day life and not the manifestation of his blind belief in god or religionism. Actually he might not be an uncompromising and militant (so impractical) fighter against the concept of God, but Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose was well against various superstitious notions and practices.
- "James Henry Breasted". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Jack Huberman (2006). The Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies, and Those Generally Hell-Bound. Nation Books. p. 52. ISBN 9781560259695.
There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy.
- "As an agnostic scientist and a Fabian socialist in politics, I had the normal contempt for the Establishment, but I cherished the feeling that I could look anyone on earth in the eye and feel certain he would approve of what I was doing." Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Endurance of Life: The Implications of Genetics for Human Life (1980), page 198.
- Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj (2010). Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, ed. Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World: The Ross School Model and Education for the Global Era. NYU Press. p. 165. ISBN 9780814741405.
In that sense, it was interesting to learn that Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the great pioneer of modern neuroanatomy, was agnostic but still used the term soul without any shame.
- John Brande Trend (1965). The Origins of Modern Spain. Russell & Russell. p. 82.
Cajal was a liberal in politics, an evolutionist in philosophy, an agnostic in religion...
- "Anton J. Carlson". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Sharon Bertsch McGrayne (2002). Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World. Sharon Bertsch McGrayne. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-07-140795-3.
Carothers, the agnostic, joked with friends that he was praying daily for his idea to pan out.
- Dan Barker (2011). The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God. Ulysses Press. p. 170. ISBN 9781569758465.
He did not attend church and was considered an agnostic. “As to Cavendish's religion, he was nothing at all,” writes his biographer Dr. G. Wilson.
- George Wilson (1851). The life of the Hon. Henry Cavendish: including abstracts of his more important scientific papers, and a critical inquiry into the claims of all the alleged discoverers of the composition of water. Printed for the Cavendish Society. pp. 181–185.
A Fellow of the Royal Society, who had good means of judging, states that, "As to Cavendish's religion, he was nothing at all. The only subjects in which he appeared to take any interest, were scientific. ..." ...From what has been stated, it will appear that is would be vain to assert that we know with any certainty what doctrine Cavendish held concerning Spiritual things; but we may with some confidence affirm, that the World to come did not engross his thoughts; that he gave no outward demonstration of interest in religion, and did join his fellow men in worshipping God. ...He died and have no sign, rejecting human sympathy, and leaving us no means of determining whether he anticipated annihilation, or looked forward to an endless life. ...He did not love; he did not hate; he did not hope; he did not fear; he did not worship as others do. He separated himself from his fellow men, and apparently from God.
- "Owen Chamberlain". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: a Personal View of Scientific Discovery, Basic Books reprint edition, 1990, ISBN 0-465-09138-5, p. 145.
- Reid, Robert William (1974). Marie Curie. London: Collins. p. 19. ISBN 0-00-211539-5.
Unusually at such an early age, she became what T. H. Huxley had just invented a word for: agnostic.
- Virginia Trimble, Thomas Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard Jarrell, Jordan D. Marché, F. Jamil Ragep, ed. (2007). Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer. p. 265. ISBN 9780387310220.
Although remaining a theist, Curtis declared himself an agnostic on some of the “great unanswered questions” that “may be forever beyond us.”
- 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
- "Max Delbrück". NNDB.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Walter Shropshire (2007). Max Delbrück and the New Perception of Biology, 1906-1981: A Centenary Celebration, University of Salamanca, October 9–10, 2006. AuthorHouse. p. 155. ISBN 9781434314352.
As far as I know, he never identified himself as a member of any formal church or religious faith, but neither did he reject religion. He had a deeply felt respect for all faiths, believing that regardless of the details, they all fill basically the same human aspirations.
- Luís F. Rodrigues (2010). "David Deutsch". Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313386442.
He is also agnostic.
- Werner Heisenberg recollects a friendly conversation among young participants at the 1927 Solvay Conference about Einstein's and Planck's views on religion. Wolfgang Pauli, Heisenberg and Dirac took part in it. Among other things, Dirac said: "I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest — and as scientists honesty is our precise duty — we cannot help but admit that any religion is a pack of false statements, deprived of any real foundation. The very idea of God is a product of human imagination. [...] I do not recognize any religious myth, at least because they contradict one another. [...]" Pauli jokingly said: "Well, I'd say that also our friend Dirac has got a religion and the first commandment of this religion is: God does not exist and Paul Dirac is his prophet."Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-131622-9.
- Denis Brian, ed. (2001). The Voice Of Genius: Conversations With Nobel Scientists And Other Luminaries. Basic Books. p. 69. ISBN 9780738204475.
Mrs. Dirac: "My husband wasn't an atheist. In Italy, once, he said, "If there is a God, he's a great mathematician."" Interviewer: "Ah, if there is a God. He did say if."
- Denis Brian, ed. (2001). The Voice Of Genius: Conversations With Nobel Scientists And Other Luminaries. Basic Books. pp. 28–29. ISBN 9780738204475.
Interviewer: "Did you know Dirac was religious? His wife told me he believed in Jesus Christ." Pauling: "In what respect? Some say there was never any such person in existence." Interviewer: "I presume she meant as God." Pauling: "I don't think she's reliable, any more than Eugene Wigner is. He is emotional about nuclear weapons and questions about the Soviet Union, in the same way that Teller is. ...In each case I felt that the person, Hungarian, with that sort of experience involving the Soviet Union was governed to such an extent by his emotional feelings and convictions that he was no longer rational when it came to discussing problems of that sort. Rational enough on scientific matters, of course. Both Wigner and Teller are very able scientists. ...But when it came to political matters the emotional factor overcame them. In the same way, Mrs. Dirac might be speaking from an emotional basis when she said he had believed in Christ, by saying something she would like to believe about Dirac. Interviewer: "She also said she believed in telepathy — when she was thinking of her daughter, the daughter phoned, that sort of thing." Pauling: "I'm not surprised."
- Helge Kragh (1990). Dirac: A Scientific Biography. Cambridge University Press. pp. 256–257. ISBN 9780521380898.
It could be that it is extremely difficult to start life. It might be that it is so difficult to start life that it has happened only once among all the planets. ...Let us consider, just as a conjecture, that the chance life starting when we have got suitable physical conditions is 10^-100. I don't have any logical reason for proposing this figure, I just want you to consider it as a possibility. Under those conditions...it is almost certain that life would not have started. And I feel that under those conditions it will be necessary to assume the existence of a god to start off life. I would like, therefore, to set up this connexion between the existence of a god and the physical laws: if physical laws are such that to start off life involves an excessively small chance, so that it will not be reasonable to suppose that life would have started just by blind chance, then there must be a god, and such a god would probably be showing his influence in the quantum jumps which are taking place later on. On the other hand, if life can start very easily and does not need any divine influence, then I will say that there is no god.
