Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

379 Inspiring Quotes by Robert A. Heinlein

  • Last updated Jul 27 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Robert A. Heinlein.

Wikipedia Summary for Robert A. Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and naval officer. Sometimes called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, and was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction. His published works, both fiction and non-fiction, express admiration for competence and emphasize the value of critical thinking. His work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, and on modern culture more generally.

Heinlein became one of the first American science-fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science-fiction novelists for many decades, and he, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are often considered the "Big Three" of English-language science fiction authors. Notable Heinlein works include Stranger in a Strange Land,Starship Troopers (which helped mold the space marine and mecha archetypes) and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

His work sometimes had controversial aspects, such as plural marriage in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, militarism in Starship Troopers and technologically competent women characters that were formidable, yet often stereotypically feminine – such as Friday.

A writer also of numerous science-fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship (1937–1971) of John W. Campbell at Astounding Science Fiction magazine, though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.

Heinlein used his science fiction as a way to explore provocative social and political ideas, and to speculate how progress in science and engineering might shape the future of politics, race, religion, and sex.

Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.

Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974.

Four of his novels won Hugo Awards. In addition, fifty years after publication, seven of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence.

In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including grok, waldo and speculative fiction, as well as popularizing existing terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", and "space marine". He also anticipated mechanical computer-aided design with "Drafting Dan" and described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel Beyond This Horizon.

In the first chapter of the novel Space Cadet he anticipated the cellular phone, 35 years before Motorola invented the technology.

Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.



shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring

Scalping a man is a hell of a poor way to cure him of dandruff.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green leafed plant

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

--Robert A. Heinlein

pug puppy

Mother had the social restraint of an ambassador.

--Robert A. Heinlein



dog on pier at water

As it says in Bible, God fights on side of heaviest artillery.

--Robert A. Heinlein

pink flower

We learned not to waste ammo even on warriors except in self-protection.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man and woman with bone fire sitting on seashore

Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

--Robert A. Heinlein


sunset

Fulfillment in life is loving a good woman and killing a bad man.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white and blue ice on water

Democracy is a poor system; the only thing that can be said for it is that it's eight times as good as any other method.

--Robert A. Heinlein


library shelf near black wooden ladder

Each man is his own prisoner, in solitary confinement for life.

--Robert A. Heinlein



snow covered mountain during daytime

It is impossible for a man to love his wife whole heartedly without loving all women somewhat. I suppose that the converse must be true of women.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black pug standing tiled floor

May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.

--Robert A. Heinlein

woman carrying baby while walking

On the steps of the Federal Building we ran into Carmencita Ibanez, a classmate of ours and one of the nice things about being a member of a race with two sexes.

--Robert A. Heinlein

horse

A friend who offers help without asking for explanations is a treasure beyond price.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man and woman kissing beside body of water during daytime

Sex without love is merely healthy exercise.

--Robert A. Heinlein


white and blue sky during daytime

Marriage is a psychological condition, not a civil contract and a license. Once a marriage is dead, it is dead, and it begins to stink faster than a dead fish.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

Who is more real? Homer or Ulysses? Shakespeare or Hamlet? Burroughs or Tarzan?

--Robert A. Heinlein

man kissing the woman wearing blue polka-dot dress

Once a month, some women act like men act all the time.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green lizard

Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

--Robert A. Heinlein

toddlers standing outdoors

Take care of the cojones and the frijoles will take care of themselves. Try to have getaway money -- but don't be fanatic about it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow background

Ale mám na mysli případ, kdy byly smeteny čtyři úrovně velení v šesti minutách -- jako kdyby si velitel čety protřel oči a zjistil, že velí brigádě. Slyšeli jste o tom?

--Robert A. Heinlein

Arizona landscape

Democracy is four wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.

--Robert A. Heinlein





brown mountains under blue sky

Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

--Robert A. Heinlein


lights

No woman ever ages beyond eighteen in her heart.

--Robert A. Heinlein


brown houses in front of hill under starry night

Are you trying to tell all of us we have a bad signal-to-noise ratio?

--Robert A. Heinlein

green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

Property is not the natural and obvious and inevitable concept that most people think it is.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown sands

The basic of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual.

--Robert A. Heinlein

lighted candle in dark room

From my point of view, a great deal of openly expressed piety is insufferable conceit.

--Robert A. Heinlein



sunset woman at beach

Every general prohibition creates its bootleggers.

--Robert A. Heinlein

blue sky with white clouds

With eternity to draw on there could be no reason for hurrying -- 'hurry' was not a concept in Martian.

--Robert A. Heinlein

photography of white wall lot

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.

--Robert A. Heinlein

landscape photography of brown mountains

A managed democracy is a wonderful thing... for the managers... and its greatest strength is a 'free press' when 'free' is defined as 'responsible' and the managers define what is 'irresponsible'.

--Robert A. Heinlein

icy mountain scenery

Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such gun control laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

Some things, the more you understand the more you loathe them.

--Robert A. Heinlein




blue and white abstract painting

Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Hey! I miss you

Spacemen die if they stay in one place.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Geniuses and supergeniuses always make their own rules about sex as on everything else; they do not accept the monkey customs of their lessers.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

I know why we laugh. We laugh because it hurts, and it's the only thing to make it stop hurting.

--Robert A. Heinlein

golden retriever inside car

A prude is a person who thinks that his own rules of propriety are natural laws.

--Robert A. Heinlein



blue sky and white clouds

There was one field in which man was unsurpassed; he showed unlimited ingenuity in devising bigger and more efficient ways to kill off, enslave, harass, and in all ways make an unbearable nuisance of himself to himself.

--Robert A. Heinlein

The Muppets Kermit plush toy on gray sofa

The meek shall inherit the earth -- a 6 foot plot above them.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green trees beside body of water during daytime

The coldest depth of Hell is reserved for people who abandon kittens.

--Robert A. Heinlein

woman riding on skateboard during daytime

The police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry. An armed citizenry, willing to fight, is the foundation of civil freedom. That's a personal evaluation, of course.

--Robert A. Heinlein

blue, yellow, and brown wall decor

Once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind.

--Robert A. Heinlein


sunset

Thinking doesn't pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.

--Robert A. Heinlein


couple sitting near trees during golden hour

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

--Robert A. Heinlein

trees on forest with sun rays

It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Democracy is a poor system of government at best; the only thing that can honestly be said in its favor is that it is eight times as good as any other method the human race has ever tried.

--Robert A. Heinlein


yellow and white abstract painting

Selfishness is the bedrock on which all moral behavior starts and it can be immoral only when it conflicts with a higher moral imperative.

--Robert A. Heinlein

old cowboy boots

The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.

--Robert A. Heinlein

person standing on rock formation during daytime

Everybody else specializes. Daddy knows everything, and he puts the pieces together.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown pathway between green plants

Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of mountain

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green ceramic mug beside book

Never appeal to a man's 'better nature.' He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.

--Robert A. Heinlein

aerial photo of foggy mountains

In a mature society, 'civil servant' is semantically equal to 'civil master'.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black dog face

Freedom is a hard habit to break.

--Robert A. Heinlein

pink petaled flowers under trees at daytime

There are only five things really worth drawing; four of them are pretty girls and the fifth is cats.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black pug puppy lying on gray bed

The most expensive thing in the world is a second-best military establishment, good but not good enough to win.

--Robert A. Heinlein



rock mountain during starry night

Money is the sincerest of all flattery. Women love to be flattered. So do men.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black and gray floral textile

How is a sincere criminal, trying hard, going to get ahead in his profession if his victim fails to cooperate?

--Robert A. Heinlein

assorted books on wooden table

Money problems can always be solved by a man not frightened by them.

--Robert A. Heinlein

river painting

They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday.

--Robert A. Heinlein

full moon during day

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

--Robert A. Heinlein


yellow flower shallow photography

When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette photo of trees during night time

Learning isn't a means to an end; it is an end in itself.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown sands

Take sides! Always take sides! You will sometimes be wrong -- but the man who refuses to take sides must always be wrong.

--Robert A. Heinlein

tall trees with dried leaves on ground

A family reunion is an effective form of birth control.

--Robert A. Heinlein

scenery of aurora

Never tease an old dog; he might have one bite left.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Allie, what do the Stars tell me to do? You know I don't understand the scientific part.

