Philosophical questions are an excellent way to make you think about the meaning of life, the universe, and many other profound talking points.
Philosophy is considered to be the mother of all sciences, and these questions touch on a range of topics and issues. We have questions to ask on science, ethics, technology, and even some funny questions too.
These questions about philosophy are a brilliant way to start discussions among friends, colleagues, or even people you’ve just met. These deep philosophical questions are aimed at a general audience, which means they should be accessible to everyone, even if they are abstract in nature.
The point of philosophy is to make you think and consider your place and that of humanity, in the world. This list of good philosophy questions and some unanswerable are designed to evoke discussion and thought.
Don’t be afraid to follow up these philosophical questions to ask, with further points to help you understand your friend’s and colleagues’ views on matters. These questions are designed to stimulate discussion and debate over a prolonged period of time.
Deep Philosophical Questions To Ask
Similar to our collection of thought provoking questions, these questions will open up conversations that will spark lively debate.
Asking these questions will send you and whoever you’re asking these questions to, down a rabbit hole that could lead to some interesting conclusions.
- Is there such a thing as free will?
2. How and when did everything begin?
3. Why do we dream?
4. Must we have evidence to know the truth?
5. Is the meaning of life the same for humans and animals?
6. Where does your self-worth come from?
7. When does consciousness begin?
8. Does the soul exist?
9. What is the purpose of life?
10. If you could replay your life from the start, what would you change?
11. Is it always wrong to lie? If not, when should you lie?
12. How do you know what is real and what isn’t?
13. Is it possible to be happy without sadness?
14. Is suffering necessary to make life worthwhile?
15. Does nature or nurture form someone’s personality?
16. Is it better to live in ignorance or live with the burden of knowledge?
17. Would you kill five people to save one?
18. Will religion become obsolete?
19. Can humanity live in a world without religion?
20. Would what it means to be human change if we could live to 500?
21. Does life have a reason? Or is there no reason?
22. Is humanity headed in the right or wrong direction?
23. Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
24. Can human nature be changed?
25. Do animals experience consciousness in the same way we do?
26. How much does language affect our thinking?
27. Can rational thought exist without language?
28. Are there limits to human creativity?
29. When do you think the world will “end”?
30. What are thoughts and where do they come from?
31. Is everyone’s life of equal value?
32. Why are people told to respect the dead?
33. Will people from the future look back at us in the same way we look at the people from the past?
34. Are religion and science compatible?
35. How much control does a person have over their own life?
Hard Philosophical Questions
You might also like: Critical thinking questions
36. How will humanity become extinct?
37. How long will you be remembered after you die?
38. Does the pursuit of perfection matter in an imperfect world?
39. Do parallel universes exist?
40. If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?
41. What existed before the Big Bang?
42. Are emotions rational or irrational?
43. How much freedom should people be allowed to have?
44. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
45. Is it possible for humans to understand the full workings of the universe and existence?
46. Is order or chaos inherent in nature?
47. If there was nothing before the universe was created, how did something emerge from nothing?
48. Will artificial intelligence become smarter than humans?
49. Is democracy the best form of governance for every country?
50. Is torture ever justified?
51. Is more or less choice better?
52. Will time travel ever become possible?
53. Can a person be ‘educated’ without a formal education?
54. Is it more important to be liked or respected?
55. If someone umps to their death and you could have saved them, are you complicit in their death?
56. Are there universal human rights?
57. Is there a cause for every event?
58. Should people be able to move freely around the globe without worrying about borders?
59. Should people be allowed to accumulate as much wealth as they want or should governments step in to redistribute it?
60. Is a sense of humor a byproduct of consciousness or something else entirely?
Ethics and morality philosophical questions
Ethical questions pose a variety of dilemmas that often offer conflicting resolutions. Whether we should all eat less meat or if the death penalty is ever justified, these questions will lead to some interesting discussions.
