Thoughts on the Way Home

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Sole Master of His Behavior

"What use is it to us to hear it said of a man that he has
thrown off the yoke, that he does not believe there is a God to
watch over his actions, that he reckons himself the sole master
of his behavior, and that he does not intend to give an account
of it to anyone but himself? Does he think that in that way he
will have straightway persuaded us to have complete confidence
in him, to look to him for consolation, for advice, and for
help, in the vicissitudes of life? Do such men think that they
have delighted us by telling us that they hold our souls to be
nothing but a little wind and smoke--and by saying it in
conceited and complacent tones? Is that a thing to say
blithely? Is it not rather a thing to say sadly--as if it were
the saddest thing in the world?"

- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

HT: John K.