100 Robert A. Heinlein Quotes That Challenge Established Norms
Science Fiction Writer
Butler, Missouri, USA
Robert Anson Heinlein is aptly named as the 'Dean of Science fiction writer' because he commenced a new era of 'hard science fiction'. He's regarded as one of the most influential and controversial, but popular authors in America. His notable works like 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', 'Stranger in a Strange Land', 'Time Enough for Love' and 'Starship Troopers' won critical attention and appreciation worldwide. Having read all the science fictions he could lay his hands on at the delicate age of 16, he mastered the art of fiction by the time he began his writing career. He was the first 'one-of-his-kind' authors to set high standards for engineering plausibility, science and literary quality. As a SF writer, he broke into mainstream magazines with 'The Saturday Evening Post'. He became the first author to pen down bestselling, novel-length fiction revolving around modern scientific society. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1929 and rose up to the rank of Ensign. He earned four Hugo awards for his novels, and the first Science Fiction Writer's Grand Master. Heinlein is credited with the discovery of 'speculative fiction', 'space marine', 'waldo' and 'grok'. He also introduced the first CAD with Drafting Dan. We have excerpted Robert A. Heinlein's most popular quotations from his writings and thoughts. Heinlein was an iconoclast, and questioned society's assumptions about sex, marriage, gender, politics, religion, race etc and that is very well reflected in his quotes. Presenting a selection of Robert A. Heinlein's most famous quotes.
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more. Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig. A prude is a person who thinks that his own rules of propriety are natural laws. Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy. You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once. Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity. Never try to outstubborn a cat. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. 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. 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. 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. Once a month, some women act like men act all the time. Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot. Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation. Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it. Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. Sex should be friendly. Otherwise stick to mechanical toys; it's more sanitary. There is no such thing as "Just a cat. May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live. There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men. Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. A desire not to butt into other people's business is at least eighty percent of all human wisdom. How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven. Butterflies are self propelled flowers. An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. Being right too soon is socially unacceptable. Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. One man's theology is another man's belly laugh. In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it. A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill. 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. Yield to temptation...it may not pass your way again! When one teaches, two learn. Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate — and quickly. Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor. Belief gets in the way of learning. A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future. Be wary of strong drink, it can make you shoot at the tax collector...and miss. Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive. I never do anything I don't want to do. Nor does anyone, but in my case I am always aware of it. If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it. No woman ever ages beyond eighteen in her heart. Thinking doesn't pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you. Some people insist that 'mediocre' is better than 'best.' They delight in clipping wings because they themselves can't fly. They despise brains because they have none. But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil. Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best, he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear his shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house. Live and learn, or you don't live long. 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. Take sides! Always take sides! You will sometimes be wrong - but the man who refuses to take sides must always be wrong. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil. 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. I know why we laugh. We laugh because it hurts, and it's the only thing to make it stop hurting. The first principle of freedom is the right to go to hell in your own handbasket. There is no safety this side of the grave Geniuses and supergeniuses always make their own rules about sex as on everything else; they do not accept the monkey customs of their lessers. I do know that the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth--then shut up. God created men to test the souls of women. A woman is not property, and husbands who think otherwise are living in a dreamworld. I came, I saw, she conquered."
The original Latin seems to have been garbled. Remember though, your best weapon is between your ears and under your scalp -provided it's loaded. One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others. Butterflies are not insects,' Captain John Sterling said soberly. 'They are self-propelled flowers. Cheops' Law: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget. You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. 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. 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. Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet you can't win. Never own more than you can carry in both hands at a dead run. Does history record any case in which the majority was right? 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. Take big bites. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Ignorance is curable, stupid is forever. If a grasshopper tries to fight a lawnmower, one may admire his courage but not his judgement. Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself. The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up. A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Most neuroses and some psychoses can be traced to the unnecessary and unhealthy habit of daily wallowing in the troubles and sins of five billion strangers. Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. [He is also a fool.] He's an honest politician--he stays bought. Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin. My old man says when it's time to be counted, the important thing is to be man enough to stand up. Any group is weaker than a man alone unless they are perfectly trained to work together. I'm always suspicious of disinterested interest. Thou art god, I am god. All that groks is god.
Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.
Never tease an old dog; he might have one bite left.
Listen, son. Most women are damn fools and children. But they've got more range then we've got. The brave ones are braver, the good ones are better — and the vile ones are viler, for that matter.
No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
Nothing uses up alcohol faster than political argument. To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.