An opinion is a conclusion or judgment, a belief. Opinions may or may not be based on facts and knowledge, but are based on experience and on limited factual knowledge, and are often flavored by emotion or group beliefs. Opinions are not certainty, though some who express opinions seem to think they are.

What are some opinions about opinions? Here are some samples!

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Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.

— Albert Einstein, Essay to Leo Baeck, 1953

Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

— Bernard M. Baruch

The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.

— Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.

— Bette Davis

Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?

— Brigham Young

There is no squabbling so violent as that between people who accepted an idea yesterday and those who will accept the same idea tomorrow.

— Christopher Morley

It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem.

— Coretta Scott King

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.

— Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (attributed)

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

The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.

— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

It requires philosophy and heroism to rise above the opinion of the wise men of all nations and races.

— Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Here is the beginning of philosophy: a recognition of the conflicts between men, a search for their cause, a condemnation of mere opinion .. . and the discovery of a standard of judgement.

— Epictetus

Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and bruised itself. We have been enjoined by the courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, traduced by the press, frowned upon in public opinion, and deceived by politicians. ‘But notwithstanding all this and all these, labor is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun.

— Eugene V. Debs

The reason one writes isn’t the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Be noble minded! Our own heart, and not other men’s opinions of us, forms our true honor.

— Friedrich Schiller

Bigotry may be roughly defined as the anger of men who have no opinions.

— G. K. Chesterton

These questions of taste, of feeling, of inheritance, need no settlement. Everyone carries his own inch-rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.

— Henry Brooks Adams

If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of douts of my own.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.

— John Kenneth Galbraith

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

— John Locke

To use books rightly, is to go to them for help; to appeal to them when our own knowledge and power fail; to be led by them into wider sight and purer conception than our own, and to receive from them the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time, against our solitary and unstable opinions.

— John Ruskin

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

— John Stuart Mill

In frank expression of conflicting opinion lies the greatest promise of wisdom in governmental action; and in suppression lies ordinarily the greatest peril.

— Louis D. Brandeis

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

— Mark Twain

In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

— Mark Twain

One of the great secrets of the day is to know how to take possession of popular prejudices and passions, in such a way as to introduce a confusion of principles which makes impossible all understanding between those who speak the same language and have the same interests.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

— Oscar Wilde

Instead of telling our valuable stories, we seek safety in abstractions, speaking to each other about our opinions, ideas, and beliefs rather than about our lives. Academic culture blesses this practice by insisting that the more abstract our speech, the more likely we are to touch the universal truths that unite us. But what happens is exactly the reverse: as our discourse becomes more abstract, the less connected we feel. There is less sense of community among intellectuals than in the most ‘primitive’ society of storytellers.

— Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
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