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Modern Primitiveness or Primitive Modernity

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Spahic Omer
International Islamic University Malaysia
E-mail: spahico@yahoo.com

According to the worldview of agnosticism, certainty and knowledge are impossible and we will never be able to know the true reality. A constant sceptical approach to epistemology, thus, ought to be a norm. Exemplifying somewhat this doctrine, Albert Einstein once remarked: “I don’t try to imagine a personal god; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.”

However, one wonders if agnostic thought, which originated most likely in ancient Greece in the form of scepticism, was a premeditated philosophical choice or a desperate reactionary repositioning against the inability of established religions to provide a sense of both epistemological and spiritual certitude. The latter seems to be the case, in that the majority of agnostic views and tenets exude opposition and aversion, rather than a homogenous system of thought and action. The sentiment is sufficiently epitomised by the words of Thomas Henry Huxley (d. 1895), a famous English biologist and evolutionist: “Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe.”

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