You might also like: Mind blowing questions
61. Is there such a thing as absolute morality?
62. Is it ok to commit a crime, or do something bad if no one will ever find out?
63. Is it ethical to clone humans?
64. Is morality a human construct?
65. Is justice or mercy more important?
66. Can animals have morals?
67. What rights does every human have? Do those rights change based on age?
68. Are the concerns of the young or the elderly more important?
69. What’s the difference between justice and revenge?
70. Can revenge ever be justified?
71. Is privacy a right?
72. Why do humans often associate beauty with morality?
73. Should we have the right to be forgotten?
74. If it was possible to bring species back from the dead, should we do it?
75. Are intentions or outcomes more important when judging whether actions are moral?
76. Should there be limitations on the right to free speech?
77. Should euthanasia be legal?
78. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?
79. Should we terraform planets if it means that we may be destroying undiscovered microscopic alien life?
80. How much effort should an individual put into not offending others?
81. What causes the most harm in the world, but is completely avoidable?
82. Is poverty in society inevitable?
83. If all humans want the same basic things, why is there so much violence and strife between people?
84. Is individualism good or bad for society?
85. Does religion cause more problems than it solves?
86. Is better to be an idealist or a realist?
87. Can a society exist without laws?
88. Is some degree of censorship necessary?
89. Do we need hierarchies to function as a society?
90. Should full access to the internet be a fundamental human right?
Unanswerable Philosophical Questions
Next: Hypothetical questions
91. What happens after we die?
92. What would it be like to live forever?
93. Is there a sixth sense?
94. How do you know you’re free?
95. Is it possible to understand the perspective of others?
96. Is our universe a simulation?
97. Is an absolute truth possible?
98. Is the present moment all we have?
99. How do you explain sight to a blind man and sound to a deaf man?
100. What is the purpose behind what we feel and think?
101. Does the universe have any point?
102. Should you live for the present or the future?
103. Is adversity a necessary part of life?
104. Is time finite or infinite?
105. Does time really exist or is it something we perceive to be real?
106. Are freedom and death the same?
107. Is there such a thing as destiny?
108. Is it good to be happy all the time?
109. Does our soul perish as well as our bodies?
110. Is there an afterlife?
Funny philosophical questions
111. Why are towels considered dirty when you get out of the shower clean?
112. Should a vegetarian eat animal crackers?
113. Why can’t you buy mouse-flavored cat food?
114. Is there a synonym for ‘synonym’?
115. If you save time, when do you get it back?
116. Why do we laugh when someone farts?
117. Why is it called quicksand when you sink slowly?
118. If wool shrinks when it gets wet, why don’t sheep shrink in the rain?
119. Would Lightning McQueen buy car insurance or life insurance?
120. Is the “S” or the “C” silent in the word “scent?
121. If you drop soap on the floor is the floor clean or is the soap dirty?
122. If I try to fail but succeed, which one did I do?
123. If Cinderella’s shoe fit perfectly, why did it fall off?
124. Do our pets have names for us?
125. Why is a moustache considered attractive on a man, but not on a woman?
126. At what age does a person become “elderly?”
127. Why do pizzas come in square boxes when they are round?
128. Why do they nail down the lid of a coffin?
129. When you go to a movie theatre and the seats have armrests, which one is yours and which isn’t?
130. Can you still daydream at night?
131. Why do banks have branches if money doesn’t grow on trees?
132. Why do angry drivers yell at other drivers when those drivers can’t hear them?
133. If we expect the unexpected, doesn’t the unexpected become expected?
134. Why do dogs like to stick their heads out of a moving car, but they hate it when you blow on their faces?
135. If I slap you with a dictionary, is it considered physical or verbal assault?
136. If con is the opposite of pro, is congress the opposite of progress?
137. Are you dreaming right now? How do you know?
138. If you were given a different name at birth, would you be a different person?
139. What’s the difference between a light meal and a large snack?
140. If nothing sticks to Teflon, how does Teflon stick to the pan?
Philosophical Questions for Kids
141. What do you think consciousness is?
142. Do you think humans treat animals properly or need to improve?
143. Do you think it’s necessary for evil and good to coexist in life?
144. Do you believe that kids need two parents?
145. Do you think wisdom and enlightenment get acquired through age, experience, or study?
146. What do you think our life would be like if animals were the dominant species?
147. Do you think the world would be more peaceful if kids ruled it?
148. What do you think intuition is, and where do you think it comes from?
149. How long do you think it takes to become mature?
150. Do you think it’s important to be honest at all times or is it ok to lie sometimes?
151. Do you think robots can experience consciousness, emotions, or morality?
152. Do you think animals could evolve to speak our language and live amongst us as equals one day?
153. Do you think animals experience love?
154. Do you believe in fairies, ghosts, or spirits?
155. Do you think someone can be lucky?
156. If plants could talk, what do you think they’d say?
157. If Dinosaurs could be brought back to life would be in favor or not?
158. Do you think that being tolerant of others’ beliefs is critical to world peace?
159. Do you think that time had a beginning or will have an end?
160. Do you think people should have to pay for basic needs such as food, water, education, and shelter?
Philosophical questions about society and government
You might also like: Open-ended questions
161. Is authoritarian government ever justified?
162. Would a government-run with algorithms, A.I., and statistics be better or worse than the government we have now?
163. Are politicians the best people to legislate on our behalf?
164. Should everyone over the age of 18 in society have the right to vote?
165. How far should governments go to prevent its citizens from causing harm to themselves?
166. Would the world be a better or worse place if everyone looked the same?
167. What should the role of a government be, what boundaries and limitations should it have?
168. Would a global government be a good or a bad thing?
169. Could societies exist without a way to transfer value (i.e. without money or a barter system)?
170. What will the economy of wealthy countries look like in 50 to 100 years?
171. Does revolution replace one bureaucracy with another?
172. If all humans want the same basic things, why is there so much violence and strife between people?
173. Is the cultural trend of individualism and the rejection of collectivism a beneficial or detrimental trend?
174. Is the violent overthrow of power ever justified?
175. What are the benefits and drawbacks of diversity in society?
176. What is the most important right our government allows for?
177. Is a government in the style of the George Orwell novel, 1984 ever possible?
178. Has social media been a net positive or a net negative for our society?
179. Can a society exist without laws?
180. Is some degree of censorship necessary?
Philosophical questions about science and technology
Next: What if questions
181. Will humanity create a technology that endangers its survival?
182. Does artificial intelligence pose a threat to humanity?
183. Is it ethical to edit the genome of an unborn child?
184. At what point is a technologically enhanced human not a human anymore?
185. Will humans merge with technology, or will it evolve without us?
186. Is technological progress inevitable as long as humans exist or can it be stopped?
187. Is humanity the only species in the universe to have advanced as far as we have?
188. What scientific breakthrough would have the biggest effect on humanity?
189. Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?
190. Has the invention of the atomic bomb made the world a more peaceful place?
191. Do you think the singularity will occur? If so, what time frame do you think it will happen in?
192. Is there a limit to what humans can create through technology and science?
193. Are cryptocurrencies the future of money?
194. Will human consciousness be uploaded to the internet at some point in the future?
195. Is true artificial intelligence possible with our current technology and methods of programming?
196. Does the modern age make global conspiracies more or less feasible?
197. Will personal healthcare advancements lead to longer lifespans for humanity?
198. If it’s possible to resurrect extinct animals, should we do it?
199. Are there alien lifeforms with more advanced technology than us?
200. Will technological progress continue at its current rate, or will it increase or decrease?
Looking For More Questions?
Questions that make you think – Want more questions that will have you pondering many of life’s biggest questions? This is the list for you!
Existential questions – Questions that will have you considering everything about humanity and life itself.
Unanswerable questions – Some questions are difficult to answer, why not try these out for size and see if you can answer them.