Here is an excellent list of deep philosophical questions to get you thinking about life, the universe, and everything else in-between.✍️ January 14, 2022
We should never stop being curious and questioning things! And by asking philosophical questions, we attempt to understand ourselves better as humans.
If you want to start a deep conversation, why not bring up some of these questions? Whether you are in a relationship, with friends or colleagues, the following could be some fun discussion points!
- 🤔 What are philosophical questions?
- 😐 25 Good Philosophical Questions to ask
- 🤗 10 Funny Philosophical Questions That Make You Think
- 🤯 10 Deep Philosophical Questions
- 😲 Bonus: 10 Unanswerable Questions About Life
What are philosophical questions?
To answer what philosophical questions are, we need to know what philosophy means. Philosophy is a scientific discipline that tries to understand human existence and the world. Philosophy deals with the central issues of human existence (e.g., what is reality? What is the meaning of life? What is morality? What is love?).
Philosophy deals with questions about human existence and the world.
The German physicist, philosopher, and peace researcher Freiherr von Weizsäcker put the essence of philosophy in a nutshell with a well-known quote: “Philosophy is the science that you cannot talk about without practicing it yourself.” In this sense - choose some questions from the following list and start philosophizing.
25 Good Philosophical Questions to ask
Let’s start with the questions. In this list, you will find 25 interesting philosophical questions on various topics. We wish you a lot of fun, philosophizing!
1. Being a child in the 21st century - Was everything better in the past?
“Everything was better in the past.” - Maybe you’ve heard this sentence from your parents or grandparents before. What do you think about that?
2. Genes or Environment - Where does our personality come from?
Are intelligence and personality traits innate, or are they developed through environmental influences in our adolescence? Scientists agree that it is a combination of both.
3. Until death do us part - does eternal love exist?
In this day and age, weddings are becoming fewer and divorces more often. To be happy with someone for the rest of their life - Is that wishful thinking or reality?
4. Does social media make us sick?
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter;… We all know the positive things about social media. It’s fun, you are connected to people worldwide, and you even have a chance to make a career out of it. But what are the downsides of it? Can social media be a burden too?
5. What would an ideal government look like?
What would an ideal government look like to you? Capitalism, communism, socialism… Where are we in the struggle for one system that will work best forever? What flaws exist with our current forms of government? How can they be improved upon?
6. What is the biggest problem in human nature?
If you could change one thing about human nature, what would it be? Is there something inherently wrong with us as humans that we need to fix about ourselves?
7. What do you think about time travel? Is it possible?
Time travel sounds so sci-fi! Is it possible? How about wormholes, warping time, and quantum physics? Come on a journey through the past and future ticking this off as one of those things we may not have an answer for until further in the future.
8. Do you believe in God or a higher power in the universe?
Is God the origin of everything or just a man-made construct?
9. How do you feel about a one- or two-child policy to counteract overpopulation?
Is it ethical to tell people how many children they can have, or is controlled family planning a violation of human rights? Are there more effective strategies to counteract overpopulation?
10. Should private gun ownership be banned?
Is gun possession a fundamental right or a threat to society? Especially in the USA, there is a heated discussion about it. After all, Americans are the most armed population with around 393 million small arms. No other country has so many deaths from firearms.
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11. Is artificial intelligence a threat to humanity?
When it comes to artificial intelligence, opinions differ. Some see it as a great danger and fear that it will knock out humanity sooner or later. What do you think?
12. Are men and women equal yet?
If you look at the history of feminism, a lot has happened so far. But have we reached the point where we can talk about gender equality?
13. Why are people racist?
Not everyone is racist, but we all have prejudices (even if we don’t want to admit it). Often we are not even aware of our biases, as numerous studies show. If we are not aware of it, it is difficult to get rid of it. But no child in the world is born with prejudices. At what point and how do we get these stereotypes and prejudices indoctrinated?
14. What should the goal of humanity be?
Our life, our society; What should be the goal of humanity? If this all ended tomorrow, what would you like to think that we did with our time here on Earth?
15. What would you like to change about the school system?
Are you satisfied with your school system, or are there things that could be improved? Different countries have different school systems. Is there perhaps a country that you think has a well-functioning school system?
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16. Would you like to be immortal if you could?
