Opinions are to the vast apparatus of social existence what oil is to machines: one does not go up to a turbine and pour machine oil over it; one applies a little to hidden spindles and joints that one has to know.
Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest violence.
Altered opinions do not alter a man’s character (or do so very little); but they do illuminate individual aspects of the constellation of his personality which with a different constellation of opinions had hitherto remained dark and unrecognizable.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
We should allow others’ excellences, to preserve a modest opinion of our own.
They who are of the opinion that Money will do everything, may very well be suspected to do everything for Money.
—George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (1633–95) British Statesman, Writer, Politician
Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them
—George H. W. Bush (1924–2018) American Republican Statesman, 41st President
Don’t worry over what other people are thinking about you. They’re too busy worrying over what you are thinking about them.
The destiny of any nation, at any given time, depends on the opinions of its young men under five-and-twenty.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
It requires ages to destroy a popular opinion
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Opinion is the main thing which does good or harm in the world. It is our false opinions of things which ruin us.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
Don’t be swayed just because they say it’s public opinion. Remember, public opinion is simple what everybody else thinks.
The public is so in awe of its own opinion that it never dares to form any, but catches up the first idle rumour, lest it should be behindhand in its judgment, and echoes it till it is deafened with the sound of its own voice
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
The being without an opinion is so painful to human nature that most people will leap to a hasty opinion rather than undergo it.
—Walter Bagehot (1826–77) English Economist, Journalist
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Opinion of ghosts, ignorance of second causes, devotion to what men fear, and talking of things casual for prognostics, consisteth the natural seeds of religion
—Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) English Political Philosopher
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
Public opinion in this country is everything.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
Men are only as loyal as their options.
—Bill Maher (b.1956) American Comedian, TV Personality, Social Critic, Author, Actor
To find out your real opinion of someone, judge the impression you have when you first see a letter from them.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher
The opinions which we hold of one another, our relations with friends and kinfolk are in no sense permanent, save in appearance, but are as eternally fluid as the sea itself.
—Marcel Proust (1871–1922) French Novelist
Make sure you have a different opinion and people will talk about you
I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
—Edward Gibbon (1737–94) English Historian, Politician
A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind.
—John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) English Economist
The proof of gold is fire.
The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing—to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Not a select party.
—John Keats (1795–1821) English Poet
I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.
—Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) British Head of State
A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.
—Marshall Mcluhan (1911–80) Canadian Writer, Thinker, Educator
The time will come when public opinion will no longer tolerate amusements based on the mistreatment and killing of animals. The time will come, but when? When will we reach the point that hunting, the pleasure in killing animals for sport, will be regarded as a mental aberration?
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) French Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician