Blaise Pascal

Blaise
Pascal
1623
1662

French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer

Author Quotes

Most of man's trouble comes from his inability to be still.

Noble deeds are most estimable when hidden.

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

Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapour, a drop of water is enough to kill him But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. the universe knows none of this. Thus all our dignity consists in thought. It is on thought that we must depend for our recovery, not on space and time, which we could never fill. Let us then strive to think well; that is the basic principle of morality.

Losses are comparative, imagination only makes them of any moment.

Little things console us, because little things afflict [affect] us.

Look on little deeds as great.

It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe.

It is a strange and tedious war when violence attempts to vanquish truth. All the efforts of violence cannot weaken truth, and only serve to give it fresh vigor. All the lights of truth cannot arrest violence, and only serve to exasperate it.

In proportion as our own mind is enlarged we discover a greater number of men of originality. Commonplace people see no difference between one man and another.

If our condition were truly happy, we would not need diversion from thinking of it in order to make ourselves happy.

I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.

Human life is thus only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on mutual deceit; few friendships would endure if each knew what his friend said of him in his absence, although he then spoke in sincerity and without passion. Man is, then, only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and in regard to others. He does not wish any one to tell him the truth; he avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart. I set it down as a fact that if all men know what each said to the other, there would not be four friends in the world.

He only is miserable who knows himself to be miserable.

Happiness is neither within us only, or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God.

Great souls, who, having run though all that men can know, find they know nothing.

Force without justice is tyrannical; justice without force is impotent.

Force rules the world - not opinion; but opinion which makes use of force.

For we must not misunderstand ourselves; we are as much automatic as intellectual; and hence it comes that the instrument by which conviction is attained is not demonstrated alone. How few things are demonstrated! Proofs only convince the mind. Custom is the source of our strongest and most believed proofs. It bends the automaton, which persuades the mind without its thinking about the matter.

Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism.

Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them.

Everything is true in part and false in part.

Education produces natural intuitions, and natural intuitions are erased by education.

Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.

Custom should be followed only because it is custom, and not because it is reasonable or just. But people follow it for this sole reason, that they think it just. Otherwise they would follow it no longer, although it were the custom; for they will only submit to reason or justice. Custom without this would pass for tyranny; but the sovereignty of reason and justice is no more tyrannical than that of desire. They are principles natural to man.

Author Picture
First Name
Blaise
Last Name
Pascal
Birth Date
1623
Death Date
1662
Bio

French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer