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Nakatomi Kiyokazu (Chiba Prefectural Togane Commercial High School in Chiba, Japan)
Nothingness of Pascal
Społeczeństwo i Edukacja. Międzynarodowe Studia Humanistyczne, 2014, nr 1, s. 31-44
Society and Education. International Humanist Studies
Filozofia, Filozofia człowieka, Religia
Philosophy, Human philosophy, Religion
Pascal Blaise
Pascal intuited nothingness very much as did King Solomon in the Bible. He experienced a clear and convincing vision of human being as a mere speck of dust in this enormous and infinite universe. He felt that in the face of eternity we, humans, are powerless and worthless creatures and belong to nothingness indeed. Seeing such powerlessness, helplessness, emptiness, vanity of humankind and tragedy that they bring sufficed Pascal to awaken and to realize nothingness. To add to King Solomon's words in the Bible 'vanity of vanity, all is vanity' Pascal stressed that 'human is no more than a reed, but a thinking reed'. Pascal was a supporter of the principle of nothingness as he both realized nothingness being the origin of all creation as well as he strove for that infinity. His ideas by far precede the advent of the Big-Bang theory, being the beginning of the world out of nothingness, as well as conform with the description of the world creation from the Bible's 'Genesis'. Here, I would like to present Pascal not only in the light of the prevailing view of his dialectics on the Church, but also as a supporter, conscious or not, of the nothingness principle. In European philosophy, the thinkers that are associated with the development of the concept of nothingness are existentialists, the most famous of which were Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre to list only a few. However their philosophical systems would never have a chance of being created, if there was no Pascal, who laid the foundations for them long before. By many thinkers Pascal had been looked down upon for his strong attachment to the Church and resulting from his religious belief that casts a shadow on his work. Still, if looked at from the nothingness principle perspective, that work of his cannot be underestimated. (author's abstract)
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