- "John William Draper". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "As far as I know Dubois never expressed any atheistic ideas, but he did sometimes show evidence of fiercely anti-Catholic sentiments. His attitude towards religious belief as such can best be characterised as agnostic." Bert Theunissen, Eugène Dubois and the ape-man from Java: the history of the first missing link and its discoverer (1989), page 24.
- 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
- "First, the same award was given to an agnostic Mathematician Freeman Dyson, ..." Moses Gbenu, Back to Hell (2003), page 110.
- "Officially, he calls himself an agnostic, but his writings make it clear that his agnosticism is tinged with something akin to deism." Karl Giberson, Donald A. Yerxa, Species of origins: America's search for a creation story (2002), page 141.
- "A theologically more modest version is offered by physicist Freeman Dyson (2000), who describes himself as "a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian"" Garrett G. Fagan, Archaeological fantasies: how pseudoarchaeology misrepresents the past and misleads the public (2006), page 360.
- "My position concerning God is that of an agnostic." Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, 25 October 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216. As quoted at stephenjaygould.org (Retrieved 20 June 2007)
- Robert G. Ingersoll (2009). The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll. Cosimo, Inc. p. 319. ISBN 9781605208886.
"...Infidels have contributed their share, but never one of them has reached the grandeur of originality." This, I think, so far as invention is concerned, can be answered with one name — John Ericsson, one of the profoundest agnostics I ever met.
- "Enrico Fermi's attitude to the church eventually became one of indifference, and he remained an agnostic all his adult life." Emilio Segre, Enrico Fermi: Physicist (1995), page 5.
- "Val Fitch". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Trevor Illtyd Williams (1984). Howard Florey, Penicillin and After. Oxford University Press. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-19-858173-4.
As an agnostic, the chapel services meant nothing to Florey but, unlike some contemporary scientists, he was not aggressive in his disbelief.
- James A. Hijiya (1992). Lee De Forest and the Fatherhood of Radio. Lehigh University Press. ISBN 978-0-934223-23-2.
In 1957, four years after urging Americans to go to church, he described himself as an agnostic.
- Mike Adams (2011). Lee de Forest: King of Radio, Television, and Film. Springer. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-4614-0417-0.
This was more than a gradual change, and it would cause de Forest to adopt of life of agnosticism, determinism, and Darwinism. He began to believe that he is the master of his destiny, that science can explain all, rather than a god or an unseen divine force. It was said about his philosophy that,“His position shifted gradually from the faith of his father to a rationalistic, scientific one.”
- Rocke, Alan (1993). The Quiet Revolution: Hermann Kolbe and the science of organic chemistry. University of California Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-520-08110-9.
However, if we consider that Frankland was a "born- again" Christian during much of this period (before he began to fall into agnosticism himself), that the term agnostic did not even exist at that time...
- "This flat declaration prompted Ellis Franklin to accuse his strong-willed daughter of making science her religion. He was right. Rosalind sent him a four-page declaration, eloquent for a young woman just over 20 let alone a scientist of any age. ..."It has just occurred to me that you may raise the question of a creator. A creator of what? [ ] I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our insignificant race in a tiny corner of the universe, and still less in us, as still more insignificant individuals. Again, I see no reason why the belief that we are insignificant or fortuitous should lessen our faith - as I have defined it."" Brenda Maddox, Mother of DNA, NewHumanist.org.uk - Volume 117 Issue 3 Autumn 2002.
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. Rosalind Franklin, NNDB.com.
- "Jerome I. Friedman". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- 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, October–December 2006, (Retrieved 12 January 2007)
- John R. Connolly (2005). John Henry Newman: A View Of Catholic Faith For The New Millennium. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 32. ISBN 9780742532229.
Part of Newman's inspiration for writing the Grammar of Assent came from his correspondence with William Froude. Froude, a friend of Newman's, was a scientist and an agnostic.
- Brigham Narins (2001). Notable Scientists from 1900 to the Present: D-H. Gale Group. p. 797. ISBN 9780787617530.
Although Gabor's family became Lutherans in 1918, religion appeared to play a minor role in his life. He maintained his church affiliation through his adult years but characterized himself as a "benevolent agnostic".
- "The family adopted the Lutheran faith in 1918, and although Gabor nominally remained true to it, religion appears to have had little influence in his life. He later acknowledged the role played by an antireligious humanist education in the development of his ideas and stated his position as being that of a “benevolent agnostic.”" "Gabor, Dennis." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. (30 January 2012). 
- "The publication of Darwin’s ‘‘Origin of Species’’ totally transformed his intellectual life, giving him a sense of evolutionary process without which much of his later work would have been unimaginable. Galton became a ‘‘religious agnostic’’, recognising the social value of religion but not its transcendental basis." Robert Peel, Sir Francis Galton FRS (1822-1911) - The Legacy of His Ideas -.
- Keith James Laidler (2002). Energy and the Unexpected. Oxford University Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780198525165.
Much of our understanding of the composition of the Sun came originally from the work of Cecilia Paync-Gaposchkin (1900–1979). ... Since she actually got better marks in the prayerless group she became, and remained, a devout agnostic.
- Paolo Mazzarello, Henry A. Buchtel, Aldo Badiani (1999). The hidden structure: a scientific biography of Camillo Golgi. Oxford University Press. p. 34. ISBN 9780198524441.
It was probably during this period that Golgi became agnostic (or even frankly atheistic), remaining for the rest of his life completely alien to the religious experience.
- "Feynman, Gell-Man, Weinberg, and their peers accept Newton's incomparable stature and shrug off his piety, on the kindly thought that the old man got into the game too early. ...As for Gell-Mann, he seems to see nothing to discuss in this entire God business, and in the index to The Quark and the Jaguar God goes unmentioned. Life he called a "complex adaptive system" which produces interesting phenomena such as the jaguar and Murray Gell-Mann, who discovered the quark. Gell-Mann is a Nobel-class tackler of problems, but for him the existence of God is not one of them." Herman Wouk, The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion (2010).
- "So we don’t have to assume these principles as separate metaphysical postulates. They follow from the fundamental theory. They are what we call emergent properties. You don’t need something more to get something more. That’s what emergence means. Life can emerge from physics and chemistry, plus a lot of accidents. The human mind can arise from neurobiology, and a lot of accidents. The way the chemical bond arises from physics and certain accidents. Doesn’t diminish the importance of these subjects, to know that they follow from more fundamental things, plus accidents. That’s a general rule, and it’s critically important to realize that. You don’t need something more in order to get something more. People keep asking that when they read my book, The Quark and the Jaguar, and they say ‘isn’t there something more beyond what you have there?’ Presumably they mean something supernatural. Anyway, there isn’t. (laughs) You don’t need something more to explain something more." Murray Gell-Mann, Beauty and truth in physics: Murray Gell-Mann on TED.com (2007), Ted.com.
