Interesting Blaise Pascal Quotes

Despite chronic illness, Pascal made historic contributions to mathematics and physics, including experimental and theoretical work on hydraulics, atmospheric pressure, and the existence and nature of vacuum. Here is a compilation of Blaise Pascal Quotes.

Short Biography of Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (born 19 June 1623 in Clermont-Ferrand, France – 19 August 1662 in Paris) was a French mathematician, physicist, philosopher of religion, and teacher of prose. 

In 1640, the mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the pascaline, one of the first calculators, and confirmed Evangelista Torricelli’s theory of the causes of barometric fluctuations. He wrote an important treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and from 1654 he corresponded with Pierre de Fermat and later on the theory of probability, which greatly influenced the development of modern economics and the social sciences.

Pascal’s first works were related to the natural and applied sciences, where he made an important contribution to the creation of mechanical calculators, the study of liquids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum, generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. At the age of 10, Pascal was conducting original experiments in mathematics and physics. 

Blaise Pascal laid the foundation for modern probability theory, formulated what became known as Pascal’s principle of pressure, and propagated a creed that taught the experience of God through the heart rather than through the mind.

Pascal’s development of probability theory was his most influential contribution to mathematics. In 1654, at the urging of a friend interested in problems of gambling, he corresponded with Fermat on the subject, and the mathematical theory of probability was born as a result of this collaboration. In the 1750s, Pascal, with Pierre de Fermat, laid the foundations of the theory of probability and published the theological work Les Provinciales, a revolutionary series of letters defending his Jansenist faith.

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

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

“We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything.”

“Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true and then show that it is.”

“Man’s greatness lies in his power of thought.”

“Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.”

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”

Blaise Pascal Quotes
“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”

“Once your soul has been enlarged by a truth, it can never return to its original size.”

“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.”

“Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary.”

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

“Cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words make them wrathful. Kind words also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is. They smooth, and quiet, and comfort the hearer.”

“Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.”

“What can be seen on earth points to neither the total absence nor the obvious presence of divinity, but to the presence of a hidden God. Everything bears this mark.”

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

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

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

“Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.”

“Noble deeds that are concealed are most esteemed.”

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

“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.”

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

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Kind words produce their images on men’s souls.”

“The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.”

“Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.”

“Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.”

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

“I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.”

“To ridicule philosophy is really to philosophize.”

“Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.”

“Imagination decides everything.”

pascal quotes
“Imagination decides everything.”

“Through space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; through thought I comprehend the world.”

“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.”

“Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.”

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

“Justice and truth are too such subtle points that our tools are too blunt to touch them accurately.”

“Everyone, without exception, is searching for happiness.”

Blaise Pascal Quotes
“Everyone, without exception, is searching for happiness.”

“Those are weaklings who know the truth and uphold it as long as it suits their purpose, and then abandon it.”

“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.”

“Kind words produce their own image in men’s souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.”

“Muhammad established a religion by putting his enemies to death; Jesus Christ by commanding his followers to lay down their lives.”

“To make a man a saint, it must indeed be by grace; and whoever doubts this does not know what a saint is, or a man.”

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

“We implore the mercy of God, not that He may leave us at peace in our vices, but that He may deliver us from them.”

“I rather live as if God exists to find out that He doesn’t than live as if he doesn’t exist to find out He does.”

“The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.”

“It is much better to know something about everything than to know everything about one thing.”

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

“Instead of complaining that God had hidden himself, you will give Him thanks for having revealed so much of Himself.”

“If I had more time I would write a shorter letter.”

“It is not from space that I must seek my dignity, but from the government of my thought. I shall have no more if I possess worlds. By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world.”

“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.”

“The more intelligent a man is, the more originality he discovers in others.”

“No man ever believes with a true and saving faith unless God inclines his heart; and no man when God does incline his heart can refrain from believing.”

“We can only know God well when we know our own sin. And those who have known God without knowing their wretchedness have not glorified Him but have glorified themselves.”

“Happiness is neither within us only, or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God”

“The present letter is a very long one, simply because I had no leisure to make it shorter.”

“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.”

“When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before.”

“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.”

“The struggle alone pleases us, not the victory.”

“All our life passes in this way: we seek rest by struggling against certain obstacles, and once they are overcome, rest proves intolerable because of the boredom it produces.”

“The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.”

“I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.”

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

“Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.”

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

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

“Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.”

“Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.”

“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.”

“The supreme function of reason is to show man that some things are beyond reason.”

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

“To have no time for philosophy is to be a true philosopher.”

“All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.”

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

“Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep or acquire them.”

pascal quotes
“Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep or acquire them.”

“Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death.”

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

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

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

“If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exists.”

