Top 128 Robert A. Heinlein Quotes

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.


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


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.


Be wary of strong drink, it can make you shoot at the tax collector…and miss.


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


Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.


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


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


A desire not to butt into other people’s business is at least eighty percent of all human wisdom.


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.


But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.


Başkalarının işine burnunu sokmamak insanın sahip olabileceği bilgeliğin yüzde seksenidir… kalan yüzde yirmi de pek önemli değildir zaten.


Bir kaplanın sırtında yolculuk etmenin en önemli kuralı, kulaklarını asla bırakmamaktır.


The worst that can possibly have happened to him is death and that we are all in for—if not this morning, then in days, or weeks, or years at most.


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.


A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.


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?


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


I had never been much interested in Pluto, too many facts and too much isolation.


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.


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


Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.


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.


Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms


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.


The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.


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


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


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


To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.


Nothing uses up alcohol faster than political argument.


Every citizen is free to perform any act which does not hamper the equal freedom of another. No law shall forbid the performance of any act, which does not damage the physical or economic welfare of any other person.


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


A thing can be fine on paper but utterly crummy in the field.


Because the world has gone nutty and art always paints the spirit of its times


Library science was the foundation of all sciences.


One might almost define intelligence as the level at which an aware organism demands, ‘What’s in it for me?


If God meant for people to fly, He would have given them brains.


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


I see your point. It irks you to see anyone at all who is able to work permitted to live without working. But why do you consider work a virtue?


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.


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.


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


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


Daughters can spend ten percent more than a man can make in any usual occupation. That’s a law of nature, to be known henceforth as ‘Harshaw’s Law.


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.


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.


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.


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


I’m not feisty. But when you’re as small as I am and female if you don’t stand up for your rights, you’re sure to be pushed around by big, hairy, smelly men with delusions about male superiority.


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.


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


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.


The drive for power is even less logical than the sex urge . . . and stronger.


Oh, you have to charge ’em, Jubal. The marks won’t pay attention if it’s free.


Science fiction” means different things to different people. “When I make a word do a lot of work like that,” said Humpty Dumpty, “I always pay it extra”—in which case the term science fiction has piled up a lot of expensive overtime.


One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.


If you don’t like yourself, you can’t like other people. — Lazarus Long.


Do you know your Bible?”Uh, not very well.”It merits study, it contains very practical advice for most emergencies.


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


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


English is capable of defining sentiments that the human nervous system is quite incapable of experiencing.


…the greatest danger to man in space was man himself.


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


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


Harshaw had the arrogant humility of the man who has learned so much that he is aware of his own ignorance and he saw no point in ‘measurements’ when he did not know what he was measuring.


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


The Bible is such a gargantuan collection of conflicting values that anyone can “prove” anything from it.


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


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


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


I’m too much old-timer to be rude to a woman no matter what – they have so much of what we have none of.


Many older physicians had gone to their graves calling Pasteur a liar, a fool, or worse—and without examining evidence which their “common sense” told them was impossible.


Random chance is not sufficient to explain random chance. ~Jubal Harshaw


But one way or another competing and weeding takes place . . . or a race goes downhill.


You can’t believe what a lovely planet we have until you see her from outside.


The less respect an older person deserves the more certain he is to demand it from anyone younger.


. . . 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.


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.


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


When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you’re using force. And force, my friends, is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived.


Like every living thing its prime characteristic is a blind, unreasoned instinct to survive.


Many problems can be solved by a man not frightened by them.


Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.


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.


It seems to me that any law that is not enforced and can’t be enforced weakens all other laws.


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


…majority rule gives the ruthless strong man plenty of elbow room to oppress his fellows.


Could dump two Chinee down in one of our maria and they would get rich selling rocks to each other while raising twelve kids. Then a Hindu would sell retail stuff he got from them wholesale–below cost at a fat profit. We got along.


God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good—and is no sillier than any other theology.


History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion — ie., none to speak of


All those religions–they contradict each other on every point but every one of them is filled with ways to help people to be brave enough to laugh even though they know they are dying.


Anything which is physically possible can be made financially possible, if the people of a state desire it.


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


Were you born stupid, Heinrich, or did you have to study?


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.


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


Anne is God. I am God. The happy grass are God, Jill groks in beauty always. Jill is God. All shaping and making and creating together.


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.


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


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


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.


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


He was delighted to recognize his own human name on two of the papers; he always got an odd thrill out of reading it, as if he were two places at once.


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


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


Butterflies are not insects,’ Captain John Sterling said soberly. ‘They are self-propelled flowers.


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


. . .and he has nevergiven up his conviction that if you just try all the doors one of them is bound to be the Door intoSummer. You know, I think he is right.


As for logic and internal consistency, these mundane rules do not apply to sacred writings and never have…


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


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.


If you got good elective officials in your day, it was a happy accident, better than you deserved.


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.


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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



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