Robert A. Heinlein quotes

  • I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. 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

    #Freedom #Matter #Break

  • 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

    #Happiness #Fun #Optimism

  • There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Men #Gun #Weapons

  • Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Love #Life #Positive

  • May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Love #Long #Wish

  • Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Sad #Stupid #Silly

  • The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty". Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute, get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Loyalty #Fall #Two

  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Love #Inspirational #Funny

  • Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Done #Impossible #Possibility

  • Butterflies are self propelled flowers.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Flower #Butterfly #Self

  • 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

    #Men #Thinking #Political

  • A woman is not property, and husbands who think otherwise are living in a dreamworld.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Marriage #Husband #Thinking

  • 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

    #Goal #Excellence #Trivia

  • Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Men #Mind #Littles

  • Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Inspirational #Mom #Mother

  • Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. [He is also a fool.]
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Courage #Fear #Men

  • 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.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Matter #Break #Obnoxious

  • The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by Homo Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Prayer #Real #Religion

  • Love your country, but never trust its government.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Country #Love You #Government

  • Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Fashion #Atheist #Freedom

  • 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.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Men #Thinking #Creating

  • Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Sleep #Enough Sleep #Enough

  • 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?
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Enough #Life After Death #Evidence

  • Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Inspirational #Flavor #Excess

  • The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Race #People #Desire

  • One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Relationship #Thank You #Generosity

  • Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Hurt #Lying #Liberty

  • The most noble fate a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #War #Home #Fate

  • Learning isn't a means to an end; it is an end in itself.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Mean #Experience #Ends

  • 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

    #Language #Said #Irrational

  • When one teaches, two learn.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Education #Two #Teach

  • 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

    #Atheist #Cat #Dark

  • The greatest productive force is human selfishness.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Liberty #Selfishness #Force

  • 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

    #Hate #Men #Judging

  • No storyteller has been able to dream up anything as fantastically unlikely as what really does happen in this mad Universe.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Dream #Mad #Doe

  • 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

    #Attitude #Sacrifice #Emotional

  • God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Believe #Mind #Religion

  • By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Beautiful #Flower #Humanity

  • 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

    #Writing #Done #Authority

  • 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

    #Art #Goal #Victory

  • 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

    #Travel #Space #Far Away

  • The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Government #Contracts #Make Sense

  • You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Wisdom #Peace #Freedom

  • Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Cat #Protocol #Unimportant

  • One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Men #Engineering #Usa

  • Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Strategy

  • One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Clever #Men #Laughing

  • A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Life #Live Life #Society

  • Never insult anyone by accident.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Comeback #Insult #Accidents

  • The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Battle #Price Of Freedom #Willingness

  • Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Believe #Religion #Worship

  • I would say that my position is not too far from that of Ayn Rand's; that I would like to see government reduced to no more than internal police and courts, external armed forces -- with the other matters handled otherwise. I'm sick of the way the government sticks its nose into everything now.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Government #Sick #Police

  • Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Tired #Decision #Hungry

  • The best things in history are accomplished by people who get tired of being shoved around.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Tired #People #Accomplished

  • [T]here seems to have been an actual decline in rational thinking. The United States had become a place where entertainers and professional athletes were mistaken for people of importance. They were idolized and treated as leaders; their opinions were sought on everything and they took themselves just as seriously-after all, if an athlete is paid a million or more a year, he knows he is important ... so his opinions of foreign affairs and domestic policies must be important, too, even though he proves himself to be ignorant and subliterate every time he opens his mouth.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Athlete #Thinking #Media

  • But does Man have any 'right' to spread through the universe? Man is what he is, a wild animal with the will to survive, and (so far) the ability, against all competition. Unless one accepts that, anything one says about morals, war, politics, you name it, is nonsense. Correct morals arise from knowing what man is, not what do-gooders and well-meaning old Aunt Nellies would like him to be. The Universe will let us know - later - whether or not Man has any "right" to expand through it.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #War #Future #Aunt

  • I think that science fiction has a distinct therapeutic value because all of it has as its primary postulate that the world does change. I cannot overemphasize the importance of that idea.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Thinking #Ideas #Fiction

