French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal was born in 1623. He is credited with being one of the first inventors of the mathematical calculator. His name, Pascal, is given to the computer language that was instrumental in the coding of the original Apple Macintosh computers. Similarly, Pascal’s law refers to an important principle of hydrostatics, and Pascal’s Wager refers to his argument for the existence of God. Following an intense religious experience in 1654, Pascal began to write philosophical and theological works. One of his most well-known works is Pensées (Thoughts). Here are some of his thoughts:

1. “The immortality of the soul is a matter of such importance…that it is impossible for us to take a single step with sense and judgment unless it is determined by our conception of our final end.”
2. “Our primary interest and our first duty must be to inform ourselves about the subject on which the whole of our conduct depends.”
3. “We…think we can regulate things that are not in our power for a future which we are by no means sure of reaching.”
4. “Happiness is neither outside us nor inside us; it is in God, and outside and inside us when we get close to God.”
5. “The God of Christians is a God who makes the soul feel that He is its only good, that its whole peace lies in Him, that it will only find joy in loving Him.”
6. “[Man] has so little idea of what God is that he does not know what he himself is.”
7. “[There] are people who know the path you would like to follow, and who have been cured of an ill of which you wish to be cured. Follow the method by which they began: it is by behaving as though they did believe….”

Do you agree with his thinking? Are his thoughts true? What is the “final end” of all human beings? What is our destiny? What is the “subject” he speaks of, “the subject on which the whole of our human conduct depends?” I think there is truth in his thoughts, and much to ponder about in his thinking.
Br. James