Public opinion is, with multitudes, a second conscience; with some, the only one.
He who is master of all opinions can never be the bigot of any.
Opinion is the main thing which does good or harm in the world. It is our false opinions of things which ruin us.
Differences of opinion give me but little concern; but it is a real pleasure to be brought into communication with any one who is in earnest, and who really looks to God's will as his standard of right and wrong, and judges of actions according to their greater or less conformity.
The ambitious man grasps at opinion as necessary to his designs; the vain man sues for it as a testimony to his merit; the honest man demands it as his due; and most men consider it as necessary to their existence.
Private opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.
I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of opinion be angry with his judgment for not agreeing in that from which, within a few days, I might dissent myself.
One of the mistakes in the conduct of human life is, to suppose that other men's opinions are to make us happy.
An obstinate man does not hold opinions—they hold him.
Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.
The world is governed much more by opinion than by laws. It is not the judgment of courts, but the moral judgment of individuals and masses of men: which is the chief wall of defence around property and life. With the progress of society, this power of opinion is taking the place of arms.
No liberal man would impute a charge of unsteadiness to another for having changed his opinion.
It is not only arrogant, but profligate, for a man to disregard the world's opinion of himself.
No liberal man would impute a charge of unsteadiness to another for having changed his opinion.
Opinions, like showers, are generated in high places, but they invariably descend into lower ones, and ultimately flow down to the people, as rain unto the sea.
It has been shrewdly said that when men abuse us, we should suspect ourselves, and when they praise us, them. It is a rare instance of virtue to despise censure which we do not deserve, and still more rare to despise praise, which we do. But that integrity that lives only on opinion would starve without it.
The masses procure their opinions ready made in open market.
Predominant opinions are generally the opinions of the generation that is vanishing.
He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today.
Do not despise the opinion of the world; you might as well say you do not care for the light of the sun, because you can use a candle.
Change of opinion is often only the progress of sound thought and growing knowledge; and though sometimes regarded as an inconsistency, it is but the noble inconsistency natural to a mind ever ready for growth and expansion of thought, and that never fears to follow where truth and duty may lead the way.
A man cannot utter two or three sentences without disclosing to intelligent ears precisely where he stands in life and thought, whether in the kingdom of the senses and the understanding, or in that of ideas and imagination, or in the realm of intuitions and duty.
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Our system of thought and opinion, is often only the history of our heart. Men do not so much will according to their reason, as reason according to their will.
The eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture.
The free expression of opinion, as experience has taught us, is the safety-valve of passion. The noise of the rushing steam, when it escapes, alarms the timid; but it is the sign that we are safe. The concession of reasonable privilege anticipates the growth of furious appetite.
As our inclinations, so our opinions.
It is with true opinions which one has the courage to utter, as with pawns first advanced on the chessboard; they may be beaten, but they have inaugurated a game which must be won.
I do not regret having braved public opinion, when I knew it was wrong and was sure it would be merciless.
The opinions of men who think are always growing and changing, like living children.
A statesman should follow public opinion as a coachman follows his horses; having firm hold on the reins, and guiding them.
To form a correct judgment concerning the tendency of any doctrine we should look rather at the forms it bears in the disciples, than in the teacher, for he only made it; they are made by it.
The men of the past had convictions, while we modems have only opinions.
Nothing so obstinately stands in the way of all sorts of progress, as pride of opinion; while nothing is so foolish and baseless.
A man's opinions are generally of much more value than his arguments.
Opinion is that high and mighty dame which rules the world, and in the mind doth frame distastes or likings; for in the human race, she makes the fancy various as the face.
All power, even the most despotic, rests ultimately on opinion.
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.
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.
We should always keep a corner of our heads open and free, that we may make room for the opinions of our friends. Let us have heart and head hospitality.
As for the differences of opinion upon speculative questions, if we wait till they are reconciled, the action of human affairs must be suspended forever.—But neither are we to look for perfection in any one man, nor for agreement among many.
He who has no opinion of his own, but depends upon the opinion and taste of others, is a slave.
Fly no opinion because it is new, but strictly search, and after careful view, reject it if false, embrace it if 'tis true.
It is the inclination and tendency of the heart which finally determines the opinions of the mind.
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.
Correct opinions, well established on any subject, are the best preservative against the seductions of error.
There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains. The most universal quality is diversity.
Opinions are stronger than armies.—If they are founded in truth and justice, they will, in the end, prevail against the bayonets of infantry, the fire of artillery, and the charges of cavalry.
In all things reason should prevail; it is quite another thing to be stiff, than to be steady in an opinion.
The same enthusiasm that dignifies a butterfly or a medal to the virtuoso and the antiquary, may convert controversy into quixotism, and present to the deluded imagination of the theologica' knighterrant, a barber's basin as Mambrinos helmet. The real value of any doctrine can only be determined by its influence on the conduct of man, with respect to himself, to his fellow creatures, or to God.
Statutes are mere milestones, telling how far yesterday's thought had travelled; and the talk of the sidewalk today is the law of the land.—With us, law is nothing unless close behind it stands a warm, living public opinion.
I will utter what I believe today, if it should contradict all I said yesterday.
We never are satisfied with our opimions, whatever we may pretend, till they are ratified and confirmed by the suffrages of the rest of mankind. We dispute and wrangle forever; we endeavor to get men to come to us, when we do not go to them.
It is more true to say that our opinions depend upon our lives and habits, than to say that our lives and habits depend on our opinions.
We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.
Provided we look to and satisfy our consciences, no matter for opinion; let me deserve well though I hear ill.
The greater part of men have no opinion, still fewer an opinion of their own, well reflected and founded upon reason.
Among the best men are diversities of opinions; which should no more, in true reason, breed hatred, than one that loves black should be angry with him that is clothed in white; for thoughts are the very apparel of the mind.
No errors of opinion can possibly be dangerous in a country where opinion is left free to grapple with them.
It is always considered as a piece of impertinence in England, if a man of less than two or three thousand a year has any opinions at all upon important subjects.
Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.
When men first take up an opinion, and then seek for reasons for it, they must be contented with such as the absurdity of it will afford.
"That was excellently observed," say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.
If a man should register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last.
Public opinion is a weak tyrant, compared with our private opinion.—What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.
What I admire in Columbus is not his having discovered a world, but his having gone to search for it on the faith of an opinion.
To maintain an opinion because it is thine, and not because it is true, is to prefer thyself above the truth.
The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.
That the voice of the common people is the voice of God, is as full of falsehood as of commonness.
There is something among men more capable of shaking despotic power than lightning, whirlwind, or earthquake; that is, the threatened indignation of the whole civilized world.
We are tod much inclined to under-rate the power of moral influence, the influence of public opmion, and the influence of the principles to which great men—the lights of the world and of the present age—have given their sanction.