Many people fear death. The idea of an unlimited life is desirable for many people. There are researchers in the world who are working on various measures to make immortality possible. What would you do if you were immortal? How would your current life change?
17. What was the biggest mistake in human history so far?
There are some tough courses in history, but what do you think was the biggest mistake? And most important, how can we avoid making these mistakes again in the future?
18. Is an animal life worth as much as a human life?
It is pretty apparent that human and animal life is not considered equally valuable in our society. There is not only a difference between humans and animals but also between animals and animals. Here’s an example: If you have a pet, I’m sure you love it and you won’t kill it. That means it’s more important than the chicken you had for dinner. How is that possible?
19. Do you believe in alien life?
They are among us! Well, that’s an idea of some people for sure. How would you feel if there was alien life out there? What do you think it would look like? And what kind of form of government or technology would they have?
20. Is patriotism good or dangerous?
One definition of patriotism is: “(enthusiastic) love for the fatherland”. Some see patriotism positively, and some see patriotism more critically. The critics often discuss where the line between patriotism and nationalism is. Is patriotism really a harbinger of nationalism or just a healthy pride in one’s homeland?
21. What do we need to live a happy life?
What would a happy life entail for you? Is it a relationship, a certain job, enough money to support yourself or your family? What can we do to make sure that everyone – no matter where they are – has the opportunity to live a happy life?
22. Is it okay to lie sometimes?
Is it okay to lie? How often do you lie? And what about white lies? What about a lie of omission, or a half-truth? Everyone has done it once. Is that bad too, then?
23. Why are people jealous?
Envy is a feeling of not indulging someone else and wanting to have the same thing. What makes a person feel jealous of someone? Is it dissatisfaction with one’s own life, or is it a pronounced need for justice?
24. Is there a meaning to life?
Is there a meaning to life? What do you think the purpose of humanity is? And how can we make sure that we reach this goal?
25. Is there one thing in the world that everyone finds beautiful?
Is there a universal beauty? A sunset, Ryan Gosling, the ocean, music … Can you think of something that everyone in the world could find beautiful?
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10 Funny Philosophical Questions That Make You Think
Some of these philosophical questions deal with controversial issues. Others reveal useful wisdom. Enjoy these funny questions of existence to start a meaningful conversation!
1. What do you think is real and what is just the perception of reality?
Is there a special kind of truth we can all agree on, even though we might perceive it differently? What if we talked to an alien who doesn’t know anything about our Earth or history; How would that person see us and our society?
2. Does fate exist?
Have you ever had the feeling that you were in the right place at the right time? Is it fate or coincidence? Is our life controlled by a higher power?
3. What do you think of religions?
Religions can be peace-loving but can also trigger conflicts. The controversy over which is the correct religion has often led to wars throughout history. This question contains innumerable other questions. You can talk about your own experiences with religion.
4. How important is money in life?
Does money make you happy in real life? Various researchers have already dealt with this topic. There is still no general answer.
5. What do you define as human consciousness?
What is the difference between a living creature and a human who can think, feel and be aware of himself? How do we define this special state of mind and can we prove that everything else, including computers or robots, don’t have it?
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6. Who or what am I?
We are human beings. That is clear. But if you think about it for a long time, that still doesn’t answer the question. Who am I? Am I my body, my soul, or my brain?
7. Should all drugs be legalized?
What would happen if all drugs in the world were legalized? Would chaos break out, and the number of drug addicts explode? Or would it even reduce the number?
8. What is a recipe for unhappiness?
The question will sound familiar to you. We asked two questions earlier about the recipe for happiness. Now it is up to you to think about what makes people unhappy. Are there certain traits and behaviors that unhappy people have in common?
9. What does it mean to spend quality time with someone?
This is something that people might not always agree on. What does it mean to spend quality time with someone else? Is it meeting for lunch, spending the evening together, or talking on the phone every day? And what is most important: companionship, romance, or affection?
10. What would the world look like if everyone had the same opinion?
Peaceful, super boring, or both? What effects would that have on human development or technological progress?
10 Deep Philosophical Questions
Do you like thought-provoking questions? Questions that you think about for so long that it starts to hurt? Then these ten deep questions are just for you.
