A great list of philosophical questions to get you thinking about life, the universe, and everything.
These 150+ deep philosophical questions are thought provoking, hard to answer, and designed to really make you think.
- 1 Best Philosophical Questions
- 2 Philosophical Questions About The Universe And Reality
- 3 Philosophical Questions About Science And Technology
- 4 Deep Philosophical Questions To Ask
- 5 Unanswerable Philosophical Questions
- 6 Philosophical Questions About The Human Mind And Intelligence
- 7 Fun Philosophical Questions
Best Philosophical Questions
Is free will real or just an illusion?
Is there a meaning to life? If so, what is it?
Is the meaning of life the same for animals and humans?
Where is the line between art and not art?
If someone you loved was killed in front of you, but someone created a copy of them that was perfect right down to the atomic level, would they be the same person and would you love them just as much?
Does fate exist? If so, do we have free will?
What does it mean to live a good life?
Why do we dream?
Is it possible to live a normal life and not ever tell a lie?
Does a person’s name influence the person they become?
What should be the goal of humanity?
If you could become immortal on the condition you would NEVER be able to die or kill yourself, would you choose immortality?
How will humans as a species go extinct?
What actions in your life will have the longest reaching consequences? How long will those effects be felt?
How long will you be remembered after you die?
If a child somehow survived and grew up in the wilderness without any human contact, how “human” would they be without the influence of society and culture?
Where does your self-worth come from?
How would humanity change if all humans’ life expectancy was significantly increased (let’s say to around 500 years)?
Where do you find meaning in your life?
What do you think would be humanity’s reaction to the discovery of extraterrestrial life?
Will religion ever become obsolete?
If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?
Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition? What would people who never suffered be like?
Does hardship make a person stronger? If so, under what conditions and at what point is it too much hardship? If not, what makes a person stronger?
Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?
What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?
How likely do you think it will be that humans will last another 1,000 years without killing ourselves off?
What do you attribute the biggest successes in your life to? How about your largest failures?
If freedom is simply being able to do what you want, are animals freer than humans?
Would you want to know you are going to die before hand or die suddenly without warning?
Is humanity headed in the right or wrong direction?
Does the study of philosophy ever lead to answers or simply more questions?
What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?
If you had to guess, what do you think would be the most likely way you’ll die?
Is it better for a person to have a broad knowledge base or a deep knowledge base?
What is the best way to train people to see the gradients in the world around them instead of just a simplistic “this is good, that is wrong” view of the world?
Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?
Which of your beliefs are justified and which ones aren’t?
What do you contribute back to society?
What are you going to do with the one life you have?
Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?
What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?
What is the most important goal every person should have?
Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
What are you capable of achieving?
By what standards do you judge yourself?
Can human nature be changed? Should it be changed?
How replaceable are you?
Why don’t we as a species take more advantage of the fact that we have almost infinite knowledge available to us?
What two questions would you ask to get the most information about who a person truly is?
Some people believe that if life has no purpose, then there is no reason for living. While others think that if life has no purpose, that frees a person to find/create and follow the
Philosophical Questions About The Universe And Reality
Is math something that humans created or something we discovered? Is looking at reality mathematically an accurate representation of how things work?
Is it possible for a human to fathom the true depths of reality and existence?
If the universe is finite, what would beyond the edge of the universe be like?
What is the best path to find truth; science, math, art, philosophy, or something else?
As more and more is being discovered about quantum physics, we become less and less able to comprehend the nature of reality. Is this something temporary and our minds will adapt and begin to understand this new reality or is it possible that the human mind will soon reach its limits of comprehension? If it’s only temporary, is there is a limit to what the human mind can comprehend? If we are reaching our limits, how do we continue to study our reality?
Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?
What in life is truly objective and not subjective?
There has always been something. Before there was something, there was only nothing. Which do you think is more likely?
Philosophical Questions About Science And Technology
Does the modern age make global conspiracies more or less feasible?
Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?
Is technological progress inevitable as long as humans exist or can it be stopped?
Is true artificial intelligence possible with our current technology and methods of programming?
What scientific breakthrough would have the biggest effect on humanity?
Why did technology progress more slowly in the past than it does now?
Will we keep leaping to even greater technological and scientific breakthroughs that radically change society, or will the rate of progress slow and humanity’s progress be limited to incremental improvements?
If a robust and cheap genetic engineering industry existed, would you have your genes edited? If so, what genetic changes would you choose to make? If not, why not?
Assume that in the future there will be huge leaps in human augmentation. Given a scale from completely human to completely machine, how far would you choose to augment yourself with robotics? What parts would you augment and why?
If the transporters in Star Trek existed and you used it, your particles would be disassembled and then reassembled, do you die every single time? Are you ever alive at two places at once? Are you ever completely dead?
Should full access to the internet be a fundamental human right?
Has the invention of the atomic bomb made the world a more peaceful place?
Do you think the singularity will occur? If so, what time frame do you think it will happen in?
Deep Philosophical Questions To Ask
DO PEOPLE HAVE FREE WILL?
IS BEAUTY OBJECTIVE OR SUBJECTIVE?
IS NATURE MOVING TOWARDS DISSOLUTION, OR INTEGRATION?
WHAT GIVES LIFE ITS MEANING?
IS IT TIME? IS IT THE CONDITION AND FULFILLMENT OF YOUR SOUL? IS IT DEATH?
WHAT ARE THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS?
WHAT IS A FAIR SOCIETY?
WHY DO WE CREATE ART?
DOES TIME HAVE A BEGINNING OR AN END?
