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    a. j. ayer Quotes

    If the assertion that there is a god is nonsensical, then the atheist's assertion that there is no god is equally nonsensical, since it is only a significant proposition that can be significantly contradicted.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: atheist  god 
     
    While moral rules may be propounded by authority the fact that these were so propounded would not validate them.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: facts  rules  authority  morals 
     
    The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: philosopher 
     
    It is possible to be a meta-physician without believing in a transcendent reality; for we shall see that many metaphysical utterances are due to the commission of logical errors, rather than to a conscious desire on the part of their authors to go beyond the limits of experience.
    — A. J. Ayer
    A prevalent fallacy is the assumption that a proof of an afterlife would also be a proof of the existence of a deity. This is far from being the case. If, as I hold, there is no good reason to believe that a god either created or presides over this world, there is equally no good reason to believe that a god created or presides over the next world, on the unlikely supposition that such a thing exists.
    — A. J. Ayer
    It appears, then, that ethics, as a branch of knowledge, is nothing more than a department of psychologyand sociology.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: ethics 
     
    If one takes full account of the persecution of heretics, the frequency and savagery of the religious wars which Christianity had endangered, the harm caused, especially to children, by the pernicious doctrine of original sin, a case could be made for saying that the world would have been better off without Christianity.
    — A. J. Ayer
    No moral system can rest solely on authority.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: authority  morals 
     
    It is time, therefore, to abandon the superstition that natural science cannot be regarded as logically respectable until philosophers have solved the problem of induction. The problem of induction is, roughly speaking, the problem of finding a way to prove that certain empirical generalizations which are derived from past experience will hold good also in the future.
    — A. J. Ayer
    The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved.
    — A. J. Ayer
    The misfortunes which God is represented in the book of Job as allowing Satan to inflict on Job, merely to test his faith, are indications, if not of positive malevolence, at least of a suspicious and ruthless insecurity, which is characteristic more of a tyrant than of a wholly powerful and benevolent deity.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: powerful  job  god  faith  satan  book  positive 
     
    It seems that I have spent my entire life trying to make life more rational and that it was all wasted effort.
    — A. J. Ayer
    I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: divine  opinion  book  afraid 
     
    Even logical positivists are capable of love.
    — A. J. Ayer
    No morality can be founded on authority, even if the authority were divine.
    — A. J. Ayer
    We say that a sentence is factually significant to any given person, if, and only if, he knows how to verify the proposition which it purports to express.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: people 
     
    The only possible basis for a sound morality is mutual tolerance and respect: tolerance of one another's customs and opinions; respect for one another's rights and feelings; awareness of one another's needs.
    — A. J. Ayer
    If 'god' is a metaphysical term, then it cannot be even probable that a god exists. For to say that 'God exists' is to make a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false. And by the same criterion, no sentence which purports to describe the nature of a transcendent god can possess any literal significance.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: nature  true  god 
     
    I do not believe in God. It seems to me that theists of all kinds have very largely failed to make their concept of a deity intelligible; and to the extent that they have made it intelligible, they have given us no reason to think that anything answers to it.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: believe  god 
     
    I see philosophy as a fairly abstract activity, as concerned mainly with the analysis of criticism and concepts, and of course most usefully of scientific concepts.
    — A. J. Ayer
    The principles of logic and mathematics are true universally simply because we never allow them to be anything else. And the reason for this is that we cannot abandon them without contradicting ourselves, without sinning against the rules which govern the use of language, and so making our utterances self-stultifying. In other words, the truths of logic and mathematics are analytic propositions or tautologies.
    — A. J. Ayer
    I take it, therefore, to be a fact, that one's existence ends with death. I think it possible to show how this fact can be emotionally acceptable.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: death  existence  facts 
     
    I suddenly stopped and looked out at the sea and thought, my God, how beautiful this is ... for 26 years I had never really looked at it before.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: thoughts  beautiful  god  year 
     
    There is philosophy, which is about conceptual analysis - about the meaning of what we say - and there is all of this ... all of life.
    — A. J. Ayer
    We shall maintain that no statement which refers to a 'reality'transcending the limits of all possible sense- experience can possibly have any literal significance.
    — A. J. Ayer
    tags: experience 
     
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