A.J. Ayer quotes

  • 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

    #Believe #Thinking #Answers

  • 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

    #Rights #Tolerance #Feelings

  • No morality can be founded on authority, even if the authority were divine.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Ethics #Morality #Divine

  • No moral system can rest solely on authority.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Morality #Moral #Authority

  • While moral rules may be propounded by authority the fact that these were so propounded would not validate them.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #May #Facts #Moral

  • 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

    #Ignorance #People #Choices

  • 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

    #Atheist #Atheism #Nonsensical

  • In other words, the propositions of philosophy are not factual, but linguistic in character - that is, they do not describe the behaviour of physical, or even mental, objects; they express definitions, or the formal consequences of definitions. Accordingly we may say that philosophy is a department of logic. For we will see that the characteristic mark of a purely logical enquiry, is that it is concerned with the formal consequences of our definitions and not with questions of empirical fact.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Philosophy #Character #Enquiry

  • Theism is so confused and the sentences in which "God" appears so incoherent and so incapable of verifiability or falsifiability that to speak of belief or unbelief, faith or unfaith, is logically impossible.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Confused #Atheism #Belief

  • 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

    #Past #Superstitions #Way

  • There never comes a point where a theory can be said to be true. The most that one can claim for any theory is that it has shared the successes of all its rivals and that it has passed at least one test which they have failed.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Rivals #Tests #Claims

  • 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

    #Believe #Reality #Errors

  • Even logical positivists are capable of love.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Logical #Capable

  • Why should you mind being wrong if someone can show you that you are?
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Mind #Should #Shows

  • 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

    #Effort #Insightful #Trying

  • 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

    #Religion #Atheism #Utterance

  • The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Philosopher #Disputes

  • 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

    #Self #Principles #Use

  • The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful. The surest way to end them is to establish beyond question what should be the purpose and method of a philosophical enquiry. And this is by no means so difficult a task as the history of philosophy would lead one to suppose. For if there are any questions which science leaves it to philosophy to answer, a straightforward process of elimination must lead to their discovery.
    -- A.J. Ayer

    #Truth #Philosophy #Philosophical

  • 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

    #Thinking #Atheism #Facts