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

“The sensitivity of men to small matters, and their indifference to great ones, indicates a strange inversion.”

“It’s not those who write the laws that have the greatest impact on society. It’s those who write the songs.”

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

“Unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.”

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.”

“Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go.”

“All the troubles of life come upon us because we refuse to sit quietly for a while each day in our rooms.”

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

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

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

“Our achievements of today are but the sum total of our thoughts of yesterday. You are today where the thoughts of yesterday have brought you and you will be tomorrow where the thoughts of today take you.”

“Our achievements of today are but the sum total of our thoughts of yesterday.”

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

“There are two equally dangerous extremes-to shut reason out, and to let nothing else in.”

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

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

“All the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.”

“When we see a natural style, we are astonished and charmed; for we expected to see an author, and we find a person.”

“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.”

“It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants.”

“It is not certain that everything is uncertain.”

“One-half of the ills of life come because men are unwilling to sit down quietly for thirty minutes to think through all the possible consequences of their acts.”

“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Silence. All human unhappiness comes from not knowing how to stay quietly in a room.”

“We sometimes learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good; and it is well to accustom ourselves to profit by the evil which is so common, while that which is good is so rare.”

“All of our dignity consists in thought. Let us endeavor then to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

“Perfect clarity would profit the intellect but damage the will.”

“What amazes me the most is to see that everyone is not amazed at his own weakness.”

“The art of revolutionizing and overturning states is to undermine established customs, by going back to their origin, in order to mark their want of justice.”

“Brave deeds are wasted when hidden.”

“However vast a man’s spiritual resources, he is capable of but one great passion.”

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

“Man’s true nature being lost, everything becomes his nature; as, his true good being lost, everything becomes his good.”

“We never live, but we hope to live; and as we are always arranging to be happy, it must be that we never are so.”

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

“The sum of a man’s problems come from his inability to be alone in a silent room.”

“It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason.”

“Reason is the slow and torturous method by which those who do not know the truth discover it”

“For nature is an image of Grace, and visible miracles are images of the invisible.”

“It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe.”

“To deny, to believe, and to doubt well are to a man as the race is to a horse.”

“Nothing is surer than that the people will be weak.”

“We are never in search of things, but always in search of the search.”

“The heart has arguments with which the logic of mind is not aquainted.”

“Fear not, provided you fear; but if you fear not, then fear.”

“It is not permitted to the most equitable of men to be a judge in his own cause.”

“Those great efforts of intellect, upon which the mind sometimes touches, are such that it cannot maintain itself there. It only leaps to them, not as upon a throne, forever, but merely for an instant.”

“It is dangerous to tell the people that the laws are unjust; for they obey them only because they think them just. Therefore it isnecessary to tell them at the same time that they must obey them because they are laws, just as they must obey superiors, not because they are just, but because they are superiors. In this way all sedition is prevented.”

“We do not content ourselves with the life we have in ourselves and in our being; we desire to live an imaginary life in the mind of others, and for this purpose we endeavor to shine. We labor unceasingly to adorn and preserve this imaginary existence and neglect the real.”

“Nothing is more dastardly than to act with bravado toward God.”

“We need not have the loftiest mind to understand that here is no lasting and real satisfaction, that our pleasures are only vanity, that our evils are infinite, and, lastly, that death, which threatens us every moment, must infallibly place us within a few years under the dreadful necessity of being forever either annihilated or unhappy.”

“Nothing is so important to man as his own state; nothing is so formidable to him as eternity. And thus it is unnatural that thereshould be men indifferent to the loss of their existence and to the perils of everlasting suffering.”

“Instinct teaches us to look for happiness outside ourselves.”

“Great and small suffer the same mishaps.”

“The last advance of reason is to recognize that it is surpassed by innumerable things; it is feeble if it cannot realize that.”

“Our own interests are still an exquisite means for dazzling our eyes agreeably.”

“To scorn philosophy is truly to philosophize.”

“Faith is a gift of God.”

“All our dignity lies in our thoughts.”

“All our troubles come from not being able to be alone.”

“The heart has its reasons, which Reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which feels God, and not Reason. This, then, is perfect faith: God felt in the heart.”

“Concupiscence and force are the source of all our actions; concupiscence causes voluntary actions, force involuntary ones.”

“Custom is our nature. What are our natural principles but principles of custom?”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.”

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

“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.”

“We only consult the ear because the heart is wanting.”

“Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.”

“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.”

“We run carelessly to the precipice, after we have put something before us to prevent us seeing it.”

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

“The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched.”

“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.”

“Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other.”

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

“The consciousness of the falsity of present pleasures, and the ignorance of the vanity of absent pleasures, cause inconstancy.

“If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order to make ourselves happy.”

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