Saturday, November 7, 2015

不可知論者 (ふかちろんしゃ, fukachironsha)

不可知論者 (ふかちろんしゃ)means agnostic.  A friend of mine, a philosophy major, taught me this word recently during a conversation about religion in Japan.  It's probably common knowledge that Shintoism and Buddhism are the most practiced religions in the country, a large percentage of the population categorizing themselves as having no religion.  

One source,, cites several surveys.

This topic came up sometimes when I used to teach adults at an eikaiwa.  Quite a number of my students felt that the scarcity of strong commitment within the population to organized religion played a role in the low crime rate and generally safe conditions in Japan...I don't think they were knocking religion; they were trying to say that few people get violent over God/gods over here.

My friend and I were discussing whether the non-affiliated category indicated more of an atheist or agnostic mindset...She also said that a lot of people might not be familiar with the term 不可知論者, as it may be somewhat of a technical term.

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