An opinion is a belief or judgment about something that isn't necessarily based on fact. People have lots of different opinions and in many cases, people can have differing opinions on the same issue.
One area where there is a lot of disagreements of opinion is in politics. For example:
- Some people have the opinion that life begins at birth and that abortion should be illegal or restricted only to rare situations such as when the life of the mother is in danger. Other people have the opinion that abortion is a woman's health issue and that women should have the freedom to choose whether to abort a child or not.
- Some people have the opinion that marriage should be for everyone, including homosexual couples, and that it is discriminatory not to permit gay marriage. Other people have the opinion that marriage is a longstanding and traditional institution between a man and a woman and that civil unions or other non-marriage solutions should be used for homosexuals.
- Some people have the opinion that low taxes are best for job growth and that people should be able to keep more of their own money. Others have the opinion that higher taxes are better in order to fund more government services.
- Some people have the opinion that the government is in the best position to solve many problems and so we should have bigger government. Other people have the opinion that government is often ineffective and wasteful and that the private sector is in a better position to find solutions. These people have the opinion that government should be smaller.
- Some people believe that over-regulation is stifling to progress and the economy and that the government should get out of the way. Other people believe that government regulation is necessary to protect consumers and level the playing field.
- Some people believe in equality of opportunity, giving everyone the same chances but not necessarily insuring the same outcome. Others believe in equality of outcome, which usually means they think everyone should do the work that they can do based on their abilities and that they should be provided with the things that they need on the basis of doing that work.
- Some people believe that government programs such as welfare foster dependence and destroy the incentive to work. Others believe that government benefits programs are always a good thing necessary to help those who are struggling.
The differences in political opinions create a great deal of controversy within the United States and lead to a polarized government. Because each different side has only opinions - or their own views of what is right and wrong - there is no way to conclusively prove that either side is right or wrong.
People can also have opinions on things outside of politics as well. For example:
- Ann can have the opinion that Italian food tastes best, while Joe has the opinion that French food is ideal.
- Sue can have the opinion that reading is boring, while Mike can have the opinion that reading is fun.
- Penny can have the opinion that cold weather is better, while Tim can prefer hot weather.
It is possible to have an opinion on almost any subject, you just need to say what you think.