Quotations by Heinlein, Robert A.


It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics. This is equally true whether the faith is Communism or Holy-Rollerism; indeed it is the bounden duty of the faithful to do so. The custodians of the True Faith cannot logically admit tolerance of heresy to be a virtue.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
“Concerning Stories Never Written” (Oct 1952)
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There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
“Life-Line” (1939)
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One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
“Life-Line” [Pinero] (1939)
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You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
“The Logic of Empire” (1941)

Cf. Hanlon
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Intangibles are the most honest merchandise anyone can sell. They are always worth whatever you are willing to pay for them and they never wear out. You can take them to your grave untarnished.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
“The Man Who Sold the Moon” (1949)
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The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
“Concerning Stories Never Written” (Oct 1952)
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If you can’t change your mind, are you sure you still have one?

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
(Attributed)

Sig line frequently given without attribution. Some cite Heinlein, but without source.
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A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
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Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Assignment in Eternity (1953)
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Take sides! Always take sides! You will sometimes be wrong — but the man who refuses to take sides must always be wrong! Heaven save us from poltroons who fear to make a choice.

heinlein-take-sides-always-take-sides-wist_info-quote

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Double Star (1956)
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“The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on” — and only then do you find out if it goosed you in passing.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Farnham’s Freehold, ch. 21 (1964)
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See Omar Khayyám.
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In dealing with the law and with people I have found a vast difference between “should” and “is.”

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Brian] (1982)
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We each have a moral obligation to conserve and preserve beauty in this world; there is none to waste.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Dr. Baldwin] (1982)
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A well run tyranny is almost as scarce as an efficient democracy.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Dr. Baldwin] (1982)
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When I was younger, I thought I could change this world. Now I no longer think so but for emotional reasons I must keep on fighting a holding action.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Dr. Baldwin] (1982)
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What are the marks of a sick culture? It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population. A very bad sign. Particularism. It was once considered a Spanish vice but any country can fall sick with it.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Dr. Baldwin] (1982)
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Properly regarded, male vanity is a virtue, not a vice. Treated correctly, it makes him enormously pleasanter to deal with.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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Unless you intend to kill him immediately thereafter, never kick a man in the balls. Not even symbolically. Or perhaps especially not symbolically.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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Why do men with little souls have to have big weapons?

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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The coldest depth of Hell is reserved for people who abandon kittens.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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It is not written in the stars that I will always understand what is going on — a truism that I often find damnably annoying.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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I do not kill everyone with whom I have a difference of opinion and I would not want anyone reading this memoir to think that I do.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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How many people have died because they could not abandon their baggage?

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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No matter who or what, a box of flowers is better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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I think that’s all anybody wants. To belong. To be people.

Heinlein - be people - wist_info quote

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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Sin is cruelty and injustice, all else is peccadillo. Oh, a sense of sin comes from violating the customs of your tribe. But breaking custom is not sin even when it feels so; sin is wronging another person.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Glory Road (1963)
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I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, “The game’s afoot!” I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Lost Dauphin.

I wanted Prester John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be — instead of the tawdry, lousy fouled-up mess it is.

I had had one chance — for ten minutes yesterday afternoon. Helen of Troy, whatever your true name may be — And I had known it … and I had let it slip away.

Maybe one chance is all you ever get.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Glory Road, ch. 3 (1963)
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The person who says smugly that good manners are the same everywhere and people are just people hasn’t been farther out of Podunk than the next whistle stop.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Glory Road, ch. 8 (1963)
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When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
If This Goes On (1940)
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A miracle that takes place again and again and again is no longer a miracle; it’s just a nuisance.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Job: A Comedy of Justice (1984)
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A man who is happy at home doesn’t lie awake nights worrying about the hereafter.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Job: A Comedy of Justice (1984)
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Hypotheses:

  1. Something preposterous has happened to the world around me, or
  2. Something preposterous has happened to Alex Hergensheimer’s mind; he should be locked up and sedated.   

I could not think of a third hypothesis; those two seemed to cover all bases. The second hypothesis I need not waste time on. If, I were raising snakes in my hat, eventually other people would notice and come around with a straitjacket and put me in a nice padded room.

So let’s assume that I am sane (or nearly so; being a little bit crazy is helpful). If I am okay, then the world is out of joint.
 

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Job: A Comedy of Justice, ch. 2 [Alex] (1984)
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Mr. Chairman, almost everything about a human creature is ridiculous, except its ability to suffer bravely and die gallantly for whatever it loves and believes in. The validity of that belief, the appropriateness of that love, is irrelevant; it is the bravery and the gallantry that count.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Job: A Comedy of Justice, ch. 28 [Lucifer to Koshchei] (1984)
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Wants what he wants when he wants it — and thinks that constitutes a natural law.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Methuselah’s Children [Lazarus Long] (1958)
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Mary, my sweet, carpe that old diem! — it’s the only game in town.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Methuselah’s Children [Lazarus Long] (1958)
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There ought not to be anything in the whole universe that man can’t poke his nose into — that’s the way we’re built and I assume that there’s some reason for it.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Methuselah’s Children [Lazarus Long] (1958)
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War is a simple matter compared with revolution. War is an applied science, with well-defined principles tested in history; analogous solutions may be found from ballista to H-bomb. But every revolution is a freak, a mutant, a monstrosity, its conditions never to be repeated and its operations carried out by amateurs and individualists.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Revolt in 2100 (1953)
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From the standpoint of a professional military man there is one good thing about revolutions: the opportunities for swift promotion are excellent . . . even if the pay is inclined to be irregular.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Revolt in 2100, ch. 10 (1953)
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The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Revolt in 2100, Postscript (1953)
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Bugs, Mr. Rico! Zillions of ’em!

