Pascal / 1623-1662 /
He was a French thinker. He had extraordinary gifts and abilities. At the age of 16, he became one of the leading mathematicians of his time. At the age of 19, he built a calculating machine. He was a deep thinker with an extraordinary sense of the fundamental problems of man and his life. Together with Descartes, Pascal acknowledged the power and importance of reason, for he was a mathematician and a physicist. But he realized that reason alone was not enough for life as a whole. He had nothing against reasoning, against his analytical-synthetic procedures. But isn’t cognition sudden, unexpected, intuitive? Knowledge by feeling is not the same as knowledge by reason. Pascal meant something severe and yet explicitly human, which he expressed in the word coeur – heart. With his heart, he understood the personal center of man, his innermost center of spiritual activity, of relations with others and with the world. In this sense, Pascal said that the heart has its reasons about which cold reason knows nothing. A cold logician hardly understands this, but the mother understands it, I know it by those who love it, it is understood by the one who sacrifices for something, who he lives .. By this, we will argue logically. They live according to the logic of the heart.
The reason is not the only one that teaches and guides us in life. Pascal recognized that the ideal of mathematical certainty could only be achieved in mathematics. All other sciences will never attain this degree of certainty. Pascal realized that the balanced and orderly medieval image of the world and man’s place in it was shaken by the discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. The earth ceased to be the center and, together with man, found itself in a universe where abysses and infinity opened up in all directions. To many, the man seemed to be at odds with the cosmic forces. Pascal wrote. What is a man in the face of the infinity of the universe?
Nothing more than nothing. However, when we examine a person under a microscope up to an atom, a person is enormous compared to him—what a disproportion, what greatness and misery are in the midst of this world. Man is almost nothing to the grand universe and nearly everything to the microworld. Man can not know the origin and purpose of everything around him; he stands before an impenetrable secret, unable to understand the nothingness from which he was lifted to life but also the infinity that surrounds and absorbs him. I will cut many weaknesses into people. They make him an independent, unbelieving believer, not threatened by a frightened man, in his resistance to truth and justice, in his pride and vanity. Man’s friendships fall apart; his love cools. He enjoys the little things; big things escape him. Since man cannot overcome death, he tries to avoid it by not thinking about it. At the same time, he is still preoccupied with less severe, insignificant things. Whether he is hiding behind dance and half, behind the game and sports, behind the visits. Pascal says when we put down the masks, we find nothing but the fear of being alone. Man is afraid of his smallness and emptiness. From the bottom of his soul emerges the boredom of melancholy sadness, satiety, and uncertainty.
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