blaise pascal Quotes

Blaise Pascal Quotes

Birth Date: 1623-06-19 (Monday, June 19th, 1623)
Date of Death: 1662-08-19 (Saturday, August 19th, 1662)

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blaise pascal life timeline

French mathematician, scientist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal experiences an intense, mystical vision that marks him for life.Monday, November 23rd, 1654
Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales.Sunday, January 23rd, 1656


    • People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.
    • Entre nous, et l'enfer ou le ciel, il n'y a que la vie entre deux, qui est la chose du monde la plus fragile.
    • Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.
    • L'homme n'est ni ange ni bete, et le malheur veut que qui veut faire l'ange fait la bete.
    • Qu'est-ce donc que nous crie cette avidite et cette impuissance, sinon qu'il y a eu autrefois en l'homme un veritable bonheur dont il ne lui reste maintenant que la marque et la trace toute vide, qu'il essaye inutilement de remplir de tout ce qui l'environne, en cherchant dans les choses absentes le secours qu'il n'obtient pas des presentes, et que les unes et les autres sont incapables de lui donner, parce que ce gouffre infini ne peut etre rempli que par un objet infini et immuable, c'est-a-dire que par Dieu meme. (425)
    • A trifle consoles us because a trifle upsets us. (136)
    • All men naturally hate one another; there could not be four friends in the world. (101)
    • Tout notre raisonnement se reduit a ceder au sentiment. (274)
    • All these examples of wretchedness prove his greatness. It is the wretchedness of a great lord, the wretchedness of a dispossessed king. (425)
    • An advocate who has been well paid in advance will find the cause he is pleading all the more just. (82)
    • Anyone who found the secret of rejoicing when things go well without being annoyed when they go badly would have found the point. (181)
    • Bless yourself with holy water, have Masses said, and so on; by a simple and natural process this will make you believe, and will dull you - will quiet your proudly critical intellect. (233)
    • Caesar was too old, it seems to me, to go off and amuse himself conquering the world. Such a pastime was all right for Augustus and Alexander; they were young men, not easily held in check, but Caesar ought to have been more mature. (132)
    • Curiosite n'est que vanite. Le plus souvent, on ne veut savoir que pour en parler. (152)
    • Epictetus goes much further when he asks: Why do we not lose our temper if someone tells us that we have a headache, while we do lose it if someone says there is anything wrong with our arguments or our choice? (80)
    • Equality of possessions is no doubt right, but, as men could not make might obey right, they have made right obey might. (299)
    • Peu d'amities subsisteraient, si chacun savait ce que son ami dit de lui lorsqu'il n'y est pas. (100)
    • 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. (72)
    • For knowledge of the first principles, like space, time, motion, number, is as solid as any derived through reason, and it is on such knowledge, coming from the heart and instinct, that reason has to depend and base all its arguments. (282)
    • Go to confession and communion; you will find it a relief and a strengthening. (82)
    • Dieu est une sphere infinie, dont le centre est partout et la circonference nulle part. (72)
    • How hollow is the heart of man, and how full of excrement! (143)
    • I cannot imagine a man without thought; he would be a stone or an animal. (339)
    • S'il se vante, je l'abaisse, S'il s'abaisse, je le vante; Et le contredis toujours, Jusqu'a ce qu'il comprenne Qu'il est un monstre incomprehensible. (420)
    • If our condition were truly happy we should not need to divert ourselves from thinking about it. (170)
    • If we look at our work immediately after completing it, we are still too involved; if too long afterwards, we cannot pick up the thread again. (381)
    • Imagination cannot make fools wise, but it makes them happy, as against reason, which only makes its friends wretched: one covers them with glory, the other with shame. (82)
    • It is a funny sort of justice whose limits are marked by a river; true on this side of the Pyrenees, false on the other. (294)
    • Il n'est pas certain que tout soit incertain. (387)
    • It is not in space that I must seek my human dignity, but in the ordering of my thought. It will do me no good to own land. Through space the universe grasps me and swallows me up like a speck; through thought I grasp it. (348)
    • Il n'est pas honteux pour l'homme de succomber sous la douleur et il est honteux de succomber sous le plaisir. (160)
    • Justice is as much a matter of fashion as charm is. (309)
    • Knowledge of physical science will not console me for ignorance of morality in time of affliction, but knowledge of morality will always console me for ignorance of physical science. (67)
    • Make religion attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is. Worthy of reverence because it really understands human nature. Attractive because it promises true good. (187)
    • L'homme est un roseau, le plus faible de la nature, mais c'est un roseau pensant. (347)
    • Man is only a disguise, a liar, a hypocrite, both to himself and to others. (377)
    • Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it. (535)
    • Men spend their time chasing a ball or a hare; it is the very sport of kings. (141)
    • Nothing is so conformable to reason as to disavow reason. (272)
    • Nothing is surer than that the people will be weak. (330)
    • One must have deeper motives and judge everything accordingly, but go on talking like an ordinary person. (336)
    • 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. (66)
    • Notre raison est toujours decue par l'inconstance des apparences. (83)
    • Put the world's greatest philosopher on a plank that is wider than need be; if there is a precipe below, although his reason may convince him that he is safe, his imagination will prevail. (82)
    • Le silence est la plus grande persecution; jamais les saints ne se sont tus. (919)
    • That something so obvious as the vanity of the world should be so little recognized that people find it odd and surprising to be told that it is foolish to seek greatness; that is most remarkable.
    • The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.
    • The fairest man in the world is not allowed to be judge in his own cause.
    • The grandeur of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable.
    • Le coeur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connait point. On le sent en mille choses. C'est le c?ur qui sent Dieu, et non la raison. Voila ce que c'est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au c?ur.
    • Le nez de Cleopatre, s'il eut ete plus court, toute la face de la terre aurait change.
    • The two principles of truth, reason and senses, are not only both not genuine, but are engaged in mutual deception. The senses deceive reason through false appearances, and the senses are disturbed by passions, which produce false impressions.
    • The wisest reason takes as her own principles those which the imagination of man has everywhere rashly introduced.
    • There no doubt exist natural laws, but once this fine reason of ours was corrupted, it corrupted everything.
    • Thinking too little about things or thinking too much both make us obstinate and fanatical.
    • This is what I see, and what troubles me. I look on all sides, and everywhere I see nothing but obscurity. Nature offers me nothing that is not a matter of doubt and disquiet.
    • Those who are clever in imagination are far more pleased with themselves than prudent men could reasonably be.
    • Thought constitutes the greatness of man.
    • To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.
    • La vraie morale se moque de la morale.
    • We understand nothing of the works of God unless we take it as a principle that He wishes to blind some and to enlighten others.
    • We would never travel on the sea if we had no hope of telling about it later... We lose our lives with joy provided people talk about it... Even philosophers wish for admirers.
    • What a Chimera is man! What a novelty, a monster, a chaos, a contradiction, a prodigy! Judge of all things, an imbecile worm of the earth; depository of truth, and sewer of error and doubt; the glory and refuse of the universe.
    • What amazes me the most is to see that everyone is not amazed at his own weakness.
    • What must I do? I see nothing but obscurities on every side. Shall I believe I am nothing? Shall I believe I am God?
    • What part of us feels pleasure? Is it our hand, our arm, our flesh, or our blood? It must obviously be something immaterial.
    • Who dispenses reputation? Who makes us respect and rever persons, works, laws, the great? Who but this faculty of imagination? All the riches of the earth are inadequate without its approval.
    • Qui sait si cette autre moitie de la vie ou nous pensons veiller n'est pas un autre sommeil un peu different du premier.
    • Why are you killing me for your own benefit? I am unarmed.' 'Why, do you not live on the other side of the water? My friend, if you lived on this side, I should be a murderer, but since you live on the other side, I am a brave man and it is right.'
    • Wisdom leads us back to childhood.
    • You must wager; it is not optional... Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God exists... If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
    • Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
    • If God does not exist, one will lose nothing by believing in him, while if he does exist, one will lose everything by not believing.
    • In every man's heart there is an emptiness that only God can fill with his son Jesus Christ.
    • Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.
    • Ne pouvant fortifier la justice, on a justifie la force.
    • Ce qui fait qu'on va si loin dans l'amour, c'est que l'on ne songe pas que l'on aura besoin d'autre chose que ce que l'on aime.
    • C'est une maladie naturelle a l'homme de croire qu'il possede la verite.
    • Les hommes se gouvernent plus par caprice que par raison.
    • Penser fait la grandeur de l'homme.
    • Puisqu'on ne peut etre universel en sachant tout ce qui se peut savoir sur tout, il faut savoir peu de tout.
    • Jurisdiction is given not for the sake of the judge, but for that of the litigant.
    • The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first.
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