  • 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

    #Men #Sides #Sometimes

  • English is the largest of human tongues, with several times the vocabulary of the second largest language -- this alone made it inevitable that English would eventually become, as it did, the lingua franca of this planet, for it is thereby the richest and most flexible -- despite its barbaric accretions . . . or, I should say, because of its barbaric accretions. English swallows up anything that comes its way, makes English out of it.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Vocabulary #Way #Tongue

  • Art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudointellectual masturbation . . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce -- render emotional -- his audience, each time.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Art #Emotional #Self

  • Love is what still goes on when you're not horny.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Friendship #Love Is #Horny

  • Touch is the most fundamental sense. A baby experiences it, all over, before he is born and long before he learns to use sight, hearing, or taste, and no human ever ceases to need it. Keep your children short on pocket money but long on hugs
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Baby #Children #Learning

  • 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

    #Real #History #World

  • I'll give you an exact definition. When the happiness of another person becomes as essential to yourself as your own, then the state of love exists.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Love #Giving #Definitions

  • I came, I saw, she conquered." The original Latin seems to have been garbled.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Latin #Saws

  • Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Time #Valentine #Once Upon A Time

  • I don't see why human people make such a heavy trip out of sex. It isn't anything complex, it is simply the best thing in life, even better than food.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Sex #People #Best Things In Life

  • A monarch’s neck should always have a noose around it—it keeps him upright.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Necks #Should

  • I scrolled on down to the obituaries. I usually read the obituaries first as there is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Firsts #Chance

  • If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Doubt #May #Want

  • 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

    #Sex #America #Earth

  • 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 the public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute not common law. Neither individuals not corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Country #Men #Years

  • A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Future #Past #History

  • Every general prohibition creates its bootleggers.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Prohibition

  • Brainpower is the scarcest commodity and the only one of real value.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Real #Commodity #Values

  • Most people who sneer at technology would starve to death if the engineering infrastructure were removed.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Technology #Engineering #People

  • Money problems can always be solved by a man not frightened by them.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Money #Men #Problem

  • Never tease an old dog; he might have one bite left.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Dog #Might #Tease

  • The hardest part of gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Ideas #Niche #Hardest

  • If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Talking #Prove It #Prove

  • The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Life #Success #Inspire

  • My dear, I used to think I was serving humanity . . . and I pleasured in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it. So now I do what pleases myself.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Thinking #Humanity #Want

  • Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Blood #Rights #Liberty

  • Take big bites. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Bigs #Anything Worth Doing

  • Thinking doesn't pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Thinking #Pay

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

    #Writing #Hands #Ashamed

  • If possible, leave room for your enemy to become your friend.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Enemy #Rooms

  • Our behavior is different. How often have you seen a headline like this?--TWO DIE ATTEMPTING RESCUE OF DROWNING CHILD. If a man gets lost in the mountains, hundreds will search and often two or three searchers are killed. But the next time somebody gets lost just as many volunteers turn out. Poor arithmetic, but very human. It runs through all our folklore, all human religions, all our literature--a racial conviction that when one human needs rescue, others should not count the price.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Running #Children #Men

  • 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

    #Life #Hurt #Laughing

  • You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Men #Prejudice #Logic

  • They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Want #Wanted #Wednesday

  • To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Disaster #Authority #Permit

  • If a grasshopper tries to fight a lawnmower, one may admire his courage but not his judgement.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Fighting #Judgement #Trying

  • Heroism' often consists in keeping your head in an emergency and doing the best you can with what you have instead of panicking and being shot in the tail. People who fight this way win more battles than do intentional heroes; a glory hound often throws away the lives of his mates as well as his own.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Hero #Fighting #Winning

  • People simplify 'Apollonian' into 'mild', and 'calm', and 'cool'. But 'Apollonian' and 'Dionysian' are two sides of one coin--a nun kneeling in her cell, holding perfectly still, can be in ecstacy more frenzied than any priestess of Pan Priapus celebrating the vernal equinox.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Cells #Two Sides #People

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

    #Lying #Men #Self

  • 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

    #Atheist #Government #Church

  • when faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Looks #Problem

  • - I'm so busy doing what I must do that I don't have time for what I ought to do... and I never get a chance to do what I want to do! - Son, that's universal. The way to keep that recipe from killing you is occasionally to do what you want to do anyhow.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Son #Recipes #Want

  • In Wilson's scale of evaluations breakfast rated just after life itself and ahead of the chance of immortality.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein

    #Breakfast #Evaluation #Chance