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Opinion

  • He has opinions, but no ideas.

  • ... bubbles of false opinion will last whole ages, and deceive whole generations, till they are broken by some powerful breath, and even then how often they reunite, and again shine in the eyes of men, who hold them solid as cannon-balls!

  • People who try to boss themselves always want (however kindly) to boss other people. They always think they know best and are so stern and resolute about it they are not very open to new and better ideas.

  • There's one thing that always interests me about you good people, not your certainty that the rest of us are swine, — no doubt we are, — but your certainty that your opinions are pearls.

  • You had to finesse to get her opinion, but any amount of trouble was worth the deadly hitting on the nail that followed.

  • It is a good thing to learn early that other people's opinions do not matter, unless they happen to be true.

  • ... an opinion, right or wrong, can never constitute a moral offense, nor be in itself a moral obligation. It may be mistaken; it may involve an absurdity, or a contradiction. It is a truth; or it is an error; it can never be a crime or a virtue.

  • People genuinely happy in their choices seem less often tempted to force them on other people than those who feel martyred and broken by their lives.

  • ... there is no independence and pertinacity of opinion like that of these seemingly soft, quiet creatures, whom it is so easy to silence, and so difficult to convince.

  • I speak what appears to me the general opinion; and where an opinion is general, it is usually correct.

  • One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best.

  • It is not advisable, James, to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener.

  • We are all apt to think that an opinion that differs from our own is a prejudice ...

  • ... the worship of Opinion is, at this day, the established religion of the United States.

  • Public opinion, — a tyrant, sitting in the dark, wrapt up in mystification and vague terrors of obscurity; deriving power no one knows from whom ... — but irresistible in its power to quell thought, to repress action, to silence conviction ...

  • Nothing is so fortunate for mankind as its diversity of opinion ...

  • How very satisfactory those discussions must be, where each party retains their own opinion!

  • The wisdom of literature is quite antithetical to having opinions. 'Nothing is my last word about anything,' said Henry James. Furnishing opinions, even correct opinions — whenever asked — cheapens what novelists and poets do best, which is to sponsor reflectiveness, to pursue complexity. Information will never replace illumination.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • "The Conscience of Words," At the Same Time ()
  • One little human truth is that opinionated people don't hold much with other people's opinions, and it is a great pleasure to some of them to be able to ascribe incurable defects, such as belonging to a certain sex; or base motives, or lack of understanding, to anyone whose views they disagree with.

  • A man convinced against his will, / is of the same opinion still ...

  • Public opinion, though slow as lava, in the end forces governments towards more sanity, more justice. My heroes and heroines are all private citizens.

  • ... people, in forming their opinions of others, are usually lazy enough to go by whatever is most obvious or whatever chance remark they happen to hear. So the best policy is to dictate to others the opinion you want them to have of you.

  • When he could not understand a thing he straight way condemned it. Simplicity itself!

  • ... I'm as fixed in my opinion as the man who thought he was a hard-boiled egg.

  • Men get opinions as boys learn to spell, / By reiteration chiefly.

  • Opinion is the death of knowledge.

  • The only sin which people never forgive in each other is difference of opinion.

  • ... instant opinion is an oxymoron. You don't get real opinions in an instant. You get reactions.

  • An opinion which excites no opposition at all is not worth having!

  • In America, public opinion is the leader.

  • People are much more fascinated by your interests than they are by your opinions.

  • The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.

    • Marie-Jeanne Roland,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • Private opinion creates public opinion. Public opinion overflows eventually into national behaviour and national behaviour, as things are arranged at present, can make or mar the world. That is why private opinion, and private behaviour, and private conversation are so terrifyingly important.

    • Jan Struther,
    • "The Weather of the World," A Pocketful of Pebbles ()
  • What passes for an original opinion is, generally, merely an original phrase. Old lamps for new — yes; but it is always the same oil in the lamp.

  • As for opinions, if they're not pleasant they'd better be kept to yourself. I learned that early in life and forget it every day.

  • She's very decided in her views, and never keeps them to herself. It's the one thing she gives away.

  • ... public opinion, the sum of private opinions, does matter, can matter often for good.

  • ... Public Opinion, this invisible, intangible, omnipresent, despotic tyrant; this thousand-headed Hydra — the more dangerous for being composed of individual mediocrities ...

  • That cruelest of tyrants — public opinion.

  • Opinion has ever been stronger than law.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Detached Thoughts," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • Social opinion is like a sharp knife. There are foolish people who regard it only with terror, and dare not touch or meddle with it. There are more foolish people, who, in rashness or defiance, seize it by the blade, and get cut and mangled for their pains. And there are wise people, who grasp it discreetly and boldly by the handle, and use it to carve out their own purposes.

  • The world is not run by thought, nor by imagination, but by opinion ...

  • ... there's nothing as powerful as a made-up mind!

  • There are three points of view to everything — mine, yours, and the truth.

  • I've seen public opinion shift like a wind and put out the very fire it lighted.

  • Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them, than upon what they make us see in ourselves.

  • It is my melancholy fate to like so many people I profoundly disagree with and often heartily dislike people who agree with me.

    • Mary Kingsley,
    • in African Affairs: Journal of the Royal African Society ()
  • Obstinacy is ever most positive when it is most in the wrong.

  • If you ask me my view, even if it's not your view, you have to handle that. Don't tell me I hurt your feelings. I'm not your kindergarten teacher.

  • A decision worthy of the name is based on observation, factual information, intellectual and ethical judgment. Opinion — that darling of the press, the politician, and the poll — may be based on no information at all.