A.J. (“Freddie”) Ayer, by the way, apparently had a Near Death Experience of his own. He claimed it in no way impinged on his atheism. But an acquaintance reported that “He became so much nicer after he died… not nearly so boastful. He took an interest in other people.” But again, Freddie denied that the experience made him “religious.” [continues here]
…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 — that is, if he knows what observations would lead him, under certain conditions, to accept the proposition as being true, or reject it as being false.
“Stealing money is wrong” has no factual meaning — that is, expresses no proposition which can be either true or false. It is as if I had written “Stealing money!!”
No moral system can rest solely on authority.
There is philosophy, which is about conceptual analysis — about the meaning of what we say — and there is all of this … all of life.
There isn’t a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. It it’s true you should believe it, if it isn’t you should not… it’s intellectual treachery to hold a belief because you think it’s useful and not because you think it’s true.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.
And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? [Why I Am Not a Christian… More Russell]
Freud is darker than Nietzsche… Sheer joy and sheer affirmation of life is pretty hard to find, if you’re being absolutely honest about what reality is.
As long as your ideas of what’s possible are limited by what’s actual, no other idea has a chance.
If life is a gift, then the more you partake in it, the more you show thanks.
[Susan Neiman, Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists]
Back to the question of time: Mellor’s point is that time lacks objective tense (past, present, future), not that it is an illusion. This may take some time to grasp, for
if you think of tense as a feature of the world, that is an illusion. [But] what is not an illusion is that we are in the world, and need to think about it, and especially about how to act in it, in terms of tense… time itself– tenseless time, what makes events earlier and later than each other– is indeed a real feature both of the world, and of our experience of it.