Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal
  • Born: June 19, 1623
  • Died: August 19, 1662
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Philosopher









Quote Topics Cited
...if all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
...only mastery and sovereignty bring glory, and only slavery brings shame. Human Nature
An advocate who has been well paid in advance will find the cause he is pleading all the more just. Justice & Injustice
As men could not make might obey right, they have made right obey might. Power
Custom is our nature … Human Nature
Eloquence is an art of saying things in such a way—(1) that those to whom we speak may listen to them without pain and with pleasure; (2) that they feel themselves interested Oratory, Discussion & Debate
It is a deplorable thing to see all men deliberating on means alone, and not on the end. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is not permitted to the most equitable of men to be a judge in his own cause. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is right that what is just should be obeyed; it is necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed. Justice without might is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical. Justice & Injustice
Man loves malice, but not against one-eyed men nor the unfortunate, but against the fortunate and proud. Human Nature
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction Religion & God
Nothing is so faulty as those laws which correct faults. He who obeys them because they are just obeys a justice which is imaginary and not the essence of law; it is quite self-contained, it is law and nothing more. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Nothing is surer than that the people will be weak. Human Nature
People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive. Human Nature
People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others.
The charm of fame is so great, that we like every object to which it is attached, even death. Public Relations & Image
Thinking too little about things or thinking too much both make us obstinate and fanatical. Human Nature
We are usually convinced more easily by reasons we have found ourselves than by those which have occurred to others Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We either carry our audience with us, or irritate them. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
We must put ourselves in the place of those who are to hear us Oratory, Discussion & Debate
We take issue even with perfection. Human Nature
When we are accustomed to use bad reasons for proving natural effects, we are not willing to receive good reasons when they are discovered Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
When we wish to correct with advantage, and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides. Now, no one is offended at not seeing everything; but one does not like to be mistaken, and that perhaps arises from the fact that man naturally cannot see everything, and that naturally he cannot err in the side he looks at, since the perceptions of our senses are always true. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A trifle consoles us, for a trifle distresses us.
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room.
All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.
As men are not able to fight against death, misery, ignorance, they have taken it into their heads, in order to be happy, not to think of them at all. Death
Atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree.
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. Truth ;Religion & God
Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world. Life
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? War & Peace
Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep or acquire them. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Concupiscence and force are the source of all our actions; concupiscence causes voluntary actions, force involuntary ones.
Continuous eloquence wearies. Grandeur must be abandoned to be appreciated. Continuity in everything is unpleasant. Cold is agreeable, that we may get warm.
Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth. Truth
Custom is our nature. What are our natural principles but principles of custom? Nature
Desire and force between them are responsible for all our actions; desire causes our voluntary acts, force our involuntary.
Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself.
Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.
Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.
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.
Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.
Faith certainly tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them. Religion & God
Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other. Religion & God
Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them. Religion & God
Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God. Religion & God
Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.
Habit is a second nature that destroys the first. But what is nature? Why is habit not natural? I am very much afraid that nature itself is only a first habit, just as habit is a second nature. Nature
Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both without us and within us. Religion & God ;Happiness & Unhappiness
He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright. Truth ;Trust ;Religion & God
Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known. Religion & God
I can well conceive a man without hands, feet, head. But I cannot conceive man without thought; he would be a stone or a brute.
I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter. Time
I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.
If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.
If man made himself the first object of study, he would see how incapable he is of going further. How can a part know the whole?
If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order to make ourselves happy.
If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future. Future
If we must not act save on a certainty, we ought not to act on religion, for it is not certain. But how many things we do on an uncertainty, sea voyages, battles! Religion & God
If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exists.
Imagination decides everything.
Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world. Happiness & Unhappiness
In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present, and future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relations of all those things. And then we shall be very cautious. Future
In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't. Religion & God
It is good to be tired and wearied by the futile search after the true good, that we may stretch out our arms to the Redeemer.
It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist. Religion & God
It is natural for the mind to believe and for the will to love; so that, for want of true objects, they must attach themselves to false. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants.
It is the fight alone that pleases us, not the victory.
It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason. Religion & God
Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair. Religion & God
Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just. Power
Justice and truth are too such subtle points that our tools are too blunt to touch them accurately. Truth
Justice is what is established; and thus all our established laws will necessarily be regarded as just without examination, since they are established.
Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.
Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
Law, without force, is impotent.
Little things console us because little things afflict us.
Love has reasons which reason cannot understand. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed. Nature
Man's greatness lies in his power of thought. Power
Man's true nature being lost, everything becomes his nature; as, his true good being lost, everything becomes his good. Nature
Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness.
Men blaspheme what they do not know.
Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. Religion & God
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Men often take their imagination for their heart; and they believe they are converted as soon as they think of being converted.
Noble deeds that are concealed are most esteemed. Inspiration
Nothing fortifies scepticism more than the fact that there are some who are not sceptics; if all were so, they would be wrong.
Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth. Truth
Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way.
Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care. Business, Commerce & Finance
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. Truth ;Life
Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death. Nature ;Death
Our soul is cast into a body, where it finds number, time, dimension. Thereupon it reasons, and calls this nature necessity, and can believe nothing else. Time ;Nature
People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.
Reason commands us far more imperiously than a master; for in disobeying the one we are unfortunate, and in disobeying the other we are fools.
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
That we must love one God only is a thing so evident that it does not require miracles to prove it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death. Death
The consciousness of the falsity of present pleasures, and the ignorance of the vanity of absent pleasures, cause inconstancy.
The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.
The finite is annihilated in the presence of the infinite, and becomes a pure nothing. So our spirit before God, so our justice before divine justice. Religion & God
The gospel to me is simply irresistible.
The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.
The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched.
The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it.
The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
The last act is bloody, however pleasant all the rest of the play is: a little earth is thrown at last upon our head, and that is the end forever.
The last proceeding of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things which are beyond it. There is nothing so conformable to reason as this disavowal of reason.
The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble. Nature
The only shame is to have none.
The present letter is a very long one, simply because I had no leisure to make it shorter.
The self is hateful.
The sensitivity of men to small matters, and their indifference to great ones, indicates a strange inversion.
The strength of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.
The struggle alone pleases us, not the victory.
The supreme function of reason is to show man that some things are beyond reason.
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.
There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.
There are some who speak well and write badly. For the place and the audience warm them, and draw from their minds more than they think of without that warmth.
There are two kinds of people one can call reasonable: those who serve God with all their heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know him. Religion & God
Through space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; through thought I comprehend the world.
Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness... and so frivolous is he that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient enough to amuse him. Sports & Athletics
Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended are any more themselves. Time ;Moving On
To have no time for philosophy is to be a true philosopher. Time
Too much and too little wine. Give him none, he cannot find truth; give him too much, the same. Truth
Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them and to be unwilling to recognize them, since that is to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion.
Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. Truth ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Two things control men's nature, instinct and experience. Nature
Vanity is but the surface.
Vanity of science. 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. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
We are only falsehood, duplicity, contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves.
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart. Truth
We like security: we like the pope to be infallible in matters of faith, and grave doctors to be so in moral questions so that we can feel reassured. Religion & God
We never love a person, but only qualities. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We only consult the ear because the heart is wanting.
We run carelessly to the precipice, after we have put something before us to prevent us seeing it.
We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.
We view things not only from different sides, but with different eyes; we have no wish to find them alike.
When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
When we see a natural style, we are astonished and charmed; for we expected to see an author, and we find a person.
Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have different effects.
You always admire what you really don't understand.