--Robert A. Heinlein


two women sitting on wooden dock over body of water

Gratitude is a euphemism for resentment.

--Robert A. Heinlein



blue and black butterfly on pink and yellow flower

A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.

--Robert A. Heinlein

purple and white clouds during night time

There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe.

--Robert A. Heinlein


trees under blue sky and stars during nighttime photo

The moral difference between a soldier and a civilian is that the soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member. The civilian does not.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black and gray floral textile

Being privileged to work hard for long hours at something you think is worth doing is the best kind of play.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow green leaf

I think perhaps of all the things a police state can do to its citizens, distorting history is possibly the most pernicious.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Sex, whatever else it is, is an athletic skill. The more you practice, the more you can, the more you want to, the more you enjoy it, the less it tires you.

--Robert A. Heinlein

pen on brown board

A critic is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased, he hates all creative people equally.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of mountain during sunset

Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.

--Robert A. Heinlein

rock mountain during starry night

Certain types of loudmouthism should be a capital offense among decent people.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of mountain under starry night

A "critic" is a man who creates nothing.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man kissing the woman wearing blue polka-dot dress

The trouble with conspiracies is that they rot internally.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green plants beside brown wooden door

Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet you can't win.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

Minimize your therbligs until it becomes automatic; this doubles your effective lifetime -- and thereby gives time to enjoy butterflies and kittens and rainbows.

--Robert A. Heinlein


forest at sunset

Darling, a true lady takes off her dignity with her clothes and does her whorish best. At other times you can be as modest and dignified as your persona requires.

--Robert A. Heinlein

grassland

I am only an egg.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of mountain during golden hour

Please don't invent a debt that does not exist, or next you will be trying to feel gratitude -- and that is the treacherous first step toward complete moral degradation.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

--Robert A. Heinlein


man riding horse

Small change can often be found under seat cushions.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

My old man says when it's time to be counted, the important thing is to be man enough to stand up.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white brick wall

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word.

--Robert A. Heinlein


yellow flower field under clear sky

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

--Robert A. Heinlein


gray surface

Citizenship is an attitude, a state of mind, an emotional conviction that the whole is greater than the part. and that the part should be humbly proud to sacrifice itself that the whole may live.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

Its very variety, subtlety, and utterly irrational, idiomatic complexity makes it possible to say things in English which simply cannot be said in any other language.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of off-road car

I have never been able to see how a thirty-year old moron can vote more wisely than a fifteen-year old genius.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

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

--Robert A. Heinlein

purple and blue light illustration

Patriotism is not sentimental nonsense. Nor something dreamed up by demagogues. Patriotism is as necessary a part of man's evolutionary equipment as are his eyes, as useful to the race as eyes are to the individual.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

The greatest fallacy of democracy is that everyone's opinion is worth the same.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Painting of Stonehenge

Remember this: once the human race is established on more than one planet and especially, in more than one solar system, there is no way now imaginable to kill off the human race.

--Robert A. Heinlein

shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring

Every law that was ever written opened up a new way to graft.

--Robert A. Heinlein



brown sand under blue sky during daytime

Peace is an extension of war by political means. Plenty of elbow-room is pleasanter -- and much safer.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of flower during sunset

The Colorado River was at a record low and the towers in Lake Mead stood high out of the water. But the Angelenos committed communal suicide by watering lawns as usual.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green leaf tree near mountain covered by snow at daytime

Customs, morals -- is there a difference?

--Robert A. Heinlein

aerial view of green lake surrounded by green trees during daytime

Anybody can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown and white bird on tree branch

A generation which ignores history has no past -- and no future.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green and white abstract painting

Self awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together.

--Robert A. Heinlein

men's white dress shirt

A zest for living must include a willingness to die.

--Robert A. Heinlein

photo of giraffe

The world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better... with hands... with tools... with horse sense and science and engineering.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of trees during sunset

Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group
without being willing to pay; and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

I don't gamble, if you will concede that poker is a game of skill.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white wall paint with black line

There is no such thing as 'social gambling.' Either you are there to cut the other bloke's heart out and eat it -- or you're a sucker. If you don't like this choice -- don't gamble.

