Blaise Pascal's Pensees Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1345 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Blaise Pascal's Pensees

The Pensees - Blaise Pascal

Pascal characterizes the existence of God as man's search for truth and knowledge about His real being. In progression he started his notes by identifying what is the logical thinking of man. How man acquires knowledge and uses this to completely understand the certainty of God's presence among all of us. But all of this is useless according to Pascal's notes. He argues that logic and reason of scholars, mathematicians, philosophers and other wise men are not enough to completely comprehend the utmost reason of His being. There is a limit in the comprehension of the real truth. He notes that "It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that He should not exist" (Pensees 230 Section III). If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither part nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is. (Pensees 231, Section III)

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By means of defending the Christian belief against those who persecutes and criticize the being of the divine providence, he later re-affirms this argument by offering several proofs that god really exist. He declares that the greatest proof of God's existence is the presence of the scriptures which gives man knowledge to recognize the apparent truth that lies within the holy writings. "It is not after this manner that Scripture speaks, which has a better knowledge of the things that are of God. It says, on the contrary, that God is a hidden God, and that, since the corruption of nature, He has left men in a darkness from which they can escape only through Jesus Christ, without whom all communions with God is cut off." (Penesees, Section IV)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Blaise Pascal's Pensees the Pensees - Blaise Assignment

The existence of God according to Pascal is not about the knowledge and understanding of man, but it is about faith. He established this by declaring that "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. (Penesees 265, Section IV) "Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for their belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a reason?" And concerning God's existence, he wrote, "Reason can decide nothing here." Pascal provided us this guarantee, however: "By faith we know His existence; in glory we shall know His nature (Penesees, Section VIII).

2. The human condition according to Pascal is completely wretched. Man has the knowledge to understand and comprehend all of the things around him yet it is limited to know the truth about the real God and the origin of all things. Yet, even as desolate and pitiful as Pascal describes it, man is completely blessed by means of knowing and sensing what is the truth and reality within his condition. He attests that man has Gods favor and inherits His greatness even in the midst of misery comparatively to other creatures God created. "The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable. A tree does not know itself to be miserable. It is then being miserable to know oneself to be miserable; but it is also being great to know that one is miserable" (Penesees, 397 Section IV) Pascal continues by convincingly stating the reasons of man's wretchedness. It is by true nature that life is corrupt and this has befallen Man's faith thus keeping him in distance from God's presence and the practice of religion. "Men despise religion; they hate it and fear it is true. To remedy this, we must begin by showing that religion is not contrary to reason; that it is venerable, to inspire respect for it; then we must make it lovable, to make good men hope it is true; finally, we must prove it is true." (Penesees 187, Section III)

He later encouraged man to abide by his religion in order to keep him at… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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