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. Murray Gell-Mann, NNDB.com.
- "...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.
- Robert Leonard (2010). Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory: From Chess to Social Science, 1900-1960. Cambridge University Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 9780521562669.
- Alan Hale, Dan Barker (2011). The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God. Ulysses Press. pp. 175–176. ISBN 9781569758465.
Oh, I have plenty of biases, all right. I'm quite biased toward depending upon what my senses and my intellect tell me about the world around me, and I'm quite biased against invoking mysterious mythical beings that other people want to claim exist but which they can offer no evidence for. By telling students that the beliefs of a superstitious tribe thousands of years ago should be treated on an equal basis with the evidence collected with our most advanced equipment today is to completely undermine the entire process of scientific inquiry.
- "Internet Infidels Honorary Board". Retrieved 15 June 2012.
He is a member of the Honorary Board of the online group, Internet Infidels.
- J Scott Rankin (March 2006). "William Stewart Halsted". Annals of Surgery. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
He was a heavy smoker of cigarettes, but rarely imbibed more than an occasional glass of wine. As noted earlier, in matters of religion, he was agnostic. A letter to Professor Adolf Meyer in 1918 thanked Dr. Meyer for a gift of the 13 volume set of the Golden Bough by Frazer, which Halsted then described as: “Such a stupendous and bloodcurdling work.” Halsted also stated: “What a fearful thing is ignorance. Its disciples, from the Khonds to Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, and modern clergymen, all seem to have the same genes. Walking encyclopedias may still live in the dark ages. By the time I have absorbed the 13 volumes, I shall probably release my pew in the church, and break loose from the pious bloodthirsty cruel soul savers.”
- "Though Hayek was a self-professed agnostic, we show that his treatment of individual liberty was more consistent with a Judeo-Christian worldview than with that of his naturalist peers and postmodernist successors." Kenneth G. Elzinga, Matthew R. Givens, Christianity and Hayek (2009), page 53.
- Alan O. Ebenstein (2003). Hayek's journey: the mind of Friedrich Hayek. Palgrave Macmillan Limited. p. 224. ISBN 9781403960382.
He apparently composed the conclusion of the work on page 140, Hayek's "final word." Emphasis on Hayek's agnostic religious views was not as prominent in Hayek's own versions of "The Fatal Conceit".
- Gary Paul Nabhan (2004). Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes, And Cultural Diversity. Island Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-55963-466-3.
Not long after his first reading of Carson's work, Motulsky recalled a quirky speculation — described below — by the pioneering evolutionary biologist and agnostic JBS Haldane, who had published an essay in 1949 entitled, "Disease and Evolution."
- Joseph McCabe (1945). A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers. Haldeman-Julius Publications. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
He was equally distinguished in physics and physiology and was the discoverer of the law of the conservatism of energy. Although he was the most eminent and most honored of German scientists, he was all his life an outspoken agnostic.
- Paul Hertz, Moritz Schlick, Malcolm F. Lowe, Robert Sonné Cohen, Yehúda Elkana, ed. (1977). Epistemological Writings: The Paul Hertz/Moritz Schlick Centenary Edition of 1921 with Notes and Commentary by the Editors. Springer. p. xxv. ISBN 9789027705822.
Lenin found Helmholtz to be inconsistent, at one place a materialist about human knowledge, at another place agnostic and sceptic, and at yet other place a Kantian idealist, in sum a 'shame-faced materialist'.
- "Gerhard Herzberg". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Constance Reid (1996). Hilbert (2 ed.). Springer. p. 92. ISBN 9780387946740.
Perhaps the guests would be discussing Galileo's trial and someone would blame Galileo for failing to stand up for his convictions. "But he was not an idiot," Hilbert would object. "Only an idiot could believe that scientific truth needs martyrdom — that may be necessary in religion, but scientific results prove themselves in time."
- Listed as agnostic on NNDB.com. David Hilbert
- "Mathematics is a presuppositionless science. To found it I do not need God, as does Kronecker, or the assumption of a special faculty of our understanding attuned to the principle of mathematical induction, as does Poincaré, or the primal intuition of Brouwer, or, finally, as do Russell and Whitehead, axioms of infinity, reducibility, or completeness, which in fact are actual, contentual assumptions that cannot be compensated for by consistency proofs." David Hilbert, Die Grundlagen der Mathematik, Hilbert's program, 22C:096, University of Iowa.
- "Also, when someone blamed Galileo for not standing up for his convictions Hilbert became quite irate and said, “But he was not an idiot. Only an idiot could believe that scientific truth needs martyrdom; that may be necessary in religion, but scientific results prove themselves in due time." Anton Z. Capri, Quips, quotes, and quanta: an anecdotal history of physics (2007), page 135.
- "Frederick Hopkins". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Gerardus `t Hooft - Science Video Interview". 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
When asked by the interviewer about his view of the universe and the design or non-design of the universe, Hooft replied, "Well absolutely amazing fact that it seems that the entire universe is now in grasp of theoretical physics. It still highly premature to make theories that includes how the big bang originated as and things like that. Although, people are tying that every day. ...As far as I'm concerned, everything seems to behave completely rationally. The laws of physics is all we need to understand how the universe got into being. And then eventually we end up with this religious question as to why is the universe is the way it is and how can it be it is a place for humans to live in, that is a miracle. I don't have really any answers here, but as a physicist I've learn to appreciate the fact that everything seems to have totally rational explanations and as far as I'm concerned, I expect the entire universe now also to be something you can explain in completely rational terms. That what I expect now, just because of past experience."
- "Gerardus `t Hooft - Science Video Interview". 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
When asked by the interviewer about his belief in an afterlife, Hooft replied, "Well, such beliefs I think I related to religions of the past and I don't think that notions such as 'afterlife' has any...scientific basis. Not in terms of modern science. So I can only say no."
- The Editor (19 June 2008). "Fred Hoyle – Astronomer Extraordinaire". Retrieved 22 April 2012.
Hoyle was reportedly an atheist during most of his early life, but became agnostic when he found that he could not feel comfortable trying to explain the finer workings of physics and the Universe as simply “an accident.”
- Gale E. Christianson (1996). Edwin Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae. University of Chicago Press. p. 183. ISBN 9780226105215.
One morning, while driving north with Grace after the failed eclipse expedition of 1923, he broached Whitehead's idea of a God who might have chosen from a great many possibilities to make a different universe, but He made this one. By contemplating the universe, one might approximate some idea of its Creator. As time passed, however, he seemed even less certain: "We do not know why we are born into the world, but we can try to find out what sort of a world it is — at least in its physical aspects." His life was dedicated to science and the objective world of phenomena. The world of pure values is one which science cannot enter, and science is unconcerned with the transcendent, however compelling a private revelation or individual moment of ecstasy. He pulled no punches when a deeply depressed friend asked him about his belief: "The whole thing is so much bigger than I am, and I can't understand it, so I just trust myself to it; and forget about it."
- Tom Bezzi (2000). Hubble Time. iUniverse. p. 93. ISBN 9780595142477.
John terribly depressed, and asked Edwin about his belief. Edwin said, "The whole thing is so much bigger than I am, and I can't understand it, so I just trust myself to it, and forget about it." It was not his nature to speculate. Theories, in his opinion, were appropriate cocktail conversation. He was essentially an observer, and as he said in The Realm (J the Nebulae: “Not until the empirical resources are exhausted, need we pass on to the dreamy realms of speculation.” Edwin never exhausted those empirical resources. "I am an observer, not a theoretical man," he attested, and a lightly spoken word in a lecture or in a letter showed that observation was his choice.
- "Humboldt, by contrast, was an agnostic in religious sentiment and a Heraclitean in his cosmology; he regarded change, and species mutability, as being as natural as changing wind patterns or ocean currents." Harry Francis Mallgrave, Gottfried Semper: Architect of the Nineteenth Century (1996), page 157.
- "Obituary: Andrew Huxley". The Economist. June 16, 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
He did not even mind the master's duty of officiating in chapel, since he was, he explained, not atheist but agnostic (a word usefully invented by his grandfather), and was “very conscious that there is no scientific explanation for the fact that we are conscious.”
- "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 Company, 1889. Hosted at the Secular Web. (Retrieved 5 April 2008)
- Leader U. "Message from Professor Robert Jastrow"
- Edwin T. Jaynes (2003). G. Larry Bretthorst, ed. Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. Cambridge University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-521-59271-0.
We agnostics often envy the True Believer, who thus acquires so easily that sense of security which is forever denied to us.
- Pierre Teilhard De Chardin (2004). The Future of Man. Random House LLC. p. 212. ISBN 9780385510721.
We can hardly wonder, in the circumstances, that agnostics such as Sir James Jeans and Marcel Boll, and even convinced believers like Guardini, have uttered expressions ol amazement (tinged with heroic pessimism or triumphant detachment) at the apparent insignificance of the phenomenon of Life in terms of the cosmos— a little mold on a grain of dust...
- "Jerome Karle". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Russell, Colin (2003). Edward Frankland: Chemistry, Controversy and Conspiracy in Victorian England. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-54581-5.
It may be noticed in passing that the connection once made between Kolbe's cautious attitude to molecular structure and his alleged agnosticism in religion now seems thoroughly misplaced. Kolbe, son of a Lutheran pastor and apparently sharing his faith, is in sharp contrast to his rivals who were 'younger upper-middle class urban liberals and agnostics, such as Kekule'.
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. Friedrich August Kekulé, NNDB.com.
- "John C. Kendrew". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Toye, J. (2000). Keynes on Population. Oxford University Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-19-829362-0.
Like Nietzsche, the young Keynes was both very aware of religion, and hostile to it. Formally speaking, in religion he was an aggressive agnostic. As described by his younger brother Geoffrey, 'he always felt an intellectual interest in religion, but at the age of seventeen or eighteen passed painlessly, as did my sister and I, into a natural state of agnosticism'.
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. John Maynard Keynes, NNDB.com.
- "Alfred Kastler". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "In religious matters Lagrange was, if anything at all, agnostic." Eric Temple Bell, Men of Mathematics (1986).
- "Napoleon replies: "How comes it, then, that Laplace was an atheist? At the Institute neither he nor Monge, nor Berthollet, nor Lagrange believed in God. But they did not like to say so." Baron Gaspard Gourgaud, Talks of Napoleon at St. Helena with General Baron Gourgaud (1904), page 274.
- "Lagrange and Laplace, though of Catholic parentage, were agnostics." Morris Kline, Mathematics and the Search for Knowledge (1986), page 214.
- Arild Stubhaug (2000). Niels Henrik Abel and His Times: Called Too Soon by Flames Afar. Springer. p. 204. ISBN 9783540668343.
In Berlin, Lagrange staunchly maintained his "I don't know" position, and he came to be almost an agnostic.
- Joseph McCabe (1945). A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers. Haldeman-Julius Publications. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
He was so brilliant that he solved the most difficult problems of the science at the age of 19 and a few years later won the prize of the Paris Academy of Science and was appointed Director of the Berlin Academy. He served the Republic and was head of the Commission that installed the decimal system, and was ennobled by Napoleon. He was never reconciled with the restored royalty and the Church - he was an agnostic - but he was too famous for them to touch him.
- "About his inattention to religion, his usual response was, "Never believe anything that can't be proved."" Irving Langmuir, NNDB.com.
- Albert Rosenfeld (1961). The Quintessence of Irving Langmuir. Pergamon Press. p. 150.
Though Marion herself was not an assiduous churchgoer and had no serious objection to Irving's agnostic views, her grandfather had been an Episcopalian clergyman.
- "Anthony J. Leggett". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Joseph Leidy". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Adam Frank (1 August 2006). "The Einstein Dilemma". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
TeVeS does everything," says Mario Livio with enthusiasm. A self-described agnostic in the MOND debate, but one with an obvious love for the underdog, Livio says that Bekenstein's work is "a phenomenal paper.
- "I'm a scientist, not a theologian. I don't know if there is a God or not. Religion requires certainty. Revere and respect Gaia. Have trust in Gaia. But not faith." James Lovelock, James Lovelock, Gaia’s grand old man, Lawrence E. Joseph, 17 August 2000.
- David Strauss (2001). Percival Lowell: The Culture and Science of a Boston Brahmin. Harvard University Press. p. 280. ISBN 9780674002913.
Though Lowell claimed to "stick to the church" (doubtless from my early religious training)," he was an agnostic and hostile to Christianity.
- Kendrick Oliver (2012). To Touch the Face of God: The Sacred, the Profane, and the American Space Program, 1957–1975. JHU Press. p. 22. ISBN 9781421407883.
Frank Malina, who engineered the rockets for which Parsons supplied the fuel and who was subsequently appointed as the first director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, had become an agnostic in college after reading Darwin's Descent of Man.
- "Lynn Margulis". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "The Dutch Nobel prize-winner, Simon van der Meer expressed this as follows: "As a physicist, you have to have a split personality to be still able to believe in a god."" Alfred Driessen, Antoine Suarez, Mathematical undecidability, quantum nonlocality, and the question of the existence of God (1997).
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. Simon van der Meer, NNDB.com.
- Naukowe, Łódzkie (2003). Bulletin de la Société des sciences et des lettres de Łódź: Série, Recherches sur les déformations, Volumes 39-42. Société des sciences et des lettres de Łódź. p. 162.
Michelson's biographers stress, that our hero was not conspicuous by religiousness. His father was a free-thinker and Michelson grew up in secular family and have no opportunity to acknowledge the believe of his forebears. He was agnostic through his whole life and only for the short period he was a member of the 21st lodge in Washington.
- John D. Barrow (2002). The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas About the Origins of the Universe. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 136. ISBN 9780375726095.
Morley was deeply religious. His original training had been in theology and he only turned to chemistry, a self-taught hobby, when he was unable to enter the ministry. Michelson, by contrast, was a religious agnostic.
- Dorothy Michelson Livingston, One Pass Productions, Cinema Guild (1984). The Master of Light: A Biography of Albert A. Michelson. University of Chicago Press. p. 106.
On the religious question, Michelson disagreed with both these men. He had renounced any belief that moral issues were at stake in...
- Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: The Cultural Background of Ludwig von Mises http://mises.org/pdf/asc/essays/kuehneltLeddihn.pdf
- "Indeed, for someone who was an agnostic, Mises wrote a great deal about religion. The number of references he makes to religion is staggering, actually numbering over twenty-five hundred in his published corpus." Laurence M. Vance, Mises Debunks the Religious Case for the State, Thursday, 10 February 2005.
- "Ludwig von Mises, who was agnostic, skeptical, and non-political." Block, Walter and Rockwell Jr., Llewellyn H., Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard, page 168.
- Jörg Guido Hülsmann (2007). "7: The Great War". Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism. Ludwig von Mises Institute. pp. 257–258. ISBN 9781610163897.
But for now he thought that he—the agnostic Jew, cultural German, political individualist, scientific cosmopolitan, and Austrian patriot— had to fight the nationalists' war.
- J.M. Cohen. The Life of Ludwig Mond. Taylor & Francis. p. 16.
Ludwig therefore learned sufficient Hebrew to go through the Barmitzvah ceremony, though he rapidly became an agnostic in outlook as he grew up.
- "Robert S. Mulliken". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Charlie Rose: "What is your sense of religion and spiritual being?" Myhrvold: "Not. It's --" Charlie: "Not?" Myhrvold: "There is a bunch of wonderful stories that people tell themselves and each other that they take as a matter of faith rather than evidence -- I'm not saying it's bad, and they get a tremendous amount of comfort from it. I like things that can be proven and I worry about things where i might be believing exactly what I would like to hear. So it would be wonderful if, after we die here, we go to a much better place, just like it would be wonderful if we were the most important things in the world, but in the past we thought we were really important. We discovered afterwards we weren't. As a result, I am much more focused on things that I can understand in a scientific way which kind of -- lets faith out of it." Charlie Rose interview, Nathan Myhrvold, CEO And Founder, Intellectual Ventures, 20 May 2010.
- Billy Woodward, Joel Shurkin, Debra Gordon (2009). Scientists Greater Than Einstein: The Biggest Lifesavers of the Twentieth Century. Quill Driver Books. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-884956-87-4.
Through the years, David Nalin collected art wherever he went. Although he does not consider himself religious or spiritual, he was attracted to personal items of worship more than grandiose objects.
- Nansen, Fridtjof (1929). "Min tro" (PDF). Nansens røst, andre bind: 1. Retrieved 1942. Check date values in:
- "Erwin Neher". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Bernard S. Schlessinger, June H. Schlessinger (1996). The who's who of Nobel Prize winners, 1901-1995 (3 ed.). Oryx Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780897748995.
Nationality: British. Religion: Agnostic; from Methodist background.
- Enric Brillas Coso (2004). Enric Brillas, Pere-Lluis Cabot, ed. Trends in Electrochemistry and Corrosion at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Dedicated to Professor Dr. Josep M. Costa on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday. Edicions Universitat Barcelona. p. 1216. ISBN 9788447526390.
They were “not the same”, because they were different in their personalities and their approaches to scientific research. Eyring was a deeply religious man, while Norrish had no religious beliefs.
- Leslie Berlin (2005). The Man Behind The Microchip: Robert Noyce And The Invention Of Silicon Valley. Oxford University Press. p. 235. ISBN 9780195163438.
The minister, who had hidden himself in a closet, stepped forward to marry the couple in a ceremony from which Bowers had excised every reference to God. "Bob agreed to that. Neither of us could decide about God," Bowers says. "I remember Bob saying, 'Some people who believe in God are good, and some people who believe in God are not good. So where does that leave you? He had [also] looked around and decided that religion is responsible for a lot of trouble in the world." Noyce, always pushing against the limits of accepted knowledge, told Bowers that what bothered him most about organized religions was that "people don't think in churches."
- Morris, Edward (January 2003). "Finding the father inside". BookPage. Retrieved 11 June 2007.
- "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 Nobelprize.org
- Steve Wartenberg: ""So, do you believe in God?" I asked". ""You really can't know," answered Bill Nye the Controversial Guy." Steve Wartenberg, The Morning Call, 6 April 2006.
- "Today, I consider myself, in Thomas Huxley's terms, an agnostic. I don’t know whether there is a God or creator, or whatever we may call a higher intelligence or being. I don’t know whether there is an ultimate reason for our being or whether there is anything beyond material phenomena. I may doubt these things as a scientist, as we cannot prove them scientifically, but at the same time we also cannot falsify (disprove) them. For the same reasons, I cannot deny God with certainty, which would make me an atheist. This is a conclusion reached by many scientists." George Olah, A Life of Magic Chemistry
- "It was nice to be honoured but I like ‘Mark’ not ‘Sir Mark’. When one’s young, one’s brash and all-knowing; when one’s old, one realises how little one knows. You asked me earlier if I believed in God and the hereafter. I would tend to say no but when one dies one could well be surprised." Mark Oliphant from an interview in 1996., Sir Mark Oliphant - Reluctant Builder of the Atom Bomb.
- Ernest Hamlin Abbott, Lyman Abbott, Francis Rufus Bellamy, Hamilton Wright Mabie (1912). The Outlook, Volume 101. Outlook Co. p. 650.
Among the conflicting voices of present-day biologists there are those who, with Karl Pearson, an agnostic, affirm that physics and chemistry "can only describe, but cannot explain."
- JPararajasingham. annotation_id=annotation_125833&feature=iv&src_vid=s47ArcQL-XQ&v=6Gt4WSK_NlQ "Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God". Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Wolfgang Yourgrau (1979). Variational Principles in Dynamics and Quantum Theory (3 ed.). Courier Dover Publications. p. 170. ISBN 9780486637730.