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 10 (1959)
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“My mother said violence never solves anything.”

“So?” Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. “I’m sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that.”

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 2 (1959)
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Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 2 [DuBois] (1959)
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Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more. All the wealthy, unhappy people you’ve ever met take sleeping pills;

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 4 (1959)
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War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him — but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing — but controlled and purposeful violence.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 5 [Zim] (1959)
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I told you that “juvenile delinquent” is a contradiction in terms. “Delinquent” means “failing in duty.” But duty is an adult virtue — indeed a juvenile becomes an adult when, and only when, he acquires a knowledge of duty and embraces it as dearer than the self-love he was born with. There never was, there cannot be a “juvenile delinquent.” But for every juvenile criminal there are always one or more adult delinquents — people of mature years who either do not know their duty, or who, knowing it, fail.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 8 [Dubois] (1959)
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Ben, the ethics of sex is a thorny problem. Each of us is forced to grope for a solution he can live with — in the face of a preposterous, unworkable, and evil code of so-called ‘morals.’ Most of us know the code is wrong; almost everybody breaks it. But we pay Danegeld by feeling guilty and giving lip service. Willy-nilly, the code rides us, dead and stinking, an albatross around the neck.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land [Jubal] (1961)
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In the 1960 "uncut" edition, the passage reads as: "Ben, the ethics of sex is a thorny problem because each of us has to find a solution pragmatically compatible with a preposterous, utterly unworkable, and evil public code of so-called "morals." Most of us know, or suspect, that the public code is wrong, and we break it. Nevertheless we pay Danegeld by giving it lip service in public and feeling guilty about breaking it in private. Willy-nilly, that code rides us, dead and stinking, an albatross around the neck."
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Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land [Jubal] (1961)

Not in the "Uncut" 1991 re-issue; Heinlein added this line in place of other cuts in the first edition manuscript.

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There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk “his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor” on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, “His Maculate Origin,” ch. 8 (1991 ed.)

See Jefferson.
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Though I’ve never understood how God could expect his creatures to pick the one true religion by faith — it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, ch. 13 [Jubal] (1961)
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In the "original uncut" edition (1960, published 1991), this is given as: "I've never been able to understand 'faith' myself, nor to see how a just God could expect his creatures to pick the one true religion out of an infinitude of false ones -- by faith alone. It strikes me as a sloppy way to run an organization, whether a universe or a smaller one."
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The capacity of a human mind to believe devoutly in what seems to me to be the highly improbable — from table tapping to the superiority of their own children — has never been plumbed. Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness, but I don’t argue with it — especially as I am rarely in a position to prove that it is mistaken.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, ch. 18 (1960 ed., publ. 1991)
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An elided version is found in the 1961 published edition, in ch. 13.
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If God didn’t want women to be looked at, he would have made ’em ugly — that’s reasonable, isn’t it? God isn’t a cheat; He set up the game Himself — He wouldn’t rig it so that the marks can’t win, like a flat joint wheel in a town with the fix on. He wouldn’t send anybody to Hell for losing in a crooked game.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, ch. 27 [Patty] (1961)
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But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is requred for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, ch. 36 [Mike] (1961)

Full text.
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Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often confuses one for the other, or assumes the greater the love, the greater the jealousy. In fact they are almost incompatible; both at once produce unbearable turmoil.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, first ed. [Jubal] (1961)
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Man is so built that he cannot imagine his own death. This leads to endless invention of religions. While this conviction by no means proves immortality to be a fact, questions generated by it are overwhelmingly important. The nature of life, how ego hooks into the body, the problem of ego itself and why each ego seems to be the center of the universe, the purpose of life, the purpose of the universe — these are paramount questions, Ben; they can never be trivial. Science hasn’t solved them — and who am I to sneer at religions for trying, no matter how unconvincingly to me? Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can’t rule him out because he owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an upholstered attic; he might be the Messiah. The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together!

