I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this, if theres a better place for it, please move it.
Ogredude in S&V wrote:
I'm just going to pop in at this point and mention that Heinlein has said over and over again that the views of his characters are not necessarily his own views. In other words, that "faith is for the weak" thing is Hartley M. Baldwin speaking. *NOT* Robert A. Heinlein.
From what I've read of Heinlein, he was in many ways a man of faith.
Oggy, can you give some background for that statement?
As you say most of what we have to go on to determine the Admirals thoughts on 'faith' and people of faith come from the mouths of his characters. I've read, literally, everything the man had published... and not one of his characters had anything kinder than
"A religion is sometimes a source of happiness and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak."
to say about religion. And a great many of his characters, and all of the important ones, express disdain and contempt for faith and those who use faith instead of logic and the hard work of thought. He wrote an entire book making fun of the christian bible and pointing out it's flaws and internal inconsistencies.
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!
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.
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.
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 on 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.
Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.
"God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends." This may not be true, but it sounds good -- and is no sillier than any other theology.
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 Notebooks of Lazarus Long [/url]
To preach the exact opposite of faith, even through a character in a book, for a faithful person, strikes me as an abrogation of that faith.
To see someone smear his good name in this manner, to hear you say that he believed in the supernatural, offends me. To the best of my knowledge R.A. Heinlein was a man of the highest thought and logic.
Do you have anything to back up that statement?