Blaise Pascal


French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer

Author Quotes

Reason’s last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it.

Plurality which is not reduced to unity is confusion. Unity which does not depend on plurality is tyranny.

Men hate and despise religion, and fear it may be true.

Man’s condition: inconstancy boredom, anxiety.

Let them recognize that there are two kinds of people one can call reasonable; those who serve God with all their heart because they know Him, and those who seek Him with all their heart because they do not know Him.

Justice without might is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical.

In God the word does not differ from the intention, for He is true; nor the word from the effect, for He is powerful; nor the means from the effect, for He is wise.

If our condition were truly happy, we should not need to divert ourselves from it. Being unable to cure death, wretchedness, and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things. I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room.

If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have nothing in it mysterious or supernatural. If we violate the principles of reason, our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.

I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.

How far is it from the knowledge of God to a love of Him!

Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both without us and within us.

Either God exists or he does not. But to which side shall we lean? Reason can decide nothing; there is infinite chaos which separates us. A game is being played, at the extremity of this infinite distance, where heads or tails will fall. What will you bet? If you win, you win everything. If you lose, you lose nothing. Bet then that he exists, without hesitating.

All this visible world is but an imperceptible point in the ample bosom of nature.

When malice has reason on its side, it looks forth bravely, and displays that reason in all its luster. When austerity and self-denial have not realized true happiness, and the soul returns to the dictates of nature, the reaction is fearfully extravagant.

When I consider the 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 know 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 the place and time been allotted to me?... The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.

When he consults himself man knows that he is great. When he contemplates the universe around him he knows that he is little and his ultimate greatness consists in his knowledge of his littleness.

What but this faculty of imagination dispenses reputation, awards respect and veneration to persons, works, laws, and the great? How insufficient are all the riches of the earth without her consent!

What vanity is painting, which attracts admiration to things which in the original we do not admire.

What a chimera, then, is man!... the pride and refuse of the universe!

What a chimera is man! what a confused chaos! what a subject of contradiction! a professed judge of all things, and ;yet a feeble worm of the earth! the great depository and guardian of truth, and yet a mere huddle of uncertainty! the glory and the scandal of the universe!

We have so exalted a notion of the human soul that we cannot bear to be despised by it, or even not to be esteemed by it. Man, in fact, places all his happiness in this esteem.

We sometimes learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good; and it is well to accustom ourselves to profit by the evil which is so common, while that which is good is so rare.

We conceal it from ourselves in vain - we must always love something. In those matters seemingly removed from love, the feeling is secretly to be found, and man cannot possibly live for a moment without it.

To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.

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French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer