Blaise Pascal


French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer

Author Quotes

When I consider the brief span of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and behind it, the small space that I fill, or even see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces which I know not and which know not me, I am afraid ...

The last function of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things which surpass it.

The heart has its reasons that the reason knows nothing of.

One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.

Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.

Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.

In the end the only way we can measure the value of our lives is by valuing the lives of others.

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist.

Imagination decides everything.

Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.

All the glory of greatness has no luster for people who are in search of understanding.

Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.

Will is one of the principal organs of belief, not that it forms belief, but because things are true or false according to the side on which we look at them.

All man's troubles come from not knowing how to sit still in a room.

What reason have atheists for saying that we cannot rise again? Which is the more difficult, to be born, or to rise again? That what has never been, should be, or that what has been, should be again? Is it more difficult to come into being than to return to it?

When I consider short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space which I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I am ignorant, and which knows me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than then. Who has put me here? By whose order and direction have this place and time been allotted to me?

To pity the unhappy is not contrary to selfish desire; on the other hand, we are glad of the occupation to thus testify friendship and attract to ourselves the reputation of tenderness, without giving anything.

We desire the truth, but find within ourselves nothing but uncertainty. We seek happiness, but find mainly misery. We are incapable of suppressing the desire for truth and happiness, and yet are incapable of knowing truth and happiness. These frustrated desires remind us how far we have fallen from our true state.

Time cures sorrows and squabbles because we all change and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended is the same.

The wisdom of God says, “I alone can make you understand who you are.” God has willed to make Himself quite recognizable to those who seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from Him with all their heart. There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.

The power of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doing.

The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.

The last proceeding of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things which are beyond it.

Since a choice must be made, we must see which is the least bad. You have two things to lose: truth and happiness. You have two things at stake: your reason and your happiness. And you have two things to avoid: error and misery. Since you must necessarily choose, your reason is no more affronted by choosing one rather than the other. How about your happiness? Let us weigh up the gain and loss in calling heads that God exists. If you win, you win everything. If you lose, you lose nothing. So do not hesitate: wager that God exists.

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French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer