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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 and just.”
- Robert 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."
- rivenburg

    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 Pope” page.

    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 labeled Deism.

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 ENTJ 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 resemblance—“

Here is a quote from Jefferson saying much the same thing.

"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 master.'"

"Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."

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

“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 sport.”

"One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernaturalism' is a null word."

“When the ship lifts, all bills are paid. No regrets.”

The following quotes correspond with my Pleistocene Mass Extinction research paper.

“You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting.”

“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.”

"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 facts!"

“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 insects."
– 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 the 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

Quotations

"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." [53]

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 out verses 4:1-4:4 from the book of Revelation.)
 

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