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Ask the Patriarch 194
How about an Agnostic Bible?

from: John Mainley

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I would love an agnostic bible. It would be fantastic.

How can we make one and when?

Please do something. I'll even pay money. Good money!!!

The Patriarch replies:


Thanks for writing.

The issue of an agnostic bible was raised nearly three years ago in Ask the Patriarch 109 - Is there an Agnostic Bible?. Given the size of this site, it is understandable you did not find it. But your question provides an opportunity to expand on my views on an agnostic bible.[1]

For me, the word "bible" carries too many connotations. A bible is the final authority on a subject, it does not permit disagreement. A bible tells you how to live your life, both prescriptively[2] and proscriptively.[3] To me, these are the antithesis of agnostic thought.

As I see it,

So I remain opposed to the concept of an agnostic bible.[4]

Having said that, I think that there may be a need for a guide to agnosticism. Not a "dummies guide" nor "an intelligent person's guide," just a basic well-written guidebook. It might contain brief biographies of leading agnostic thinkers beginning perhaps with Protagoras and explain their thinking and then a discussion about morality in the absence of a deity. Perhaps there would be a market for such a book if someone wanted to undertake it.

Best wishes

John Tyrrell


  1. Interestingly, the Agnostic Church and its Agnostic Bible referred to in Ask the Patriarch 109 remain offline. The two domains registered to the Agnostic Church (agnostic.com and agnostic.org) have been regularly renewed, and yet, both still lead to an empty site. It's too bad - I'd like to see them put to use for promoting agnosticism once again.[5]
  2. Thou shalt.
  3. Thou shalt not.
  4. I note with interest that The Atheists Bible is essentially no more than a book of quotations. Perhaps I should publish my various quotations listings in Meditations as a book (but not a bible.)
  5. In the absence of any sign that the Agnostic Church / Agnostic Bible will return, the web site has been found and placed in our own archive.