Difference Between Belief and Opinion

By: | Updated: Sep-14, 2022
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To say that something is a belief or an opinion is to state that it is a matter of conscious conviction, not just a matter of emotion or feeling. The word “belief” implies that there is some sort of rational basis for the conviction. But many beliefs are merely emotional, having no rational basis at all. They are merely based on what someone thinks they ought to believe. These are known as “opinions”.

These distinctions are crucial to understanding the ideas of rationalism and empiricism. In this article, we will discuss the difference between belief and opinion.

Summary Table

Belief Opinion
Belief is often based on logical reasoning Opinion is often based on feelings
Beliefs can be very strong and very firm Opinions are often very weak and vague
Beliefs are usually based on facts that are verifiable by observation and experiment Opinions are often not based on facts, which may or may not be true

Difference Between Belief and Opinion

What is a Belief?

The word “belief” implies that there is some sort of rational basis for the conviction. The person who believes something has a conviction, or belief, that it is true. For example, the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun. This is a belief because it is based on a rational basis, such as experience and observation.

What is an Opinion?

Many opinions are merely based on emotion and feelings, rather than being based on reason and experience. These are often termed “feelings” or “emotions”. Opinions based on emotion and feelings are not always wrong, but they are not always right either. For example, someone may think that something is a great idea because they have a certain emotion about it. This does not make the idea any less of a good idea.

However, if the person’s emotions are wrong, this does make the idea less good. For example, someone may be excited about the new invention of a motorized wheelchair, but when it comes to actually using it, they find that it is too complicated and that they do not like it. Their emotions have been mistaken.

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The Similarities Between Belief and Opinion

The similarities between belief and opinion are many. They both can be wrong, they both can be right, and they both can have some sort of emotional basis. In fact, most people have a large number of beliefs which are based on nothing more than emotions. Some people even have very strong opinions which are based on emotions, and these opinions are wrong.

Belief VS Opinion

Now, let’s take a look at the differences.

The basis

Belief is often based on logical reasoning, or on facts that are objectively true.

Opinion is often based on feelings, emotions, and feelings of authority.

The degree of confidence

Beliefs can be very strong and very firm. But opinions can be based on emotions and feelings, which are often very weak and vague.

The degree of validity

Beliefs are usually based on facts that are verifiable by observation and experiment. Opinions are often not based on facts, but are merely based on feelings, which may or may not be true.

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