A touchstone to determine the actual worth of an intellectual -- find out how he feels about astrology.
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.
High Frontier places a bullet-proof vest on our bare chest. High Frontier is as non-aggressive as a bullet-proof vest. There is no way to kill anyone with High Frontier -- all that High Frontier can do is to keep others from killing us.
- 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.
For millennia philosophers and saints have tried to reason out a logical scheme for the universe... until Hilda came along and demonstrated that the universe is not logical but whimsical, its structure depending solely on the dreams and nightmares of non-logical dreamers.
Heinlein's Rules for Writers
Rule One: You Must Write
Rule Two: Finish What Your Start
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market
Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold.
The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat.
A community where everyone is a ruthless murderer, with handy access to death-dealing devices, is a very polite community.
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.
Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws -- always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up.
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.
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.
Being privileged to work hard for long hours at something you think is worth doing is the best kind of play.
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.
With eternity to draw on there could be no reason for hurrying -- 'hurry' was not a concept in Martian.
The correct way to punctuate a sentence that states: Of course it is none of my business, but -- is to place a period after the word but. Don't use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.
I have never been able to see how a thirty-year old moron can vote more wisely than a fifteen-year old genius.
A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the lord in vain- then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system?
We each have a moral obligation to conserve and preserve beauty in this world; there is none to waste.
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.
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.
I think perhaps of all the things a police state can do to its citizens, distorting history is possibly the most pernicious.
What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it... which for the majority translates as 'Bread and Circuses'.
Do this. Don't do that. Stay back in line. Where's tax receipt? Fill out form. Let's see license. Submit six copies. Exit only. No left turn. No right turn. Queue up and pay fine. Take back and get stamped. Drop dead-- but first get permit.
But I contend that the disgusting behavior of many of their alleged 'holy men' relieves us of any intellectual obligation to take the stuff seriously. No amount of sanctimonious rationalization can make such behavior anything but pathological.
The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion -- in the long run, these are the only people who count.
Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
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.
An armed society is a polite society.
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. -- Second Amendment to the Constitution An armed society is a polite society.
Many short-sighted fools think that going to the Moon was just a stunt. But the astronauts knew the meaning of what they were doing, as is shown by Neil Armstrong's first words in stepping down onto the soil of Luna: One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning while those other subjects merely require scholarship.
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.
Social responsibility above the level of family, or at most of tribe, requires imagination -- devotion, loyalty, all the higher virtues -- which a man must develop himself; if he has them forced down him, he will vomit them out.
A handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method.
The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A critic is a man who creates nothing.
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.
It was equally imperative that this chain of reactions should always tend to dampen, to die out. It must not build up, or the uranium mass would explode within a time interval too short to be measured by any means whatsoever. Nor would there be anyone left to measure it.
I'm afraid of coaching, of writer's classes, of writer's magazines, of books on how to write. They give me centipede trouble -- you know the yarn about the centipede who was asked how he managed all his feet? He tried to answer, stopped to think about it, and was never able to walk another step.
The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
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.
Geniuses and supergeniuses always make their own rules about sex as on everything else; they do not accept the monkey customs of their lessers.
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.
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.
The whole principle (censorship) is wrong; it's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't eat steak.
The Stone trembled and threw herself outward bound, toward Saturn. In her train followed hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands of thousands of restless, rolling Stones ... to Saturn ... to Uranus, to Pluto ... rolling on out to the stars ... outward bound to the ends of the Universe.
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.
Once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind.
The most expensive thing in the world is a second-best military establishment, good but not good enough to win.
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.
There are only five things really worth drawing; four of them are pretty girls and the fifth is cats.
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.
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.
Nursing does not diminish the beauty of a woman's breasts; it enhances their charm by making them look lived in and happy.
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.
There were many, many times thereafter that Don regretted having enlisted -- but so has every man who ever volunteered for military service.
Democracy's worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents.
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.
Anything which is physically possible can always be made financially possible; money is a bugaboo of small minds.
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once. Robert A.
Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
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.
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.
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.
It's an indulgence to sit in a room and discuss your beliefs as if they were a juicy piece of gossip.
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.
There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. The only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick.
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. Robert A.
Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy. Robert A.
A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.
A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. Robert A.
Political tags -- such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth -- are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
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.