Dr Robert Flint (1838–1910) was a Scottish theologian and philosopher who wrote also on sociology.

Agnosticism (1903)

  • A gnostic may be described, then, as one who attributes to the human mind more power of attaining truth than it actually possesses; and an agnostic as one who will not allow that the human mind possesses as much power of acquiring knowledge as it really has. Thus viewed both the gnostic and agnostic err, but in opposite directions. (p.26)
  • The atheist denies that there is a God, but he cannot honestly disallow that he understands what is meant by the word. The agnostic denies that God is knowable, but not that the idea of God is either knowable or known. (p.19)
  • A theist and a Christian may be an agnostic; an atheist may not be an agnostic. A man who believes that God can be known, but not that an external world can be known, is as much an agnostic as a man who believes that an external world can be known, but not that God can be known. (p. 51)
  • An atheist may deny that there is a God, and in this case his atheism is dogmatic, not agnostic; or he may refuse to acknowledge that there is a God simply on the ground that he perceives no evidence for His existence, and finds the arguments which have been advanced in proof of it invalid: and in this case his atheism is critical, not agnostic.



Flint, Robert. Agnosticism New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1903

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