--Robert A. Heinlein


brown and white humming bird

Don't ever become a pessimist 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

white flowers

Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

--Robert A. Heinlein



person holding white book

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.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

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.







brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

The greatest productive force is human selfishness.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

It's an indulgence to sit in a room and discuss your beliefs as if they were a juicy piece of gossip.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man in gray shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on gray rock near green tree during

Secrecy begets tyranny.

--Robert A. Heinlein

person holding hands

Never cast pearls before swine.

--Robert A. Heinlein

calm ocean

It is almost impossible to shake of one's earliest training. Duke, can you get it through your skull that had you been brought up by Martians, you would have the same attitude toward eating and being eaten as Mike has.

--Robert A. Heinlein





photo of mountains

Widows are far better than brides. They don't tell, they won't yell, they don't swell, they rarely smell, and they're grateful as hell.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

When he kisses you he isn't doing anything else. You're his whole universe, and the moment is eternal because he doesn't have any plans and isn't going anywhere. Just kissing you ... it's overwhelming.

--Robert A. Heinlein


shorebird on pier

Autobiography is usually honest but it is never truthful.

--Robert A. Heinlein


flowers beside yellow wall

Cats have no sense of humor, they have terribly inflated egos, and they are very touchy.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

'Private,' he said firmly. 'Family matter. Go have a drink.'
'Whose family?'
'A death in yours, if you insist.'

--Robert A. Heinlein

selective focus photography of orange and beige butterfly on purple flowers

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes.

--Robert A. Heinlein


woman in white dress holding hands with girl in white dress

Abstract knowledge is always useful, sooner or later.

--Robert A. Heinlein

raindrops on clear window

Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.

--Robert A. Heinlein


brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

In the twentieth century, nowhere on Earth was sex so vigorously suppressed as in America -- -and nowhere else was there such a deep interest in it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white and yellow flowers during daytime

Never crowd youngsters about their private affairs -- sex especially.

--Robert A. Heinlein

close-up photography of building

Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black and white abstract illustration

Anything which is physically possible can always be made financially possible; money is a bugaboo of small minds.

--Robert A. Heinlein

red textile in close up photography

The average bloke ... hates and fears all freedom, not only for others but for himself, and stamps it out wherever possible.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow flower field under clear sky

We each have a moral obligation to conserve and preserve beauty in this world; there is none to waste.

--Robert A. Heinlein

men's white dress shirt

No intelligent man has any respect for an unjust law.

--Robert A. Heinlein


None

You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.

--Robert A. Heinlein

mountains under white mist at daytime

Brainpower is the scarcest commodity and the only one of real value.

--Robert A. Heinlein


Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.

--Robert A. Heinlein

flat lay photography teacup on top of saucer

Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith.

--Robert A. Heinlein

moon near mountain ridge

I do know that the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth -- then shut up.

--Robert A. Heinlein


selective focus photography of grey coin operated telescope

Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

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. Negative proof is usually impossible.



black fawn pug playing with plush toy

Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.

--Robert A. Heinlein


man in black jacket and blue denim jeans jumping on snow covered mountain during daytime

Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again.

--Robert A. Heinlein


wide lake over sunset view

One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.

--Robert A. Heinlein

milky way wallpaper

A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an "intellectual" -- find out how he feels about astrology.

--Robert A. Heinlein

birds flying under cloudy sky during daytime

A pacifist male is a contradiction in terms. Most self-described "pacifists" are not pacific; they simply assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.

--Robert A. Heinlein

gray satellite disc on field

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow sunflowers

If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

First you must learn to control your self. The rest follows. Blessed is he who knows himself and commands himself, for the world is his and love and happiness and peace walk with him wherever he goes.

--Robert A. Heinlein

depth photography of purple petaled flowers

You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

--Robert A. Heinlein

grayscale photo of elephant on grass field

I'm always suspicious of disinterested interest.

--Robert A. Heinlein

forest trees photograph

Man is what he is, a wild animal with the will to survive, and so far the ability, against all competition.

--Robert A. Heinlein


three books on surface

A fake fortuneteller can be tolerated. But an authentic soothsayer should be shot on sight. Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved.

--Robert A. Heinlein


multicolored heart LED light on wall

Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.

--Robert A. Heinlein

red textile in close up photography

A community where everyone is a ruthless murderer, with handy access to death-dealing devices, is a very polite community.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black wooden louver door window

A committee is the only known form of life with a hundred bellies and no brain.