Poincare's general agnostic outlook culminated in his profound criticism for which the notion of simplicity had been made the occasion.
- Henri Poincare (2012). "VII". The Value of Science: Essential Writings of Henri Poincare. Random House LLC. ISBN 9780307824066.
This hypothesis is indeed crude and incomplete, because this supreme intelligence would be only a demigod; infinite in one sense, it would be limited in another, since it would have only an imperfect recollection of the past; and it could have no other, since otherwise all recollections would be equally present to it and for it there would be no time. And yet when we speak of time, for all which happens outside of us, do we not unconsciously adopt this hypothesis; do we not put ourselves in the place of this imperfect God; and do not even the atheists put themselves in the place where God would be if he existed? What I have just said shows us, perhaps, why we have tried to put all physical phenomena into the same frame. But that can not pass for a definition of simultaneity, since this hypothetical intelligence, even if it existed, would be for us impenetrable. It is therefore necessary to seek something else.
- Poincaré, Henri (January 1, 1913). Dernières Pensées (PDF). p. 138. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
Les dogmes des religions révélées ne sont pas les seuls à craindre. L'empreinte que le catholicisme a imprimée sur l'âme occidentale a été si profonde que bien des esprits à peine affranchis ont eu la nostalgie de la servitude et se sont efforcés de reconstituer des Eglises ; c'est ainsi que certaines écoles positivistes ne sont qu'un catholicisme sans Dieu. Auguste Comte lui- même rêvait de discipliner les âmes et certains de ses disciples, exagérant la pensée du maître, deviendraient bien vite des ennemis de la science s'ils étaient les plus forts.
- Lorraine Daston (1995). Classical Probability in the Enlightenment. Princeton University Press. p. 381. ISBN 9780691006444.
Poisson's understanding of causes, both natural and moral, was totally agnostic.
- "Now Ibn al-Haytham was a devout Muslim – that is, he was a supernaturalist. He studied science because he considered that by doing this he could better understand the nature of the god that he believed in – he thought that a supernatural agent had created the laws of nature. The same is true of virtually all the leading scientists in the Western world, such as Galileo and Newton, who lived after al-Haytham, until about the middle of the twentieth century. There were a few exceptions – Pierre Laplace, Siméon Poisson, Albert Einstein, Paul Dirac and Marie Curie were naturalists for example." John Ellis, How Science Works: Evolution: A Student Primer, page 13.
- Harold D. Taylor, Loretta Taylor (1993). George Pólya: master of discovery 1887-1985. Dale Seymour Publications. p. 50. ISBN 9780866516112.
Plancherel was a military man, a colonel in the Swiss army, and a devout Catholic; Polya did not like military ceremonies or activities, and he was an agnostic who objected to hierarchical religions.
- "Vladimir Prelog". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Vilayanur S. Ramachandran interview". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
Like most scientists I'm agnostic. If you're talking about God in some very abstract sense, like in India the Dance of Shiva or in the Spinoza sense of the word God, then I'll say I have no problem with it. But if you're talking about an old guy there who's watching me and making sure I behave myself and that I pray to him every day and that I will be punished in Hell if I do something wrong, I don't believe in that. And I don't want to offend anybody here, but that's my personal view.
- Ramananda Chatterjee, ed. (1981). The Modern review, Volume 145. Prabasi Press Private, Ltd. p. 154.
CV Raman recehed the Nobel prize for physics in 1930 — and Lc was the first Asian scientist to get a Nobel award. Raman, bom in an orthodox South Indian Brahmin. family, was in agnostic.
- Uma Parameswaran (2011). C.V. Raman: A Biography. Penguin Books India. p. 5. ISBN 9780143066897.
His readings in Herbert Spencer's philosophy and his leanings towards agnosticism (he avidly read R.G. Ingersoll—the American political leader, and Charles Bradlaugh—the English founder of the National Secular Society) and mainly his lack of money to repeat the courses, led him back to the village.
- Corey S. Powell (July 29, 2006). "The Discover Interview: Lisa Randall". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
Interviewer: So does your science leave space for untestable faith? Do you believe in God? Randall: There's room there, and it could go either way. Faith just doesn't have anything to do with what I'm doing as a scientist. It's nice if you can believe in God, because then you see more of a purpose in things. Even if you don't, though, it doesn't mean that there's no purpose. It doesn't mean that there's no goodness. I think that there's a virtue in being good in and of itself. I think that one can work with the world we have. So I probably don't believe in God. I think it's a problem that people are considered immoral if they're not religious. That's just not true. This might earn me some enemies, but in some ways they may be even more moral. If you do something for a religious reason, you do it because you'll be rewarded in an afterlife or in this world. That's not quite as good as something you do for purely generous reasons.
- Dorothy Michelson Livingston, One Pass Productions, Cinema Guild (1984). The Master of Light: A Biography of Albert A. Michelson. University of Chicago Press. p. 106.
Rayleigh was more tolerant. An Anglican with agnostic tendencies, he avoided direct questions as to his religious beliefs but when pressed would admit that he thought of Christ as a gifted man who could see further and truer than he. But he liked the idea of a power beyond what men see and an afterlife in which they may hope to take part.
- "I submit that Hubble was looking for this principle of tired light. A hundred years from now, people will look back on the Big Bang Creationists and their antics with laughter much as we laugh at those who argued over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!" Grote Reber, The Big Bang is Bunk, page 49.
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. Grote Reber, NNDB.com
- "Eugenie Richet was a highly religious woman; Charles made his first communion with real devotion and fleetingly promised to enter the priesthood, but he abandoned his childhood faith during his adolescence. As an adult, he became an agnostic, a freethinker and a Freemason, who was nonetheless fairly tolerant of his wife Amelie's continued faith." Mark S. Micale, The mind of modernism: medicine, psychology, and the cultural arts in Europe and America, 1880–1940 (2004), page 220.
- Thomas A. Hockey, ed. (2007). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers: A-L. Springer. p. 978. ISBN 9780387310220.
Toward the end of his life he became an agnostic, expressing the view that revealed religion had no place in the Universe that he had explored.
- "Richard J. Roberts". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Rotblat: "I have to admit, however, that there are really many things that I do not know. I am not a particularly religious person, and this is the reason for my agnosticism. To be an agnostic simply means that I do not know and will keep seeking the answer for eternity. This is my response to questions about religion." Joseph Rotblat, Daisaku Ikeda, A quest for global peace: Rotblat and Ikeda on war, ethics, and the nuclear threat, Page 94.
- "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, 31 March 1997. Excerpt hosted at HighBeam Research accessed 2 November 2007.