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, Part 4, ch. 33 [Jubal] (1961)
    (Source)

In the "uncut" original version (1960): "Self-aware man is so built that he cannot believe in his own extinction ... and this automatically leads to endless invention of religions. While this involuntary conviction of immortality by no means proves immortality to be a fact, the questions generated by this conviction are overwhelmingly important ... whether we can answer them or not, or prove what answers we suspect. The nature of life, how the ego hooks into the physical body, the problem of the ego itself and why each ego seems to be the center of the universe, the purpose of life, the purpose of the universe -- these are paramount questions Ben; they can never be trivial. Science can't, or hasn't, coped with any of them -- and who am I to sneer at religions for trying to answer them, no matter how unconvincingly to me? Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can't rule Him out because He owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an upholstered attic; he might be the Messiah. The only religious opinion that I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together!"
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How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Cat Who Walked Through Walls (1985)
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The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it — once you can honestly say, “I don’t know”, then it becomes possible to get at the truth.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, ch. 18 [Gwen Novak] (1985)
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I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
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What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well-intentioned men, granting to government powers to do something that appears to need doing.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
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Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. Nor is this a source of dismay; a lost cause can be as spiritually satisfying as a victory.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress [Bernardo De La Paz] (1966)
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At one time kings were anointed by Deity, so the problem was to see to it that Deity chose the right candidate. In this age the myth is “the will of the people” … but the problem changes only superficially.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress [Bernardo de la Paz] (1966)
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Thing that got me was not her list of things she hated, since she was obviously crazy as a Cyborg, but fact that always somebody agreed with her prohibitions. Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: “Please pass this so that I won’t be able to do something I know I should stop.” Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them “for their own good” — not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress [Manny] (1966)
Added on 12-Aug-08 | Last updated 12-Aug-08
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At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that “news” is not something that happens to other people.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Number of the Beast (1980)
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Ever see a bird hurt itself by flying into a glass window? The bird is not stupid; he simply did not have all the data.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Puppet Masters (1951)
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The ratio of damn fools to villains is high.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Puppet Masters, ch. 26 (1951)
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Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
The Rolling Stones (1952)
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A thousand reasoned opinions are never equal to one case of diving in and finding out. Galileo proved that and it may be the only certainty we have.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
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Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
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This sad little lizard told me that he was a Brontosaurus on his mother’s side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them. Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a world in which happiness is in short supply.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
Added on 20-Mar-13 | Last updated 20-Mar-13
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Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
Added on 4-Apr-13 | Last updated 4-Apr-13
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Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
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I don’t trust a man who talks about ethics when he’s picking my pockets.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love (1973)
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Sin? Sin like love was a word hard to define. It came in two bitter but vastly different flavors. The first lay in violating the taboos of your tribe … The other meaning of sin was easier to define because it was not molded by the murky concepts of religion and taboo: Sin is behavior that ignores the welfare of others.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love (1973)
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This sad little lizard told me that he was a Brontosaurus on his mother’s side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them. Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a world in which happiness is in short supply.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
Added on 16-Dec-15 | Last updated 16-Dec-15
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Delusions are often functional. A mother’s opinions about her children’s beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
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Good intentions are no substitute for knowing how a buzz saw works, Ira; the worst criminals in history have been loaded with good intentions.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
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Don’t ever become a pessimist, Ira; a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun — and neither can stop the march of events.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
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Ira, age does not bring wisdom. Often it merely changes simple stupidity into arrogant conceit.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 18-Apr-13 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
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Oh, knock it off, Bud; there’s no virtue in being old, it just takes a long time.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 28-Apr-15 | Last updated 28-Apr-15
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Most people won’t learn even by experience, Ira. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 5-May-15 | Last updated 5-May-15
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If the human animal has any value at all, he is too valuable to be property. If he has an inner dignity, he is much too proud to own other men. I don’t give a damn how scrubbed and perfumed he may be, a slave owner is subhuman.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 12-May-15 | Last updated 12-May-15
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Privacy is as necessary as company; you can drive a man crazy by depriving him of either.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 19-May-15 | Last updated 19-May-15
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I’m not running down sex; sex is swell, sex is wonderful. But if you put a holy aura around it — and that is what you are doing — sex stops being fun and starts being neurotic.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
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Whenever the locals rub blue mud in their navels, I rub blue mud in mine just as solemnly.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 2-Jun-15 | Last updated 2-Jun-15
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But, Minerva, love is what still goes on when you are not horny.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 9-Jun-15 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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Crazy — a nonscientific term meaning that the person to whom one applies that label has a world picture differing from the accepted one.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 30-Jun-15 | Last updated 24-Jun-15
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Morals are your agreement with yourself to abide by your own rules. To thine own self be true or you spoil the game.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 14-Jul-15 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
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It’s amazing how much “mature wisdom” resembles being too tired.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus] (1973)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Jun-09
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Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus] (1973)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Jun-09
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To be matter of fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy — and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus] (1973)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Jun-09
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Companionship, partnership, mutual reassurance, someone to laugh with and grieve with, loyalty that accepts foibles, someone to touch, someone to hold your hand — these things are marriage, and sex is but the icing on the cake.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus] (1973)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Jun-09
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The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive their flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love, “Intermission” (1973)
Added on 27-Jan-14 | Last updated 27-Jan-14
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Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love, “Notebooks of Lazarus Long” (1973)
Added on 6-Feb-17 | Last updated 6-Feb-17
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A person who takes smug pride in telling the blunt truth is a sadist, not a saint.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Jun-09
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They didn’t want it good, they wanted it Wednesday.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Remark, NY Times (24 Aug 1980)

Asked about writing for pulp magazines.
Added on 31-Jan-08 | Last updated 31-Jan-08
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