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quotations about opinions

Opinion quote

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.

JOHN MILTON, Areopagitica

The kind of man who always thinks that he is right, that his opinions, his pronouncements, are the final word, when once exposed shows nothing there. But a wise man has much to learn without a loss of dignity.


Ten gods cannot change the opinion of one fool, especially if another fool agrees with him.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

There is nothing in the world so easy as giving an opinion; consequently, in general, there are few things so utterly valueless.

CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos

Our opinions are not our own.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

I'll tell you what's the greatest power under heaven, and that is public opinion--the ruling belief in society about what is right and what is wrong, what is honourable and what is shameful. That's the steam that is to work the engines.


I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Francis Hopkinson, Mar. 13, 1789

At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation, and prejudice.

GORE VIDAL, "Sex and the Law," Homage to Daniel Shays

The public buys its opinions as it buys its meat, or takes in its milk, on the principle that it is cheaper to do this than to keep a cow. So it is, but the milk is more likely to be watered.


It is always chilling in friendly intercourse, to say you have no opinion to give. And if you deliver an opinion at all, it is mere stupidity not to do it with an air of conviction and well-founded knowledge. You make it your own in uttering it, and naturally get fond of it.

GEORGE ELIOT, The Mill on the Floss

The mind revolts against certain opinions, as the stomach rejects certain foods.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

The presumption that any current opinion is not wholly false, gains in strength according to the number of its adherents.

HERBERT SPENCER, First Principles

Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception--do not confuse them with "facts" or "truth". Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that EVERYBODY has a different viewpoint.

JOHN MOORE, Quotations for Martial Artists

There are as many opinions as there are experts.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, speech, Jun. 12, 1942

Few have opinions: fewer still have their own opinions.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.

MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

I've had my say out, and I shall be the' easier for't all my life. There's no pleasure i' living, if you're to be corked up forever, and only dribble your mind out by the sly, like a leaky barrel.


Opponents fancy they refute us when they repeat their own opinion and pay no attention to ours.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Unity of opinion, abstractedly considered, is neither desirable, nor a good ... for men may be all agreed in error, and in that case unanimity is an evil.


Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.


We want at least a modicum of intellectual honesty, and the man who shuffles his opinions in order to match ours is seen through quickly. We want none of him.

ELBERT HUBBARD, The American Bible

Unity of opinion is indeed a glorious and desirable thing, and its circle cannot be too strong and extended, if the centre be truth; but if the centre be error, the greater the circumference, the greater the evil.


There is nothing that makes more cowards and feeble men than public opinion.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Public opinion is the pennant on a nation's mast which shows the politician and the editor how to trim the sails.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

The greatest deception which men incur proceeds from their opinions.

LEONARDO DA VINCI, Thoughts on Art and Life

Men will die for an opinion as soon as for anything else.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

Some have wondered, that disputes about opinions should so often end in personalities; but the fact is, that such disputes begin with personalities, for our opinions are a part of ourselves.


Look less at an opinion given, than at the character of him who pronounces it. Incalculable mischief is often done by people unreflectingly receiving as "authority" the opinions of a mere ass, on subjects with which they are imperfectly acquainted, but on which he is supposed to be better informed, yet which are often the farthest from the truth, the judgment of such a person being either swayed by the most absurd prejudices, or blinded by the most ineffable conceit.

CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos

Nothing can contribute more to peace of soul than the lack of any opinion whatever.


There is simply too much to think about. It is hopeless — too many kinds of special preparation are required. In electronics, in economics, in social analysis, in history, in psychology, in international politics, most of us are, given the oceanic proliferating complexity of things, paralyzed by the very suggestion that we assume responsibility for so much. This is what makes packaged opinion so attractive.

SAUL BELLOW, "There Is Simply Too Much to Think About," It All Adds Up

In whatever opinion we are confirmed, we consider our discrimination perfectly judicious; when we change that opinion for another, we are the same; when we relapse into a former tenet, we are so too: in the greatest deviation of principle or profession, we are still confident; and were we to progress in rapid and endless diversity of sentiment or persuasion, confidence, certainty, and inscrutable assurance would, perhaps, ever be our concomitant guides.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

To venture an opinion is like moving a piece at chess: it may be taken, but it forms the beginning of a game that is won.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

If the man succeeds in becoming indifferent to the opinions of his neighbors he runs into another danger, that of a distorted and extravagant self of the pride sort, since by the very process of gaining independence and immunity from the stings of depreciation and misunderstanding, he has perhaps lost that wholesome deference to some social tribunal that a man cannot dispense with and remain quite sane.

CHARLES HORTON COOLEY, Human Nature and the Social Order

We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest.


All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated, and well-supported in logic and argument than others.

DOUGLAS ADAMS, American Atheist Magazine, winter 1998-1999

I suppose he's entitled to his opinion, but I don’t suppose it very hard.

ISAAC ASIMOV, "Seven Steps to Grand Master"


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