To Sail Beyond the Sunset
by Robert A. Heinlein
p.2 I've shared beds with men before, and women, and cats who demand most of the bed, and (once) with a barbershop quartet. --Maureen
p.17 The Ten Commandments are for lame brains. The first five are solely for the priests and the powers that be; the second five are half truths, neither complete nor adequate.--Ira Johnson
p.26 "You'll be a preacher's wife yet."
"Oh, God, Father, I'd rather be a whore!"
"The two are not incompatible."
--Maureen and Ira Johnson
p.31 "Why is there a rule against coveting your neighbor's wife but not a word about coveting your neighbor's husband? Was it an oversight on Jehovah's part? Or was it truly open season on husbands in those days?"
"I don't know, Maureen. I suspect it was simply conceit on the part of the ancient Hebrews who could not imagine their wives wanting to jump the fence when they had such virile heroes at home. The Old Testament doesn't place women very high; it starts out with putting the blame on Mother Eve... then it gets worse. But here in Lyle County, Missouri, we do have a rule against it... and if any wife catches you making eyes at her husband here, she's likely to scratch out your pretty little eyes."
"I don't intend to let her catch me. But suppose it's the other way. Suppose he covets me, or seems to. Suppose he pinches my bottom?"
"Well, well! Who is he, Maureen? Who is he?"
"Hypothetical case, mon cher père."
"Very well. If he hypothetically does it again, you may hypothetically respond in several hypothetical fashions. You may hypothetically ignore him, pretend to a total lack of sensation in your gluteus maximus sinister--or is he left handed?"
"I don't know."
"Or you can hypothetically whisper, 'Don't do that here. Meet me after church.'"
"You brought it up. Or, if it suits you, you may hypothetically warn him that one more hypothetical pinch will be reported to your hypothetical father who owns both a hypothetical horsewhip and a hypothetical shotgun. You may say this most privately or shout it loudly enough for the entire congregation to hear it. Lady's choice."
--Maureen and Ira Johnson
p.43 "Hanging its lawyers might not correct all of this country's woes but it would be most fun and could do no harm to anyone."
--Mr. Samuel Clemens
p.139 One fifth of zero is still zero; one sixth of zero is still zero.
p.146 That cat doesn't have any brain; he just has a skull full of random numbers, and whenever he bangs his head into a chair or ricochets into a wall, it shakes up the random numbers and causes him to do something else.."
p.206 "Proctology"--everyone has seen an arsehole--or, if you have been so carefully brought up that you have never seen one, go down to your local city hall; you will find the place full of them.
p.206 But the subject tagged by the spell-symbol "theology" is a horse of another color.
"God," or "god," or "gods"--have you seen "God"? If so, where and when, how tall was She and what did She weigh? What was Her skin color? Did She have a belly button and if so, why? Did She have breasts? And for what purpose? How about organs of reproduction and excretion--did She or didn't She?
(If you think that I am making fun of the idea of a God fashioned in Man's image, you have much to go on.)
I will agree that the notion of an anthropomorphic God went out of fashion some time ago with most professional godsmen... but that doesn't get us any nearer to defining the English spell-symbol "God." Let's consult fundamentalist preachers... because Episcopalians won't even let God into His sanctuary unless He shines His shoes and trims that awful beard... and Unitarians won't let Him in at all.
So let's consult the Fundamentalists: "God is the Creator. He Created the World. The Existence of the World proves that there is a Creator. That Creator we call 'God.' Let us all bow down and worship Him, for He is Almighty and His works proclaim His might."
p.206-207 Will someone page. Dr. S. I. Hayakawa? Or, if he is busy, any student who received a B+ in Logic 101? I'm looking for someone willing to discuss the fallacy of circular reasoning and also the concatenate process by which abstract words can be logically be defined by building on concrete words. What is a "concrete word?" It is a spell-symbol used to tag something that you can point to and thereby agree on, e.g., "cat," "sailboat," "ice-skating," --agree with such certainty that when you say "sailboat" there is no chance whatsoever that I will think you mean a furry quadruped with retractable claws.
With the spell-symbol "God" there is no way to achieve such agreement because there is nothing to point to. Circular reasoning can't get you out of this dilemma. Pointing to something (the physical world) and asserting that it has to have a Creator and this creative has such-and-such attributes proves nothing save you have made certain assertions without proof. You have pointed at a thing, the physical world; you have asserted that this physical thing had to have a "Creator" (Who told you that? What's his mailing address? Who told him?). But to assert that something physical was created out of nothing--not even empty space--by a Thingamajig you can't point to is not to make a philosophical statement, it is mere noise, amphigory, sound and fury signifying nothing. Jesuits take fourteen years to learn to talk that sort of nonsense. Southern fundamentalist preachers learn to talk it in a much shorter time. Either way, it's nonsense.
p.342 A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.
p.360 Oh, forced to a choice I would rather shoot a man than a deer; I can't see the "sport" in shooting a gentle vegetarian who can't shoot back."
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