1. Is there free will?
Do I control my brain, or does it control me? If I control my brain, who or what is this “I”? Is it my body or a little creature in my head? And if my brain controls me, do I have no choices at all? If a person murders someone, did they even have a choice if their brain controls them?
2. Will we be able to stop global warming in time?
Global warming is getting serious. Will we be able to stop it in time? And what consequences will our actions have if we don’t?
3. What is Nothing?
Have you ever wondered what exactly Nothing is? Is there anything at all that is really Nothing? But if something is Nothing, then it can’t be Nothing. Because something can’t be Nothing. A little warning: This question can drive you crazy, so don’t think about it too long.
4. What is right, and what is wrong?
Who Says What’s Right Or Wrong? What is right for one is wrong for another. What is wrong for one is right for another. What is right for you, and what is wrong for you? What principles do you follow?
5. Is time just one of the human constructs?
What are the past, present, and future? Does time exist, or is it a construct based on our self-perception?
6. Is there a soul?
In the spiritual sense, the soul is immaterial, not bound to the body, and immortal. This philosophical question is still relevant today. How are body and mind related? Is it a unit, or is it two separate systems? Is the soul or our psyche just our brain?
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7. What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?
So many people prefer to ignore certain harsh truths that are in front of their eyes - about the world, themselves or other people. What are they? And how does it affect us when we turn a blind eye on things?
8. Would a world without borders be possible?
Do you think a world without borders is causing peace or chaos? The idea of a world without borders and xenophobia seems excellent. But is this notion realistic?
9. Are science and religion compatible?
Religion is about belief, and science is about facts. Are science and religion compatible at all? The theory of evolution factually refutes the theory of creation. Or does the theory of creation refute the theory of evolution? Some believers would say so.
10. Is the death penalty morally justifiable?
Is this punishment appropriate? Should murderers and felons pay with their death? Some think yes, some think no — the opponents of the death penalty stress that a convict’s execution violates fundamental human rights. Also, there is no scientific evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect and reduces crimes. What do you think about that?
Bonus: 10 Unanswerable Questions About Life
Here you will find 10 philosophical questions that will make you think about life.
1. What does justice mean?
The core principle of justice is that everybody gets what they deserve. A simple definition that leaves some questions unanswered. Who decides whether two individual cases are the same or not? Shouldn’t everyone be treated equally before the law?
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2. What is the biggest threat to our planet?
Global warming, world hunger, terrorism, or our own human nature? What is the biggest threat to our planet earth? How can we protect it and ourselves against this threat?
3. What is love?
It isn’t easy to put love into words. Love feels different to everyone. Everyone loves differently. We have different needs and want to be loved differently. What does love look like to you?
4. Is there a meaning in life? If so, what is it?
What is the meaning or purpose of life? Is there a universal meaning in life, or does it differ from person to person? The next question is, do we need any meaning at all? Isn’t it enough just to live?
5. Do you think there is life after death?
Heaven, Hell, the Beyond - fantasy or fact? We will probably only know that when we are no longer in the world. But what do you think is going to happen? After death, is it merely Nothing, or do we have a soul that goes to another place after our death?
6. What does a good life look like to you?
How would your life have to be that you feel arrived? Having a family, dream job, or independence? How would it feel when you reached your goals? And what would your everyday life look like?
7. How does hate arise?
Hate is a passionate, extreme dislike of a person, group, or other things. Do we hate someone to protect our egos? Is it based on envy or dissatisfaction with ourselves? There can be many reasons for hatred. And maybe the reasons for it are different from person to person.
8. Is there a connection between our lifestyle today and the rise in mental illness?
Various factors can contribute to the development of mental illness. These include biological, psychological, and social aspects. Are our smartphones and social media platforms making us sick? Could other factors be responsible for the increase in mental health problems?
9. What do you think is most important for a perfect life?
Maybe living a healthy life? Or having enough money to support yourself? What is most important for a perfect life in your opinion? And how can we make sure everyone has access to these things?
10. Is the human race naturally good, or are some people born bad?
That brings us back to the well-known fundamental question, “Nature or Nurture?” Is a person with severe antisocial personality disorder (psychopathy) born with the disease, or do environmental factors cause the illness?
👉 Here you find a great list of questions, conversation topics, and games to break the ice and start a conversation: Conversation Starters!