--Robert A. Heinlein

wide lake over sunset view

When you read about chemistry and physics, you want to do them too.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

To get anywhere, or even to live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer.

--Robert A. Heinlein

person standing on rock formation during daytime

Yes, sir, there are things to see and do on the French Riviera without spending money.

--Robert A. Heinlein

pink tree

There will always be survivors.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Anything free is worth what you pay for it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunflower with clear glass vase on gray table

His older self had taught his younger self a language which the older self knew because the younger self, after being taught, grew up to be the older self and was, therefore, capable of teaching.

--Robert A. Heinlein


white and blue building under clear sky

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

silhouette photography of wavy ocean

Death is the lot of us all, and the only way that the human race has ever conquered death is by treating it with contempt. By living every golden minute as if one had all Eternity.

--Robert A. Heinlein


forest trees photograph

Once you get to earth orbit, you're halfway to anywhere in the solar system.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

I have spent too much of my life opening doors for cats--I once calculated that, since the dawn of civilization, nine hundred and seventy-eight man-centuries have been used up that way. I could show you figures.

--Robert A. Heinlein

body of water under blue sky with stars

Physicians had gone to their graves calling Pasteur a liar, a fool, or worse--without examining evidence which their "common sense" told them was impossible.

--Robert A. Heinlein


brown nut on person's left palm

Circumstances can force your hand. So think ahead!

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of stones during golden hour

The whole principle (censorship) is wrong; it's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't eat steak.

--Robert A. Heinlein

houses and trees during nighttime

My old man claimed that the more complicated the law the more opportunity for scoundrels.

--Robert A. Heinlein

starry night over butte

I don't see how an article of clothing can be indecent. A person, yes.

--Robert A. Heinlein

photo of clear sky full of stars

Of all the creatures on this planet none is more dangerous than a human being.

--Robert A. Heinlein

rock mountain during starry night

You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.

--Robert A. Heinlein


None

The golden sunshine of Italy congealed into tears. Here's to alcoholic brotherhood ... much more suited to the frail human soul, if any, than any other sort.

--Robert A. Heinlein


yellow and white color illustration

It is impossible for anyone to be responsible for another person's behavior. The most you or any leader can do is to encourage each one to be responsible for himself.

--Robert A. Heinlein


man in black bubble hoodie looking at the stars

Another ingredient in a happy marriage: Budget the luxuries first!

--Robert A. Heinlein

bonfire on focus photography

Drop dead-but first get permit.

--Robert A. Heinlein


silhouette of mountains during sunset

Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on ... as long as the women and children are saved.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown rock formation

His claim to Mars is lawyers' hogwash; as a lawyer myself I need not respect it.

--Robert A. Heinlein


close-up photography of building

Random chance was not a sufficient explanation of the Universe -- -in fact, random chance was not sufficient to explain random chance; the pot could not hold itself.

--Robert A. Heinlein


purple textile with white line

It's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code... obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

It's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn ... they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything -- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence.





white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

Never try to teach a pig to sing. You waste your time and you annoy the pig.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Revolutions are not won by enlisting the masses. Revolution is a science for the few who are competent to practice it. It depends on correct organisation and above all, on communications.

--Robert A. Heinlein

pair of white lace-up shoes

The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up.

--Robert A. Heinlein

blue and white abstract painting

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

tall green flowering grasses under blue and white cloudy sky

Never insult anyone by accident.

--Robert A. Heinlein

selective focus photography of woman taking selfie

Customs tell a man who he is, where he belongs, what he must do. Better illogical customs than none; men cannot live together without them.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

Customs tell a man who he is, where he belongs, what he must do. Better illogical customs than none; men cannot live together without them. From an anthropologist's view, 'justice' is a search for workable customs.


red and black floral textile

If men were the automatons that behaviorists claim they are, the behaviorist psychologists could not have invented the amazing nonsense called 'behaviorist psychology.'

--Robert A. Heinlein


brown and grey trees and rock formation painting

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

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Gratitude: An imaginary emotion that rewards an imaginary behavior, altruism. Both imaginaries are false faces for selfishness, which is a real and honest emotion.

