Blaise Pascal (1623-1662 A.D.)
By Richard E. Noble
Blaise Pascal was a child prodigy, a mathematical genius. In his teens he is credited, supposedly, with discovering geometry on his own, and inventing an adding machine; the first such “machine” ever in history. He also formulated the laws of probability, and bunches more. But in all “probability”, Blaise was most probably a psychological whacko. He was extremely self-abusive. Nearing the end of his rather short life of thirty-nine years, he actually tortured himself with contrived devices. He believed that man’s purpose in life was to suffer and then to die. If life does not provide enough suffering on its own, you should help it out, I guess. And if death doesn’t come soon enough it would behoove a “good” man to seek it out. I say he was a whack-o; he claimed to be nothing more than a good Christian.
He had a big problem with affection. He wouldn’t hug anybody, not even his sister’s children. He admonished his sister for calling another woman beautiful, telling his sister never to say such things again for she knew not what evil thoughts she might be inspiring in others. Ough Ohhh! I think Blaise had the extended “pinky” problem. I think that if Blaise would have had a little flame light in his heart for maybe a little Rose or a Gertrude, he might have come to a much better understanding of the science and probable predictions of “hugging” and he “probably” would have led a much happier life.
Another of his achievements in the realm of thought is his development of what is called Pascal’s wager. He said that if it came to a choice in your mind of believing in God or not believing in God, you should place your bet on belief in God; because believing provides an opportunity for heaven, while not believing provides only nothingness or hell.
Yes, but I would add that if you are prone to take such a “calculating” attitude, you should go a step further, and take the choice of Hinduism over Christianity. At least with the God of Hinduism you are offered more that one fleeting, confusing chance at life to determine the moral “truth” of this existence. I might also add that if given the choice of one confusing episode with life determining one’s fate for a possible eternity of endless suffering in hell, I would think that the most of us, even given our basic impetuousness, would never take such a gamble, and thus a “rational” human race would never have been born.