Quote of the day–Robert Heinlein

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other
“sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful–just stupid.)

Robert Heinlein
[I’m reminded of this quote by this article.

H/T to Sebastian. Say Uncle also has a post up about it. I will have more to say in a few minutes.–Joe]


3 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Robert Heinlein

  1. He doesn’t quite get it. I think (or hope) he’s trying to say;
    “Sin lies only in violating other people’s rights…”.

    It is possible to “hurt” other people by, for example, opening a business that competes with some other, but that’s not a sin. It doesn’t violate anyone’s rights, it gives customers more choices and it raises the performance bar for all similar businesses. Also see the classic essay, Who May Harm Whom? by Walter Williams.

    One may come up with other definitions of sin, some including harm to one’s self, but in any case, as Dennis Prager has been saying, “I prefer clarity to agreement”. The question of; “who’s rights are being violated” is critical in that it provides clarity.

  2. I think “hurt” is easier for most people to understand than “rights”. See “right to health-care/a-living-wage/housing” for example. I think Heinlein has your concerns covered under “hurting other people unnecessarily”. A necessary part of a free market is competition.

  3. Wow, you’d let Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot off the hook just because they believed their actions were “necessary” ?
    It’s a sin to hurt somebody. The “unnecessarily” dodge is venial.

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