No morality can be founded on authority, even if the authority were divine.
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.
But if science may be said to be blind without philosophy, it is true also that philosophy is virtually empty without science.
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.
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.
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.
It seems that I have spent my entire life trying to make life more rational and that it was all wasted effort.
The fact that people have religious experiences is interesting from the psychological point of view, but it does not in any way imply that there is such a thing as religious knowledge…Unless he can formulate this ‘knowledge’ in propositions that are empirically verifiable, we may be sure that he is deceiving himself.
Why should you mind being wrong if someone can show you that you are?
Even logical positivists are capable of love.
I saw a Divine Being. I’m afraid I’m going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.
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.
No moral system can rest solely on authority.
It appears, then, that ethics, as a branch of knowledge, is nothing more than a department of psychologyand sociology.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful.
While moral rules may be propounded by authority the fact that these were so propounded would not validate them.
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.
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.
To make our position clearer, we may formulate it in another way. Let us call a proposition which records an actual or possible observation an experiential proposition. Then we may say that it is the mark of a genuine factual proposition, not that it should be equivalent to an experiential proposition, or any finite number of experiential propositions, but simply that some experiential propositions can be deduced from it in conjunction with certain other premises without being deducible from those other premises alone.
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.