Robert A. Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald

Robert A.
Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald
1907

American Novelist, Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Writer, called the "dean of science fiction writers"

Author Quotes

Thou art God'. It's not a message of cheer and hope. It's a defiance - and an unafraid, unabashed assumption of personal responsibility.

The way to find justice is to deal fairly with other people and not worry about how they deal with you.

There is a misconception, geocentric and anthropomorphic, common to the large majority the the earthbound, which causes them to visualize a planetary system stereoscopically. The mind's eye sees a sun, remote from a backdrop of stars, and surrounded by spinning apples -- the planets. Step out on your balcony and look. Can you tell the planets from the stars? Venus you may pick out with ease, but could you tell it from Canopus, if you had not previously been introduced? That little red speck -- is it Mars, or is it Antares? Blast for Antares, believing it to be a planet, and you will never live to have grandchildren.

There were many, many times thereafter that Don regretted having enlisted - but so has every man who ever volunteered for military service.

Thou art God. Know that and the Way is opened.

The way to live a long time?oh, a thousand years or more?is something between the way a child does it and the way a mature man does it. Give the future enough thought to be ready for it?but don?t worry about it. Live each day as if you were to die next sunrise. Then face each sunrise as a fresh creation and live for it, joyously. And never think about the past. No regrets, ever.

There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. 'The Almighty,' he explained, 'finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores.

They didn?t want it good, they wanted it Wednesday.

Though weather is important while it happens it seems to me to be pretty dull to look back on. You can take descriptions of most any sort of weather out of an almanac and stick them in just anywhere; they'll probably fit.

The ways of God and government and girls are all mysterious, and it is not given to mortal man to understand them.

There is no conclusive evidence of life after death, but there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know, so why fret about it?

They don?t have mothers. Just ask any trained private. They reproduce by fission... like all bacteria.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck."

The actual joining and blending of two physical bodies with simultaneous merging of souls in shared ecstasy of love, giving and receiving and delighting in each other [is] the source?of all that makes this planet so rich and wonderful. That?s what it should be. Instead it was indifference and acts mechanically performed and rape and seduction as a game no better than roulette but with poorer odds and prostitution and celibacy by choice and by n choice and fear and guilt and hatred and violence and children brought up to think that sex was ?bad? and ?shameful? and ?animal? and something to be hidden and always distrusted. This lovely perfect thing, male-femaleness, turned upside down and inside out and made horrible.

The death rate is the same for us as for anybody... one person, one death, sooner or later.

The human race divides itself politically into those who want to be controlled, and those who have no such desire.

The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation.

The Ten Commandments are for lame brains. The first five are solely for the benefit of the priests and the powers that be; the second five are half-truths, neither complete nor adequate.

The Almighty-God idea came under attack because it explained nothing; it simply pushed all explanations one stage farther away. In the nineteenth century atheistic positivism started displacing The Almighty-God notion in that minority of the population that bathed regularly. Atheism had a limited run, as it, too, explains nothing, being merely Godism turned upside down.

The depths of winter longing are ice within my heart the shards of broken covenants lie sharp against my soul the wraiths of long-lost ecstasy still keep us two apart the amen winds of bitterness sill keen from turn to pole. The scares are twisted tendons, the stumps of struck-off limbs, the aching pit of hunger and throb of unset bone, my sanded burning eyeballs, as might within them dims, add nothing to the torment of lying here alone... The shimmering flames of fever trace out your blessed face My broken eardrums echo yet your voice inside my head I do not fear the darkness that comes to me apace I only dread the loss of you thy comes when I am dead.

The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations... A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual's instinct to survive--and nowhere else!--and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts. We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race... The basis of all morality is duty; a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual.

The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together.

The thing to do with a silly remark is to fail to hear it.

The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ?warm body? democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens? which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it? which for the majority translates as ?Bread and Circuses.? ?Bread and Circuses? is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader?the barbarians enter Rome.

The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning while those other subjects merely require scholarship.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert A.
Last Name
Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald
Birth Date
1907
Bio

American Novelist, Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Writer, called the "dean of science fiction writers"