--Robert A. Heinlein

couple sitting near trees during golden hour

Seems to be a deep instinct in human beings for making everything compulsory that isn't forbidden.

--Robert A. Heinlein


green mountain ]

The first principle of freedom is the right to go to hell in your own handbasket.

--Robert A. Heinlein

body of water under clear blue sky painting

Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but it is a force stronger than crime.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black textile in close up photography

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

--Robert A. Heinlein

person holding flowers

I counted to ten slowly, using binary notation.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

I was not offended, my love. An insult is like a drink; it affects one only if accepted. And pride is too heavy baggage for my journey.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown rocky mountain under gray sky

His was not a small mind bothered by logic and consistency.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white petaled flowers beside gray wall

It is possible that the percentage of honest and competent whores is higher than that of plumbers and much higher than that of lawyers. And enormously higher than that of professors.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

Magic is not science, it is a collection of ways to do things ways that work but often we don't know why.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset with agave stem

An armed society is a polite society.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.


purple and black skies

How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.

--Robert A. Heinlein

three books on surface

Teaching causes people to go into situations from which they cannot escape, except by thinking. Do not handicap children by making their lives easy.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of pine trees photo

Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth Stupid fumbling.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

Government! Three-fourths parasitic and the rest stupid fumbling -- oh, Harshaw concluded that man, a social animal, could not avoid government, any more than an individual could escape bondage to his bowels. But simply because an evil was inescapable was no reason to term it "good." He wished that government would wander off and get lost! (96).



silhouette of trees near body of water during sunset

Woman and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

--Robert A. Heinlein





green mountain ]

I was there to see beautiful naked women. So was everybody else. It's a common failing.

--Robert A. Heinlein


desert grassland

Anything free costs twice as much in the long run or turns out worthless.

--Robert A. Heinlein

galaxy wallpaper

All normal human beings have soi-disant mixed-up glands. The race is divided into two parts: those who know this and those who do not.

--Robert A. Heinlein

shorebird on pier

To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.

--Robert A. Heinlein

purple flowered hedge plants

Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can 'pursue happiness' as long as my brain lives -- but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can ensure that I will catch it.

--Robert A. Heinlein


scenery of aurora

Library science was the foundation of all sciences.

--Robert A. Heinlein


silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

Sex should be friendly. Otherwise stick to mechanical toys; it's more sanitary.

--Robert A. Heinlein

photography of white sky at golden hour

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

purple petaled flower on gray surface

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

green leafed plant

From the strictest humanitarian viewpoint, any attempt to stop the processes by which over crowded cities purge themselves is not a kindness.

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

Never try to outstubborn a cat.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man in black shirt wearing cowboy hat

Support for the arts -- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore!

--Robert A. Heinlein

white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books

Damnit! Nationalism should stop at the stratosphere!

--Robert A. Heinlein

sunset

Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries -- but it is a force stronger than crime.

--Robert A. Heinlein


black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.

--Robert A. Heinlein

None

Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.

--Robert A. Heinlein

cluster of stars in the sky

If you do not believe that a man will commit murder for one can of tomatoes, then you have never been hungry.

--Robert A. Heinlein

water on seashore

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

None

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 that.

--Robert A. Heinlein

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

I never do anything I don't want to do. Nor does anyone, but in my case I am always aware of it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

clear blue sea under blue sky

Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown and white bird on tree branch

Never own more than you can carry in both hands at a dead run.

--Robert A. Heinlein


Arizona landscape

Come Judgment Day, we may find that Mumbo Jumbo the God of the Congo was the Big Boss all along.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man standing on cliff under white sky

The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion -- in the long run, these are the only people who count.

--Robert A. Heinlein

purple and white clouds during night time

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

--Robert A. Heinlein


low angle photography of gray concrete building

Christ was crucified for preaching without a police permit.

--Robert A. Heinlein

photo of mountains

In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

landscape photography of horizon

Have you ever noticed how much they look like orchids? lovely!

--Robert A. Heinlein

blue, white, and pink petaled flowers on gray surface

But, do you know, once you get used to it's rather cute. I mean, if a girl looks alright to start with, she still looks alright with her head smooth.

--Robert A. Heinlein

dew drops on glass panel

All human behavior, all human motivations, all man's hopes and fears, were heavily colored and largely controlled by mankind's tragic and oddly beautiful pattern of reproduction.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown chopped logs

He's as weird as snake's suspenders but sweet as a stolen kiss, too.

--Robert A. Heinlein

low angle photo of starry night

There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.

--Robert A. Heinlein

pink petaled flowers under trees at daytime

Wisdom includes not getting angry unnecessarily. The Law ignores trifles and the wise man does, too.

--Robert A. Heinlein


blue sky with stars during night time

Does history record any case in which the majority was right?

--Robert A. Heinlein

blue and white abstract painting

But when they began handing out doctorates for comparative folk dancing and advanced fly-fishing, I became too stink in' proud to use the title. I won't touch watered whiskey and I take no pride in watered-down degrees.

--Robert A. Heinlein



Arizona landscape

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

pink dahlia in bloom

He ate what was set before him.

--Robert A. Heinlein




brown and grey trees and rock formation painting

An invention is something that was "impossible" up to then that's why governments grant patents.

--Robert A. Heinlein

flower garden

Men are not potatoes!

--Robert A. Heinlein




snow mountains under nightsky

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green, red, and white abstract painting

Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier.

--Robert A. Heinlein

leafless tree

The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat.

--Robert A. Heinlein


clear wine glass with red wine

In a society in which it is a moral offense to be different from your neighbor your only escape is to never let them find out.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black pug puppy lying on gray bed

'Is this Paradise?'
'I can guarantee you that it isn't,' Jubal assured him. 'My taxes are due this week.'

--Robert A. Heinlein

castle surrounded fog

Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green grass field

In Wilson's scale of evaluations breakfast rated just after life itself and ahead of the chance of immortality.

--Robert A. Heinlein

stars across the sky view at the desert

I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much ... because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting.

--Robert A. Heinlein

Longer Version:

I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much... because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting" ... "But that's not all people laugh at." "Isn't it? Perhaps I don't grok all its fullness yet. But find me something that really makes you laugh sweetheart... a joke, or anything else- but something that gave you a a real belly laugh, not a smile. Then we'll see if there isn't a wrongness wasn't there." He thought. "I grok when apes learn to laugh, they'll be people.


tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.

--Robert A. Heinlein

green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

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

foggy mountains

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

mountains under orange kies

Long human words (the longer the better) were easy, unmistakable, and rarely changed their meanings ... but short words were slippery, unpredictable, changing their meanings without any pattern.

--Robert A. Heinlein

black pug puppy on green textile

What a wonderful world it is that has girls in it!

--Robert A. Heinlein


city lights from hill

You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.

--Robert A. Heinlein

man kissing the woman wearing blue polka-dot dress

Always tell her she is beautiful, especially if she is not.

--Robert A. Heinlein


white sand under white sky

When it don't rain, the roof don't leak; when it rains, I can't fix it nohow.

--Robert A. Heinlein




five silhouette of birds flying on sky

Everybody lies about sex.

--Robert A. Heinlein

rock formation under starry skies

Democracy's worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents.

--Robert A. Heinlein

fawn pug lying on floor

My vocal cords lived their own life, wild and free.

--Robert A. Heinlein


grayscale photography of pug

To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.

--Robert A. Heinlein

gray slabs

Faith is intellectual laziness.

--Robert A. Heinlein


red rose

Formal courtesy between husband and wife is even more important than it is between strangers.

--Robert A. Heinlein

yellow sunflowers

If I had a Boy Scout I could make a fire by rubbing his hind legs together.

--Robert A. Heinlein


green leafed plants on forest

Death isn't funny." "Then why are there so many jokes about death? Jill, with us -- us humans -- death is so sad that we must laugh at it.

--Robert A. Heinlein

empty gray carpet

It seems to me that the secret of true happiness in life is to know what you are and then be content to be that, in style, head up and proud, and not yearn to be something else.

--Robert A. Heinlein

brown mountains under blue sky

Roman matrons used to say to their sons: 'Come back with your shield or on it.'

--Robert A. Heinlein


moon near mountain ridge

The commonest weakness of our race is our ability to rationalize our most selfish purposes.

--Robert A. Heinlein

white and blue ice in water

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.

--Robert A. Heinlein

We wish you a perfect day!