According to the most respected and widely relied-upon dictionaries in the world, the definition of an agnostic is one who believes it is impossible to know with certainty whether or not God exists. These dictionaries are worthless crap.
Any self-respecting agnostic clearly would not hold to such a rigid belief if he were persuasively spoken to by even a diminutive burning bush. Never would an agnostic say that it is impossible to know whether or not God exists: But the existence of God is not self-evident when, in the course of his normal affairs, he attempts to speak with shrubbery.
I hope that there is a God. And I could be convinced that He exists — but not ever by other human beings. And not by those ancient books conveyed and translated by succeeding generations of other human beings. I equally dismiss the take-my-word-for-it certainty of atheists that god — their spelling, not mine — does not exist.
And I’m not just playing “hard to get” here — holding out for a better deal than everlasting life — or 72 wives. (God forbid) I require no unambiguous sign sent unambiguously from Him that He is unambiguously God so as to comport myself guided by my best moral judgments. If, in the final judgment, this chosen way of life turns out to be not good enough for Him — we shall agree to disagree.
The threats of scorching flames in Hell, if anything, make me less inclined to take that “proverbial” leap of faith: I tend to do as little as possible out of cowardice alone.
I’m open to His existence. I’m not just sitting “on the fence,” “hedging my bets,” hoping to sneak in “through the doggy door.” I just DON’T KNOW.
So, Oxford, Roget, Merriam and you, Webster, most of all — spare me all the hollow apologies. And just remember this: The definition of a professional, you must understand– and of an agnostic too– is he who knows what he does not know.