CAN PEOPLE CHANGE?
Is morality relative?
Is it objectively wrong to torture innocent babies just for fun?
Is abortion ever permissible?
Is it wrong to have children, if you don’t know whether they want to be born?
What is wrong with incest?
When is it ok, if ever, to disobey the law?
Is it the main purpose of law to promote morality?
Should governments penalize people for unhealthy lifestyles?
What is wrong, if anything, about protectionism?
Is patriotism irrational?
Can wars ever be just?
Should people have the right to live in any country they wish?
Is the preservation of culture a good reason to limit immigration?
Is race a biological category or a social construct?
Are you the same person you were ten years ago?
Why ban drugs and not alcohol or trans-fat?
Should prostitution be made legal?
Is there such a thing as sexual perversion?
Why believe in electrons and black holes if we can’t see them?
If there is no freewill, should we punish people at all?
If God knows what you will do tomorrow, do you still have freewill?
Does God exist?
If God exists, why is there so much evil in the world?
Can God create a stone so heavy that he cannot lift?
Can there be two almighty Gods?
Can there be two different theories of the world, both true and complete?
How should we distinguish between good and bad scientific theories?
Is science compatible with religion?
Why do we dream?
Can animals reason?
How is love different from passion or sexual desire?
Are emotions irrational?
Unanswerable Philosophical Questions
Why is there something rather than nothing?
Is our universe real?
Do we have free will?
Does God exist?
Is there life after death?
Can you really experience anything objectively?
What is the best moral system?
What are numbers?
Philosophical Questions About The Human Mind And Intelligence
If every neuron in a human was accurately simulated in a computer, would it result in human consciousness?
Is it possible that some animals are self-aware and think about their ability to think?
How do you define consciousness?
Is it possible to prove that other people besides yourself have consciousness?
How conscious do you think animals are?
Assuming evolution is correct, do you think that if humans went extinct another species as intelligent as humans would evolve? If life exists long enough on a planet, is intelligence and consciousness inevitable?
Would it be more frightening to discover that humans are the most advanced species in the universe or that we are far from being the most advanced species in the universe?
How would you define genius?
There is zero chance that ALL your firmly and dearly held beliefs are true. So, which of your beliefs are most likely to be wrong and which are most liable to be true?
How much does language affect our thinking?
Why are humans so confident in beliefs that can’t be proven?
If all your memories were erased, what kind of person would you be?
Why do humans have such a strong urge to distract ourselves from the real world?
What is the benefit of consciousness from an evolutionary stand point?
Is the concept of “you” continuous or does past “you” continually fade into present and future “you”? In other words, what part of “you” sticks around over time considering that the atoms that make up your body are constantly being replaced and your memories are always changing?
Is it possible that someone’s genes might affect their political leanings? If no, why not? If so, what would be the ramifications?
Can rational thought exist without language?
Would selectively breeding an animal such as a dog based on intelligence, increase its intelligence over time? If so, how intelligent could dogs become? If not, how does intelligence emerge in a species?
Are there limits to human creativity?
Why do we resist doing things that we know are good for our well-being while craving things that are detrimental to our well-being?
Is it be possible for humans to create something completely novel and new that is based on nothing that previously existed? Or is human creativity just rearranging and building on previous ideas?
If there existed a perfect clone of you, would it also be you? Would it act in exactly the same manner as you (like a mirror) or would it act differently? If it acted differently then would it still be you? At what point would it not be you?
Would you be able to tell if time had been altered in some way?
Your perception of the world is just what your brain constructs for you from the signals sent by your senses. Plus, there is a slight delay, so you aren’t even experiencing the simulation in real time. What would it be like if humans could perceive what the world is actually like and do it in real time? Also, what are the ramifications of every single person’s reality being a little different and unique to them?
If language influences how we perceive color, what other things could languages be changing our perception of?
Is a sense of humor a byproduct of consciousness or something else entirely?
Are intelligence and happiness tied together in any way? If you are highly intelligent, is it more likely that you’ll be more, or less happy?
Human memory has been shown to be incredibly unreliable. With that in mind, how do you know which of your memories are genuine and which have been altered or made up?
Fun Philosophical Questions
If you could change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
What are the characteristics of a good friend?
Does the “Law of Attraction” exist and what is it?
Is there such a thing as true love?
Is it better to have love and lost or never to have loved at all?
Do you think computers will ever take over the world?
Which is easier – to love or be loved?
What do we call it “falling in love”?
Would you look for a husband on a dating site? Why or why not?
Do you think “wild” animals should be kept as pets? When and why?
Do people need friends? Why?
If we ban drugs, why not harmful food additives and alcohol?
How do we know electrons and black holes exist if we cannot see them?
Is it ever okay to tell a secret?
Would you break the law to save someone you love?
What do you fear most?
If you won the lottery, would you quit your job?
Why or why not?
Would you rather have a job you love that pays very little, or a job you hate that pays a great deal of money?
Does time change from one day to the next and is this why some days seem to go on forever?
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
Does life exist somewhere else in the universe?
If our minds are made of particles and atoms, which both behave probabilistically, how can we think we have freewill?
Which historical figure, good or bad, do you think had the biggest impact on the world? Your country?
Is there such a thing as luck?
Which makes a better pet – a cat or a dog? Why?
Do you think there will come a time when all shopping is done online?
Which season is best – summer, winter, spring, or fall? Why?
Are clowns funny or scary?
What is the right age for getting married?
Is it more important to be a leader or a follower?
Can animals “think” and/or “reason”?
Does a person’s name determine anything about their personality?