Pascal And Voltaire Analysis

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Pascal and Voltaire throughout their writings have pessimistic views of reality, but their views of the human condition contrast in various ways. Voltaire uses the protagonist of his story to represent hope and because of this character 's hope he is able to survive the struggles of life. He also, has a character believe that life will get better later even after her unfavorable circumstances. Lastly, Voltaire expresses that when a person gets what they have been hoping for they are not fully happy just simply content. In contrast, Pascal believes that humans choose to follow their heart because people believe their heart is good. In addition, Pascal believes that the human condition is the want to figure out the unknown. This leads Pascal…show more content…
Humans choose to follow their hearts because they believe their heart is good. Pascal states, "How hollow and full of ribaldry is the heart of man!" (Pascal, "Thoughts", 50). Pascal expresses that humans are corrupted by their wants and passions and they follow their heart in hope to better their human condition. Pascal explains that his ideal would be to free humans of their passions and have humankind ponder and hope to find answers to the uncertainty in life. The text says, "I would then lead man to the desire of finding truth; to be free from passions, and ready to follow it where he might find it," (55). Through the text Pascal stresses the necessity to have hope, but the ideal is to hope to find answers to the unknown in this life. Pascal 's view is different than compared to Voltaire, while both show the importance of hope in this life; Voltaire expresses hope as the driving force in one 's life to survive and keep going while Pascal expresses the need of hope allows humankind to discover the unknown in the…show more content…
Pascal describes all the ideals that humans believe will make their lives happier and better, but he believes the only happiness will come later in the afterlife and by wanting in this life they will be unhappy. Pascal says, "..they cannot be happy unless their health, their honor, their fortune, and that of their friends be in good condition, and that a single thing wanting will make them unhappy," (50). Pascal explains that human 's passions are detrimental to their reality and the passions they have will make them unhappy when they are unable to obtain them. Pascal titles one section of his text "The Necessity of Hope", he explains that humans need to hope to find truth in their life as the human condition is set in a stage of uncertainty. Pascal says, "We cannot but desire the truth and happiness, and are incapable of certainty or happiness" (57). He explains that humankind is unable to be certain or even obtain happiness. The human condition for Pascal to be uncertain in one 's life and from his thoughts one can infer that he leans more toward that once a person gets what he desires he will be unhappy with the outcome. Pascal differs from Voltaire in the view that once one gets what he has been hoping for he is not
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