- Hargittai, István (April 1999), "Interview: Frederick Sanger", The Chemical Intelligencer (New York: Springer-Verlag) 4 (2): 6–11. This interview, which took place on 16 September 1997, was republished in: Hargittai, István (2002), "Chapter 5: Frederick Sanger", Candid science II: conversations with famous biomedical scientists, London: Imperial College Press, pp. 73–83, ISBN 1-86094-288-1
- Clifford E. Olstrom (2011). Undaunted By Blindness, 2nd Edition. eBookIt.com. ISBN 9780982272190.
Saunderson, brutally frank in conversations and arguments, didn't miss many opportunities to make his opinion known. He could be profane and was an outspoken agnostic, causing much concern among his friends.
- Schuster, Peter. "Interview with Peter Schuster". National Catholic Reporter. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
... 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.
- Kragh, Helge (2004). Matter and spirit in the Universe: scientific and religious preludes to modern cosmology. OECD Publishing. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-86094-469-7.
Shapley was not committed to any particular model of the expanding universe, but he did have strong opinions about the relationship between astronomy and religion. A confirmed agnostic, in the postwar period he often participated in science-religion discussions, and in 1960 he edited a major work on the subject — Science Ponders Religion.
- I.S. Glass (2006). "Harlow Shapley: Defining our galaxy". Revolutionaries of the Cosmos: The Astro-physicists. Oxford University Press. pp. 265–266. ISBN 9780198570998.
Although a declared agnostic, Shapley was deeply interested in religion and was a genuinely 'religious' person from a philosophical point of view. 'I never go to church', he told Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, 'I am too religious.
- "Pavlov also sharply criticised Sherrington's agnosticism. "I am all the more surprised," Pavlov went on to say, "that for some reason or other he regards knowledge of this soul as something pernicious and clearly expresses this point of view; according to him..." George Windholz, Psychopathology and psychiatry (1994), page 419.
- "By his early teens, Simpson had given up being a Christian, although he had not formally declared himself an atheist. At college he began the gradual development of what might best be called positivistic agnosticism: a belief that the world could be known and explained by ordinary empirical observation without recourse to supernatural forces. Ultimate causation, he considered unknowable." Léo F. Laporte, Simple curiosity; letters from George Gaylord Simpson to his family, 1921–1970 (1987), page 16.
- "Jens C. Skou". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Sol Sherry (1993). Reflections and reminiscences of an academic physician. Lea & Febiger. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8121-1666-3.
Another story deals with Homer Smith. As I noted previously, besides being the foremost renal physiologist of his time he was a devout agnostic.
- Dan Barker (2011). The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God. Ulysses Press. p. 184. ISBN 9781569758465.
Biographer Simon Winchester, reporting that Smith's “agnosticism was well-known,” writes that “For the first time the earth had a provable history, a written record that paid no heed or obeisance to religious teaching and dogma, that declared its independence from the kind of faith that is no more than the blind acceptance of absurdity. A science...had now at last broken free from the age-old constraints of doctrine and canonical instruction.
- Wesscott Marketing (2006). Y-Origins. World Wide Publications. p. 96. ISBN 9780971742222.
...Astrophysicist George Smoot (an agnostic) said, "If you're religious, it's like looking at God."
- John Winthrop Hammond (1924). Charles Proteus Steinmetz: a biography. The Century & Co. p. 447.
This has placed him before the public as an atheist.* The title he did not deny. The writer, however, would put him down as a confirmed agnostic, for an atheist is a person who knows there is no God, and Steinmetz was not of that...
- Alessandro Roncaglia. "Piero Sraffa" (PDF). pp. 22–23. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
Sraffa liked walks and bike rides. In Cambridge, he always moved around by bike. He used to get up late in the morning and work late into the night. In Trinity as well as when associated with King’s, he regularly dined in the college. As I noticed when he invited me to dinner at Trinity, he took care to arrive after supper was served, so as to skip the benedicite prayer (he was agnostic, with a leaning for atheism).
- "Albert Szent-Györgyi". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Both Enrico and Leo were agnostics." Nina Byers, Fermi and Szilard.
- William Lanouette, Bela A. Silard (1992). Genius in the shadows: a biography of Leo Szilard : the man behind the bomb. C. Scribner's Sons. p. 167. ISBN 9780684190112.
He is what he seems to be: an idealist devoted to the task. As his consciousness, however, is materialistic, leaning to experimenting, and agnostic, he fails to understand himself, same as the world...
- "Igor Y. Tamm". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Edward Teller (2002). Memoirs: A Twentieth Century Journey In Science And Politics. Basic Books. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7382-0778-0.
Religion was not an issue in my family; indeed, it was never discussed. My only religious training came because the Minta required that all students take classes in their respective religions. My family celebrated one holiday, the Day of Atonement, when we all fasted. Yet my father said prayers for his parents on Saturdays and on all the Jewish holidays. The idea of God that I absorbed was that it would be wonderful if He existed: We needed Him desperately but had not seen Him in many thousands of years.
- Harald August Bohr (1952). Collected Mathematical Works: Dirichlet series. The Riemann Zeta-function. Dansk Matematisk Forening. p. xiv.
Professor Thiele, who made a deep impression on us all, was a scholar devoted equally to astronomy and mathematics. His lectures affected us strongly by their fervour and by an atmosphere of mysticism which permeated them — which was unusual for a man of such pronounced agnostic views.
- "E. Donnall Thomas". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Though research activities dominated his working days, Faraday never neglected to meet with his Christian friends for worship and prayer. We quote again from John Tyndall who, it should be said, was an agnostic: "I think that a good deal of Faraday's week-day strength and persistency might be referred to his Sunday Exercises. He drinks from a fount on Sunday which refreshes his soul for a week."" The Biblical Creation Society, Michael Faraday pioneer scientist - Christian Man of Science, 2002.
- "The odd subtext of that offer was that Faraday was intensely religious, and Tyndall was as fascinated with Faraday's convictions as he was with prayer, miracles, and cosmology. Faraday "drinks from a fount on Sunday which refreshes his soul for a week," said the agnostic Tyndall with obvious fascination -- and, perhaps, a trace of envy." John H. Lienhard, Science, Religion, and John Tyndall, The Engines of our Ingenuity.
- Chris Mooney (28 February 2011). "Neil deGrasse Tyson – Communicating Science". Point of Inquiry (Podcast). Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- ""I'm an agnostic. Sometimes I muse deeply on the forces that are for me invisible. When I am almost close to the idea of God, I feel immediately estranged by the horrors of this world, which he seems to tolerate..." Later Ulam expressed his opinions about matters that have very little in common with science." Polska Agencja Międzyprasowa, Poland: Issue 9 (1976).
- Budrewicz/, Olgierd (1977). The melting-pot revisited: twenty well-known Americans of Polish background. Interpress. p. 36. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- John Simmons (1996). The scientific 100: a rankings of the most influential scientists, past and present. Carol Publishing Group. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-8065-1749-0.
For his abrasive antiroyalist as well as agnostic views, Virchow was made to suffer in the subsequent period of political reaction; his meager salary was cut off and he was effectively dismissed from Charite.
- "Virchow had no use for teleology in pathology: "The teleo-logical purists were always forced to go back to original sin, * without finding this way much recognition." We found Virchow to be an agnostic as early as 1845." Erwin Heinz Ackerknecht, Rudolf Virchow: doctor, statesman, anthropologist (1953), page 51.
- William Poundstone (1993). Prisoner's Dilemma. Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 9780385415804.
Of this deathbed conversion, Morgenstern told Heims, “He was of course completely agnostic all his life, and then he suddenly turned Catholic—it doesn't agree with anything whatsoever in his attitude, outlook and thinking when he was healthy.” The conversion did not give von Neumann much peace. Until the end he remained terrified of death, Strittmatter recalled.
- Norman MacRae (1992). John Von Neumann: The Scientific Genius Who Pioneered the Modern Computer, Game Theory, Nuclear Deterrence, and Much More (2 ed.). American Mathematical Soc. p. 379. ISBN 9780821826768.
But Johnny had earlier said to his mother, "There probably is a God. Many things are easier to explain if there is than if there isn't." He also admitted jovially to Pascal's point: so long as there is the possibility of eternal damnation for nonbelievers it is more logical to be a believer at the end.
- Abraham Pais (2006). J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Life. Oxford University Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780195166736.
He had been completely agnostic for as long as I had known him. As far as I could see this act did not agree with the attitudes and thoughts he had harbored for nearly all his life. On February 8, 1957, Johnny died in the Hospital, at age 53.
- Robert Dransfield, Don Dransfield (2003). Key Ideas in Economics. Nelson Thornes. p. 124. ISBN 9780748770816.
He was brought up in a Hungary in which anti-Semitism was commonplace, but the family were not overly religious, and for most of his adult years von Neumann held agnostic beliefs.
- Alfred Russel Wallace. My Life. A record of events and opinions. Elibron.com. p. 358. ISBN 9781402184291.
I soon became intimate with him, and we were for some years joint investigators of spiritualistic phenomena. He was, like myself at that time, an agnostic, well educated, and of a more positive character than myself.
- "Andre Weil was an agnostic but respected religions." I. Grattan-Guinness, Bhuri Singh Yadav, History of the Mathematical Sciences (2004).
- Paul Betz, Mark Christopher Carnes, American Council of Learned Societies (2002). Paul Betz, Mark Christopher Carnes, ed. American national biography: Supplement, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. p. 676. ISBN 9780195150636.
Although as a lifelong agnostic he may have been somewhat bemused by Simone Weil's preoccupations with Christian mysticism, he remained a vigilant guardian of her memory, ...
- Karl Pearson (2011). Walter Frank Raphael Weldon 1860-1906: A Memoir Reprinted from Biometrika. Cambridge University Press. p. 5. ISBN 9781107601222.
He was through the many years the present writer knew him, like his hero Huxley, a confirmed Agnostic.
- "On June 2, 1964, Swami Sarvagatananda presided over the memorial service at MIT in remembrance of Norbert Wiener — scion of Maimonides, father of cybernetics, avowed agnostic — reciting in Sanskrit from the holy books of Hinduism, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita." Flo Conway, Jim Siegelman, Dark Hero of the Information Age: In Search Of Norbert Wiener--Father of Cybernetics (2006), page 329.
- Eugene Paul Wigner, Andrew Szanton (1992). Andrew Szanton, ed. The Recollections of Eugene P. Wigner As Told to Andrew Szanton. Basic Books. p. 60. ISBN 9780306443268.
Neither did I want to be a clergyman. I liked a good sermon. But religion tells people how to behave and that I could never do. Clergymen also had to assume and advocate the presence of God, and proofs of God's existence seemed to me quite unsatisfactory. People claimed that He had made our earth. Well, how had He made it? With an earth-making machine?
- "Although Wilczek grew up in the Roman Catholic faith, he now considers himself agnostic. He still has a fondness for the Church, so this book should not offend Christians. In fact Wilczek cites Father James Malley for a Jesuit Credo that states: "It is more blessed to ask forgiveness than permission."" Jim Walker, nobeliefs.com. 
- Wozniak, Steven. "Letters-General Questions Answered". woz.org. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
... 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.
- Jesse Hong Xiong (2009). "Seven". The Outline of Parapsychology. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 322. ISBN 9780761849452.
When a reporter asked him: “Do you believe there is a Creator who creates all in the universe?" Professor Chen Ning Yang (born 1922), a Chinese Nobel Prize winner in physics in 1957, answered: “I think it is hard for me to directly say 'yes' or 'no'. I can only say that when we more and more understand the wonderful structures in the nature, no matter whether we directly or indirectly ask the question, there does exist the question you ask: is there someone or God who takes charge of all? I think it is a question that will never be finally answered. (The reporter asked: 'Is it because what man knows is too limited?') On one hand, yes; on the other hand, we can have a feeling that the universe will not be created so wonderful without an ultimate goal.” Professor Yang held agnosticism here. And many outstanding scientists are clear-cut theists.
- Eric D. Schneider, Dorion Sagan (2005). Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life. University of Chicago Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780226739366.
Physicist Hubert Yockey (1992, 1995) disparages thermodynamics, arguing that life is too improbable to have evolved. Yockey, who worked under Robert Oppenheimer on the bomb, claims to be agnostic. Although critical of creationists, he argues that the primeval soup taught in textbooks is not plausible.
- Zinsser, Hans; Gerald N. Grob (2007). Rats, Lice, and History. Transaction Publishers. p. xxvii. ISBN 978-1-4128-0672-5.
"...I, for one, must be content to remain an agnostic." Zinsser was gratified that death was coming with due warning rather than suddenness, and in his last months achieved a degree of philosophical tranquility and resignation.
- Listed as an agnostic on NNDB.com. Hans Zinsser, NNDB.com.
- "Kmhawk". OkCupid. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Shaun Barnett. "Hillary, Edmund Percival". Retrieved 14 May 2012.
Hillary absorbed some of his father’s passion for social justice and Christian ideals, which he later tempered into an agnostic but compassionate and optimistic world-view.
- Krakauer, Jon Where Men Win Glory, Doubleday, 2009, p 116, 314. "Tillman was an agnostic, perhaps even an atheist". See also quotes from Tillman's brother Kevin.
- "Bleacher Report". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.