Blaise Pascal


French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer

Author Quotes

Do you wish people to speak well of you? Then do not speak at all yourself.

Desire and force between them are responsible for all our actions; desire causes our voluntary acts, force our involuntary.

Custom creates the whole of equity, for the simple reason that it is accepted.

All err the more dangerously because each follows the truth. Their mistake lies not in following a falsehood but in not following another truth.

Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none with him?

We only consult the ear because the heart is wanting.

We never love a person, only qualities.

We make an idol of truth itself; for truth apart from charity is not God, but his image and idol, which we must neither love nor worship.

We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart, and it is from this last that we know first principles; and reason, which has nothing to do with it, tries in vain to combat them. The skeptics who desire truth alone labor in vain.

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

We find fault with perfection itself.

We desire truth, and find within ourselves only uncertainty. We seek happiness, and find only misery and death.

Two things instruct man about his whole nature; instinct and experience.

True fear comes from faith; false fear comes from doubt. True fear is joined to hope, because it is born of faith, and because men hope in the God in whom they believe. False fear is joined to despair, because men fear the God in whom they have no belief. The former fear to lose Him; the latter fear to find Him.

There is internal war in man between reason and the passions... But having both, he cannot be without strife, being unable to be a peace with the one without being at war with the other. Thus he is always divided against and opposed to himself.

The virtue of a man ought to be measured not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his every-day conduct.

The strength of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.

The more intelligent a man is, the more originality he discovers in men. Ordinary people see no difference between men.

The infinite distance between body and mind is a symbol of the infinitely more infinite distance between mind and charity; for charity is supernatural.

The greatest baseness of man is the pursuit of glory. But it is also the great mark of his excellence; for whatever possessions he may have on earth, whatever health and essential comfort, he is not satisfied if he has not the esteem of men.

Our nature lies in movement; complete rest is death.

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.

Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without passion, without business, without entertainment, without care. It is then that he recognizes that he is empty, insufficient, dependent, ineffectual. From the depths of the soul now comes at once boredom, gloom, sorrow, chagrin, resentment and despair.

Nothing is more common than good things; the only question is how to discern them; it is certain that all of them are natural and within our reach and even known by every one. But we do not know how to distinguish them. This is universal. It is not in things extraordinary and strange that excellence of any kind is found. We reach up for it, and we are further away; more often than not we must stoop. The best books are those whose readers think they; could have written them. Nature, which alone is good, is familiar and common throughout.

Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.

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French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer