Posted by: transcendingchaos | September 29, 2008

Pascal

Thanks to a certain RELS 465 class I’ve been going to on Wednesday evenings, I have found myself reacquainted with Blaise Pascal and his brilliance. Here are just a few aphorisms from the Pensees:

253. Two extremes: to exclude reason, to admit reason only.

280. The knowledge of God is very far from the love of him.

555. … The God of Christians is not a God who is simply the author of mathematical truths, or of the order of the elements; that is the view of the heathens and Epicureans. He is not merely a God who exercises His providence over the life and fortunes of men, to bestow on those who worship Him a long and happy life. That was the portion of the Jews. But the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, and God of Christians, is a God of love and of comfort, a God who fills the soul and heart of those whom He possesses, a God who makes them conscious of their inward wretchedness, and His infinite mercy, who unites Himself to their inmost soul, who fills it with humility and joy, with confidence and love, who renders them incapable of any other end than Himself.

347. 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 vapor, 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.
All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.

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