Pascal, Blaise

[ (blez pa-skal, pah-skahl) ]

A seventeenth-century French mathematician, scientist, and religious thinker. Pascal came to believe that reason alone could not satisfy people's hopes and aspirations and that religious faith was therefore necessary. His religious thoughts are collected in Pensées (Thoughts).

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THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

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Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

notes for Pascal, Blaise

“Pascal's wager” refers to Pascal's idea that it is prudent to believe in God's existence, as little can be lost if there is no God, and eternal happiness can be gained if there is one.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.