Heinlein quotes that relate to this site
“The more you love, the more you can love—and
the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love.
If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent
Heinlein, Excerpts from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"
"What a waste of a great website name. Too bad it
has nothing to do with the original writings of Robert Hienline."
Please allow me to precede my response by asking you to
consider the vastness of not only our galaxy but the entire universe. Now tell
me, how much of it have we explored?
Have you read either Heinlein’s book “Time Enough For Love” or my
website? The entire premise of the book could easily be incorporated in my site.
Since you responded to one of my posts that deal with the Bible please consider
the similarities between the fictional character and biblical stories. The
protagonist often goes by the name of Lazarus, he is 2000 years old and returns
to Earth, while he is naturally long lived he is rejuvenated (resurrected) every
few hundred years using advanced medical science, he travels to different worlds
through space (the heavens), he has held numerous positions on each planet but
apparently enjoys visiting underdeveloped ones by blending into each culture and
by example teaches them to be rational and independent members of society. In the book the
most intolerable planet is the most religious and if I remember correctly it’s
the only one he mentions that has human slaves. That general view of religion is reflected in my “New
In the book there are several pages of just quotes, many of
which either directly reflect the content of my site or take on additional
significance after one reads my site. Here for example are some quotes where he
(Lazarus Long) apparently acknowledges the existence of a higher being and at the same time
challenges the value of religious institutions and their leaders. Such a
perspective makes sense if you explore the philosophical views that have been
Deism: Yahoo! Reference: The Britannica Concise
Belief in God based on reason rather than revelation or the teaching of any
specific religion. A form of natural religion, Deism originated in England in
the early 17th cent. as a rejection of orthodox Christianity. Deists asserted
that reason could find evidence of God in nature and that God had created the
world and then left it to operate under the natural laws he had devised. The
philosopher Edward Herbert (1583-1648) developed this view in On Truth (1624).
By the late 18th cent. Deism was the dominant religious attitude among Europe's
educated classes; it was accepted by many upper-class Americans of the same era,
incl. the first three U.S. presidents.
“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any
rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up
to the unknown without help. But like dandruff, most people do have a religion
and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from
fiddling with it.”
“Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.”
“The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a
safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it
offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is
hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread
tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a
collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on
the moral level of any other con man.
But it’s lovely work if you can stomach it.”
“Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most
gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”
“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 divine
attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks,
please. Cash and in small bills.”
“The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the
Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the
saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and
becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd
fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of
the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.”
“The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.”
I think that both Robert Heinlein and Thomas Jefferson
were rather enlightened
personality types. You can see the same kind of extroverted rational
reasoning directed toward institutions in their writing.
Jefferson's letter to his nephew, from Paris, August 10, 1787.
“...divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of
opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is
too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other
hand, shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are
servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal
every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God;
because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than
that of blindfolded fear. ...But those facts in the Bible which contradict the
laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces.
Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God.
Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that
evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a
change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates."
The following quotes correspond nicely with both my
pages on the current US political
situation and my identification of the solution as described in
a wide variety of religious prophecy and secular idealism.
“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. The former are idealists acting from highest
motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly
curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable
neighbors than the other sort.”
“Being generous is inborn; being altruistic is a learned perversity. No
Here is a quote from Jefferson saying much the same
"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1.
Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from
them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves
with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the
most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public
interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where
they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call
them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and
Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by
whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the
same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one
expressing the essence of all."
Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73
"Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one
man. How's that again? I missed something."
"Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million
men. Let's play that over again, too. Who decides?"
"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the
people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise
their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from
them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective
of abuses of constitutional power."
Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:278
"In a mature society, 'civil servant' is semantically equal to 'civil
"Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."
"You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both
“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.”
“Peace is an extension of war by political means. Plenty of elbowroom is
pleasanter—and much safer.”
“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.”
“The second best thing about space travel is that the distances involved make
war very difficult, usually impractical, and almost always unnecessary. This
is probably a loss for most people, since war is our race’s most popular
diversion, one which gives purpose and color to dull and stupid lives. But it
is a great boon to the intelligent man who fights only when he must—never for
"One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernaturalism' is a null
“When the ship lifts, all bills are paid. No regrets.”
The following quotes correspond with my Pleistocene Mass Extinction
“You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too
“To be ‘matter of fact’ about the world is to
blunder into fantasy—and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange
"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by
legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But
stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is
no appeal, and the execution is carried out automatically and without pity."
“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.”
“What are the facts? Again and again and again--what are the facts? Shun
wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell,"
avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable
"verdict of history"--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You
pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the
“If ‘everybody knows’ such –and-such, then it ain’t so, by at least ten
thousand to one.”
“Natural laws have no pity.”
“The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science
requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship."
“Inductive logic is much more difficult—but can produce new truths.”
Perhaps my favorite quote directly supports my
definition of enlightenment
and the consequences it has on one’s level of awareness and their behavior.
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a
hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a
wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act
alone, solve equations, analyze new problems, pitch manure, program a computer,
cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for
– Robert A. Heinlein
Here are a couple that explains why there might be value in at least having my
various scientific and humanistic findings considered.
“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
“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
The following quote is not found in Time Enough For Love but it is
germane to this discussion. The truths within it can be applied directly
to several situations, e.g. Jesus' death and
subsequent creation of biblical cannon, it can also be applied to Ayn Rand's
messianic hero John Galt and his torture.
A Study of “IF THIS GOES ON—”
©2000 Bill Patterson
"If This Goes On—" also contains the first of the "quotable Heinlein." There are
many quotable and aphoristic turns of phrase, but the most enduring of these
kernals is a passage of concentrated classical liberal thought:
"Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force,
but secrecy ... [sic] censorship. 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. 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." 
Coming close to the middle of the story, this passage
shows the first fruits of John Lyle's liberation, of his reading in the Cabal's
library while he recuperates from the torture of the Inquisition. The final
statement has been viewed as rhetoric and hyperbole, but it is actually a
summation of the example of Epictitus, a Stoic slave-philosopher of the ancient
world who demonstrated the freedom of his mind by having his master twist his
leg until it was broken.
Inside your head is where you are free. If there are cages inside your head, you
are not free, no matter what your external circumstances may be.
(Here’s a simple task for you. Try researching the word ‘conn’ and determine
what “conn a ship” might mean. Then, after you read the various definitions check
4:1-4:4 from the book of Revelation.)