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Blaise Pascal Quotes

Blaise Pascal Quotes

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher who is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the 17th century. He was born on June 19, 1623, in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and passed away on August 19, 1662, in Paris, France.

Pascal’s father was a tax collector, and his mother passed away when he was only three years old. Despite these challenges, he showed an early aptitude for mathematics, and at the age of 16, he wrote a groundbreaking treatise on conic sections, which are the shapes formed when a plane intersects a cone.

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In addition to his mathematical contributions, Pascal made important discoveries in the field of physics. He invented the hydraulic press and the syringe and conducted pioneering research on atmospheric pressure and the nature of vacuum. His work laid the foundation for many of the advancements in physics that would come later.

Pascal also made significant contributions to philosophy and theology. He wrote extensively about the nature of human existence, the concept of faith, and the relationship between science and religion. His most famous work, “Pensées,” is a collection of his thoughts and ideas, which he intended to turn into a comprehensive defense of the Christian faith. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could complete the work.

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Pascal’s life was marked by illness and suffering, and he was often in poor health. Despite these challenges, he remained committed to his work and his faith, and his writings continue to inspire and challenge thinkers to this day.

Pascal is remembered as one of the greatest minds of the 17th century, and his contributions to mathematics, physics, philosophy, and theology continue to shape our understanding of the world around us.

The profound insights of Blaise Pascal as he explores the depths of human nature and the enduring power of faith through his remarkable quotes.

Famous Blaise Pascal Quotes

1. “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”

2. “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

3. “I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”(Letter 16, 1657)”

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

5. “I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise.”

I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise. - Blaise Pascal

6. “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”

7. “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of… We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.”

8. “Kind words don’t cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”

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

10. “You always admire what you really don’t understand.”

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11. “Curiosity is only vanity. We usually only want to know something so that we can talk about it.”

12. “Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”

13. “I made this [letter] very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter.”

14. “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.”

15. “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”

16. “When one does not love too much, one does not love enough.”

17. “The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”

18. “We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.”

19. “It is man’s natural sickness to believe that he possesses the truth.”

20. “Dull minds are never either intuitive or mathematical.”

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21. “Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself.”

22. “Man’s sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder.”

23. “To ridicule philosophy is really to philosophize.”

24. “Little things comfort us because little things distress us.”

Little things comfort us because little things distress us. - Blaise Pasca

25. “If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous . . . There are two equally dangerous extremes: to exclude reason, to admit nothing but reason.”

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

27. “The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.”

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

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

30. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.”

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31. “Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.”

32. “Let each of us examine his thoughts; he will find them wholly concerned with the past or the future. We almost never think of the present, and if we do think of it, it is only to see what light is throws on our plans for the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means, the future alone our end. Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so.”

33. “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.”

34. “In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.”

35. “There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.”

36. “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”

37. “Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness.”

38. “Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.”

39. “To understand is to forgive.”

40. “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 quarreled with him?”

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41. “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.”

42. “The more I see of Mankind, the more I prefer my dog.”

The more I see of Mankind, the more I prefer my dog. - Blaise Pascal

43. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.”

44. “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.”

45. “When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness, and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, or what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost, with no means of escape. Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair.”

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

47. “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone.”

48.  “Nature is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”

49. “What a Chimera is man! What a novelty, a monster, a chaos, a contradiction, a prodigy! Judge of all things, an imbecile worm; depository of truth, and sewer of error and doubt; the glory and refuse of the universe.”

50. “Lust is the source of all our actions, and humanity.”

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51. “Atheists. What grounds have they for saying that no one can rise from the dead? Which is harder, to be born or to rise again? That what has never been should be, or that what has been should be once more? Is it harder to come into existence than to come back? Habit makes us find the one easy, while lack of habit makes us find the other impossible.”

52. “Nature has made all her truths independent of one another. Our art makes one dependent on the other.”

53. “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?”

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

55.“Men seek rest in a struggle against difficulties; and when they have conquered these, rest becomes insufferable.”

56. “Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no reason for any difference…”

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

58. “Knowing God without knowing our wretchedness leads to pride. Knowing our wretchedness without knowing God leads to despair. Knowing Jesus Christ is the middle course, because in him we find both God and our wretchedness.”

59. “There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition”

60. “The manner in which Epictetus, Montaigne, and Salomon de Tultie wrote, is the most usual, the most suggestive, the most remembered, and the oftener quoted; because it is entirely composed of thoughts born from the common talk of life.”

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61. “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”

The heart has reasons that reason cannot know. - Blaise Pascal

62. “By space the universe encompasses me and swallows me up like an atom; by thought comprehend the world.”

63. “Anyone who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself. So who does not see it, apart from young people whose lives are all noise, diversions, and thoughts for the future?
But take away their diversion and you will see them bored to extinction. Then they feel their nullity without recognizing it, for nothing could be more wretched than to be intolerably depressed as soon as one is reduced to introspection with no means of diversion.”

64. “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.”

65. “Those honor nature well, who teach that she can speak on everything.”

66. “Since we cannot know all there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.”

67. “If God exists, not seeking God must be the gravest error imaginable. If one decides to sincerely seek for God and doesn’t find God, the lost effort is negligible in comparison to what is at risk in not seeking God in the first place. ”

68. “We must keep our thought secret, and judge everything by it, while talking like the people.”

69. “For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.”

70. “Man’s sensitivity to little things and insensitivity to the greatest things are marks of a strange disorder.”

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71. “Our nature lies in movement; complete calm is death.”

72. “In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.”

73. “What a chimaera then is man, what a novelty, what a monster, what chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, yet an imbecile earthworm; depository of truth, yet a sewer of uncertainty and error; pride and refuse of the universe. Who shall resolve this tangle?”

74. “Passion cannot be beautiful without excess; one either loves too much or not enough.”

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

76. “Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much”

77. “Man’s grandeur is that he knows himself to be miserable.”

78. “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.”

79. “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

80. “There is a certain standard of grace and beauty which consists in a certain relation between our nature… and the thing which pleases us.”

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81. “When we read too fast or too slowly, we understand nothing.”

82. “Words differently arranged have different meanings, and meanings differently arranged have different effects.”

83. “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.”

84. “Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.”

85. “All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room.”

86. “A trifle consoles us, for a trifle distresses us.”

A trifle consoles us, for a trifle distresses us. - Blaise Pascal

87. “The last act is bloody, however fine the rest of the play”

88. “When a soldier complains of his hard life (or a labour, etc.) try giving him nothing to do.”

89. “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”

90. “Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.”

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91. “God instituted prayer to communicate to creatures the dignity of causality.”

92. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright”

93. “Please forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.”

94. “Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars. I will not forget thy word. Amen.”

95. “Unless we know ourselves to be full of pride, ambition, concupiscence, weakness, wretchedness and unrighteousness, we are truly blind. And if someone knows all this and does not desire to be saved, what can be said of him?”

96. “We run carelessly over the precipice after having put something in front of us to prevent us seeing it.”

97. “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.”

98. “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.”

99. “Jesus is a God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.”

100. “Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things.”

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