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Neither Angel nor Beast by Francis X.J. Coleman

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19

THE HEART

Pascal never allows himself to drift into the smugness of self-assurance concerning religion, ‘for it is not certain’ (452). But he reminds his interlocutor of all the endeavors that man willingly undertakes which are also uncertain, from sea-voyages to battles. But those who demand a totally sufficient reason for doing or believing anything will end up neither believing nor doing anything. ‘True Christianity consists in submission and the use of reason’ (463). Although Pascal does not use the ancient imagery of the mystical ladder, he often speaks of reason as a means of getting to a certain level and then the necessity of discarding the means. ‘There is nothing more in conformity with reason than this disavowal of reason’ (465). ...

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