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

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

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

Author Quotes

The country and culture commonly known as America had had a badly split personality all through its history. Its overt laws were almost always puritanical for a people whose covert behavior tended to be Rabelaisian; its major religions were all Apollonian in varying degrees---its religious revivals were often hysterical in a fashion almost Dionysian.

The human mind?s ability to rationalize its own shortcomings into virtues is unlimited, and I am no exception.

The nice thing about citing god as an authority is that you can prove anything you set out to prove.

The supreme irony of life is that no one gets out of it alive.

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.

The junior hoodlums who roamed their streets were symptoms of a greater sickness; their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ?rights? . . . and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.

The ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for "art" that leaves him unmoved--if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes and such.

The three-legged stool of understanding is held up by history, languages, and mathematics. Equipped with these three you can learn anything you want to learn. But if you lack any one of them you are just another ignorant peasant with dung on your boots.

The answer to any question starting, "Why don't they-" is almost always, "Money."

The door dilated.

The killer looked up as the bullet hit him. He looked as if he were puzzled by some strange occurence, being too freshly dead to be aware of it.

The people who come out on top write the official versions found in history books, history that is no more honest than is autobiography.

The trouble with conspiracies is that they rot internally.

The best things in history are accomplished by people who get ?tired of being shoved around.?

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

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