Let us inquire of this same religion whether it does not give a reason for this obscurity; perhaps it will teach it to us. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. It is an incomprehensible enchantment, and a supernatural slumber, which indicates as its cause an all-powerful force. My heart inclines wholly to know where is the true good, in order to follow it; nothing would be too dear to me for eternity. These trouble the world and are bad judges of everything. Rolling these into one he develops Pascal's Wager.
But there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. Do not draw this conclusion from your experiment, that there remains nothing for you to know; but rather that there remains an infinity for you to know. I look on all sides, and everywhere I see nothing but obscurity. Follow the way by which they began; by acting as if they believed, taking the holy water, having masses said, etc. Learn of those who have been bound like you, and who now stake all their possessions. However, even in such assessments, the criterion applied by Pascal remained narrowly and theologically focused on the extent to which political arrangements facilitated citizens in the performance of their primary duties to God.
They are afraid of mere trifles; they foresee them; they feel them. . This would be sufficient for a question in philosophy; but not here, where it concerns your all. This will naturally make you believe and will stultify you. Thou art indeed well off, slave.
Which will you choose then? In truth, it is the glory of religion to have for enemies men so unreasonable; and their opposition to it is so little dangerous that it serves, on the contrary, to establish its truths. But, seeing too much to deny and too little to be sure, I am in a state to be pitied; wherefore I have a hundred times wished that if a God maintains Nature, she should testify to Him unequivocally, and that, if the signs she gives are deceptive, she should suppress them altogether; that she should say everything or nothing, that I might see which cause I ought to follow. But because this religion obliges us always to regard them, so long as they are in this life, as capable of the grace which can enlighten them, and to believe that they may, in a little time, be more replenished with faith than we are, and that, on the other hand, we may fall into the blindness wherein they are, we must do for them what we would they should do for us if we were in their place, and call upon them to have pity upon themselves, and to take at least some steps in the endeavour to find light. Certainly you will not have those poisonous pleasures, glory and luxury; but will you not have others? If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We never, then, love a person, but only qualities. Men lack heart; they would not make a friend of it.
Who would choose him out from others to tell him of his affairs? Infidels, who profess to follow reason, ought to be exceedingly strong in reason. We are so presumptuous that we would wish to be known by all the world, even by people who shall come after, when we shall be no more; and we are so vain that the esteem of five or six neighbours delights and contents us. This short but densely packed passage, which alludes to numerous themes discussed elsewhere in the Pensées, has given rise to many pages of scholarly analysis. How comes it that a cripple does not offend us, but that a fool does? The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me. He suffered from the severe climate and from the demands of court life, which included waking at five in the morning in order to discuss philosophy with the queen. If they proved it, they would not keep their word; it is in lacking proofs that they are not lacking in sense. Si le libertin joue «croix», parie que Dieu existe, il gagne si Dieu existe la vie éternelle et la béatitude infinie, et risque seulement de perdre les misérables plaisirs de sa vie actuelle.
Tehran: Group of Muslim Brothers. On the fact that the Christian religion is not the only religion. What follows is that first ten groups of fragments. Infini Rien: Pascal's Wager and the Human Paradox. Yes; but you must wager. Pascal did not publish any philosophical works during his relatively brief lifetime.
To be insensible to the extent of despising interesting things, and to become insensible to the point which interests us most. Pride counterbalances and takes away all miseries. But at least learn your inability to believe, since reason brings you to this, and yet you cannot believe. They are in peril of eternal woe and thereupon, as if the matter were not worth the trouble, they neglect to inquire whether this is one of those opinions which people receive with too credulous a facility, or one of those which, obscure in themselves, have a very firm, though hidden, foundation. And yet, the latter does not scoff at the other, but pities him.
While still in Paris, he had written the short Essai pour les coniques 1640 and, despite his youth, had been introduced to the Mersenne circle by his father as a promising young mathematician. We must sit upon the waters, not under them or in them, but on them; and not standing but seated; being seated to be humble, and being above them to be secure. Of all their errors, this doubtless is the one which most convicts them of foolishness and blindness, and in which it is easiest to confound them by the first glimmerings of common sense and by natural feelings. See also 's 167-188, pages 83-85. Pascal's distinctive contribution was to capture some of these insights in the elegant, pithy phrases that characterized the poetic style of the Pensées.