Blaise Pascal Quotes

Blaise Pascal

French mathematician, physicist (1623 - 1662)

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Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.

Categorized under Justice

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We conceal it from ourselves in vain--we must always love something. In those matters seemingly removed from love, the feeling is secretly to be found, and man cannot possibly live for a moment without it.

Categorized under Love

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Nature has perfections, in order to show that she is the image of God; and defects, to show that she is only his image.

Categorized under Perfection

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Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.

Categorized under Thoughts

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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.

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The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

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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.

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Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a drop of water, suffices to kill him. But if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this.

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Man is to himself the most wonderful object in nature; for he cannot conceive what the body is, still less what the mind is, and least of all how a body should be united to a mind. This is the consummation of his difficulties, and yet it is his very being.

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

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I have made this letter long because i have not the time to make it shorter.

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The Knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.

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I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.

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

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

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

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

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The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.

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We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.

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Let us weigh the gain and the loss, in wagering that God is. Consider these alternatives: if you win, you win all, if you lose you lose nothing. Do not hesitate, then, to wager that he is.

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When I consider the small span of my life absorbed in the eternity of all time, or the small part of space which I can touch or see engulfed by the infinite immensity of spaces that I know not and that know me not, I am frightened and astonished to see myself here instead of there... now instead of then.

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If all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.

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Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it.

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

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We think very little of time present; we anticipate the future, as being too slow, and with a view to hasten it onward, we recall the past to stay it as too swiftly gone. We are so thoughtless, that we thus wander through the hours which are not here, regardless only of the moment that is actually our own.

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By a peculiar prerogative, not only each individual is making daily advances in the sciences, and may makes advances in morality, but all mankind together are making a continual progress in proportion as the universe grows older; so that the whole human race, during the course of so many ages, may be considered as one man, who never ceases to live and learn.

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