“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.
“All the miseries of mankind come from one thing, not knowing how to remain alone.
“We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.
“For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.
“It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants.
“If all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.
“I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
“We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.
“Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
French mathematician and philosopher and Jansenist; invented an adding machine; contributed (with Fermat) to the theory of probability (1623-1662)
“Houston, we have a problem.
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