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Man is a only a reed, the frailest thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. To crush him it does not take the whole universe in arms: a breath of wind, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But were the universe to crush him, man would still be nobler than his killer. For he knows that he is dying and the universe has the better of him. But the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavour, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.

Pascal – Pensees – 347.