HERETICS AND APOSTATES
GNOSTICS, SCEPTICS AND UNBELIEVERS THROUGH THE AGES
It may be hard to believe, but agnosticism as a word, and even as a concept, is a recent phenomenon. Those lucky enough to live in liberal democracies today may look with horror at countries in which one religion is firmly, unquestionably, and often savagely, imposed on everyone. Yet only a few centuries ago in what we now call Western Europe it would be unthinkable to be anything else but Christian, and those that thought differently were often put to death.
To be an agnostic today is one of the beliefs, or lack of beliefs, that many share in the West. To believe that we cannot know which religion is the right one, or that we should not even try and instead make the best of our lives and of what we can see, and hear, and feel and seek love and happiness in ourselves rather than in a deity; these are fragile freedoms to be cherished.