The beginning is an obvious appeal to the agnostic rulers.
The agnostic ruling class (including the Guild) for whom religion was a kind of puppet show to amuse the populace and keep it docile, and who believed essentially that all phenomena — even religious phenomena — could be reduced to mechanical explanations; 4.
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He’s agnostic — about the existence of God and the proof of any non-physical belief.
He was born Jewish, but became an agnostic when he was a teenager, partly because of all that had happened to him as a child.