- I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
- Nora Ephron "Barney Collier's Book," Esquire (January 1976); republished in Scribble, Scribble (1978), ch. 10
- Controversy equalizes fools and wise men — and the fools know it.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858), Chapter V.
- The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love (1963).
- The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
- Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", Unpopular Essays (1950).
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- When men differ in any matter of belief, let them meet each other manfully.
- Francis Wayland, p. 162.
- No great advance has ever been made in science, politics, or religion, without controversy.
- Lyman Beecher, p. 162.
- It is humbling to mankind to contemplate men capable of grasping eternal truths, fencing and debating in trivialities, like gladiators fighting with flies.
- Désiré Nisard, p. 162.
- Doubtless there are times when controversy becomes a necessary evil. But let us remember that it is an evil.
- Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, p. 162.