“Pascal’s Wager” was not to promote a “game of chance” – It was to promote “playing by the rules”

sketch of pascal © 2007 Thomas Christensen

sketch of pascal © 2007 Thomas Christensen

Last February I read a blog post on “Pascal’s Wager” that I thought missed the main point and purpose of his wager. I then decided to do a google search and found that mis-understanding, and then mis-representing Pascal’s Wager seemed to be a favorite pastime of skeptics and atheists. Continue reading

“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know” – Blaise Pascal

blaise-pascal

277. The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it
in a thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the
Universal Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives
itself to them; and it hardens itself against one or the other at its
will. You have rejected the one and kept the other. Is it by reason
that you love yourself?

278. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This,
then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.

345. 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.

346. Thought constitutes the greatness of man.

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 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. 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 endeavour, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.

348. A thinking reed.—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.

349. Immateriality of the soul—Philosophers who have mastered their passions. What matter could do that?

From Pensees by Blaise Pascal

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013

Bob Dylan’s “Land of permanent bliss” – The irony of human desire and false utopias

Sweetheart

There’s only one step down from here, baby
It’s called the land of permanent bliss
What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this? Continue reading

“Pascal’s Cat” – A lost fragment from the Pensees

Jerome

An artist’s rendition of Pascal and his cat.

A cache of documents, dating from the 1600’s, was recently discovered in England, near Pembroke College, Oxford. Scholars have conclusively determined that at least one fragment has been attributed to Blaise Pascal, the 16th century French genius. Continue reading

Blaise Pascal’s “Night of Fire”

memorial_blaise_pascal_2

MEMORIAL

In the Year of Grace 1654,

Monday, the 23rd of November

Feast of St. Clement, Pope and Martyr,

and others in the Martyrology.

Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, Martyr, and others.

From about half past ten in the evening

until about half past twelve,

FIRE Continue reading

The Super Bowl or “The Stupor Bowl?” – A question for sports lovers and haters, and innocent bystanders

football

“The simplest truth about man is that he is a very strange being…” G.K. Chesterton

a few definitions:

su·per
/ˈso͞opər/
Adjective
Very good or pleasant; excellent: “Julie was a super girl”.
Adverb
Especially; particularly.

stu·por
/ˈst(y)o͞opər/
Noun
A state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility: “a drunken stupor”.
Synonyms
stupefaction – torpor – numbness – torpidity Continue reading

Bruce Cockburn’s “Burden of the Angel/Beast” & Blaise Pascal’s “Monster”

Burden of

In this post I present some thoughts on a great song from Bruce Cockburn, a favorite musical artist of mine since the late 1970’s. The song is called “Burden of the Angel/Beast.”

Continue reading