96 Enlightening Quotes By Blaise Pascal That Will Help You In Life
French Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor, Writer and Catholic Philosopher
Clermont-Ferrand,, Auvergne, France
Blaise Pascal was a renowned French scientist who made tremendous contributions to the field of mathematics and physics. He was mostly home-schooled by his father and published his first mathematical work at the early age of sixteen. His talent was recognized early on by his father and when he sent his essay on conics to eminent French theologist and mathematician Père Mersenne, many including Rene Descartes believed the theorem was propounded by Pascal's father. However, later the theorem was named after this mathematical genius as Pascal Theorem. Not only in the fields of probability and geometry but Pascal is also credited for inventing one of the foremost calculating device. Apparently he built the calculator to help his father in computing taxes. The probability theory put forth by Pascal laid the foundations of modern day economics. He also developed the Pascal triangle to represent binomial coefficients in a tabular form. The erudite mind was also responsible for deriving the proof of existence of vacuum.
Here are a few enligtening quotes by the famous scientist Blaise Pascal.
The heart has its reasons which reason knows not. All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone. I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter."
(Letter 16, 1657) Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise. I made this [letter] very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter. To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher. Kind words don't cost much. Yet they accomplish much. You always admire what you really don't understand. People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive. I lay it down as a fact that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world. Curiosity is only vanity. We usually only want to know something so that we can talk about it. Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back When one does not love too much, one does not love enough. Dull minds are never either intuitive or mathematical. To ridicule philosophy is really to philosophize. The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first. Man's sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder. The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it. It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the truth. We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others. Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism. Little things comfort us because little things distress us. Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself. The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men. Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves. The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." - Blaise Pascal Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him? Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen. People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others. To understand is to forgive. Nature has made all her truths independent of one another. Our art makes one dependent on the other. The more I see of Mankind, the more I prefer my dog. Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical. There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous. And is it not obvious that, just as it is a crime to disturb the peace when truth reigns, it is also a crime to remain at peace when the truth is being destroyed? Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no reason for any difference... Lust is the source of all our actions, and humanity. Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries. In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart. By space the universe encompasses me and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world. Those honor nature well, who teach that she can speak on everything. Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth. Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them. Our nature lies in movement; complete calm is death. Nature is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. Reason's last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it. Since we cannot know all there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything. The heart has reasons that reason cannot know. We must keep our thought secret, and judge everything by it, while talking like the people. Men seek rest in a struggle against difficulties; and when they have conquered these, rest becomes insufferable. There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition There is a certain standard of grace and beauty which consists in a certain relation between our nature... and the thing which pleases us. Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care. The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me God instituted prayer to communicate to creatures the dignity of causality. The last act is bloody, however fine the rest of the play Passion cannot be beautiful without excess; one either loves too much or not enough. In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't. Words differently arranged have different meanings, and meanings differently arranged have different effects. Man's sensitivity to little things and insensitivity to the greatest things are marks of a strange disorder. Man's grandeur is that he knows himself to be miserable. The weather and my mood have little connection. I have my foggy and my fine days within me; my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter. Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright No religion except ours has taught that man is born in sin; none of the philosophical sects has admitted it; none therefore has spoken the truth The power of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doing. We run carelessly over the precipice after having put something in front of us to prevent us seeing it. When a soldier complains of his hard life (or a labourer, etc.) try giving him nothing to do. If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exsists. Please forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one. A trifle consoles us, for a trifle distresses us. The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. We know the truth, not only be the reason, but also be the heart. We make an idol of truth itself, for truth apart from charity is not God, but his image and an idol that we must not love or worship. Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions. Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. Everything that is written merely to please the author is worthless. If he exalts himself, I humble him.
If he humbles himself, I exalt him.
And I go on contradicting him
Until he understands
That he is a monster that passes all understanding. All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room. Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts. To make a man a saint, it must indeed be by grace; and whoever doubts this does not know what a saint is, or a man. Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars. I will not forget thy word. Amen. Happiness can be found neither in ourselves nor in external things, but in God and in ourselves as united to him. They do not know that they seek only
the chase and not the quarry. Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, and a beautiful image it is.
Jesus is a God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.
We desire truth and find within ourselves only uncertainty.
It is better to know something about everything then everything about something
Imagination magnifies small objects with fantastic exaggeration until they fill our soul, and with bold insolence cuts down great things to its own size, as when speaking of God.
Each man is everything to himself, for with his death everything is dead for him. That is why each of us thinks he is everything to everyone. We must not judge nature by ourselves, but by its own standards.
At the far end of this infinite distance a coin is being spun which will come down heads or tails. How will you wager? Reason cannot make you choose either, reason cannot prove either wrong. God wishes to move the will rather than the mind. Perfect clarity would help the mind and harm the will.