What are philosophical questions?
In the modern age, bite-size information is at our fingertips. While this is great, we’re also not thinking or connecting as deeply as we used to.
When was the last time you had a soul-searching conversation with another person? Or thought about life’s big picture? Use this list of great philosophical questions to ponder and think critically today!
How to Use This For Great Conversation
First, be respectful when using these deep philosophical questions. Everyone will have different answers and different ways of thinking. Try them:
- At dinner, family night, as holiday conversation starters, or waiting in line for something.
- During date night with your partner
- While sharing dinner or wine with friends.
Write your favorites on index cards to have them ready beforehand if you’d like! And use the table of contents to skip around to the questions that best fit your situation.
Fun Philosophical Questions For Kids & Family
What are some good philosophical questions? These questions about family and life are perfect for discussing morals, society, and human behavior with your kids.
1. Can others make you happy? Or can you only make yourself happy?
2. Do you think you would be a different person if your parents had given you a different name?
3. Should you always follow the rules?
4. Do you think it’s good for animals (or what they would want) to be kept as pets?
5. Why do you think we dream at night?
6. What makes someone human?
7. Do you think it’s true that we are all connected to others in some way?
8. How could the world change for the better?
9. Is it ever ok to share a secret that someone told you?
10. What makes a person feel happy?
11. Where do our thoughts come from?
12. What does it mean when someone fails?
13. Does failing at something mean that you are bad at it? Is failure ever useful?
14. Do you think the world would be better or worse if kids were in charge?
15. Do you think people develop a certain personality because of their birth order?
16. Is it ever ok to lie?
17. Are equal and fair the same thing?
18. Is boredom a good thing or a bad thing?
19. Do you think dreams are really an alternate reality?
20. Do you think that dreams can tell you things?
21. What makes something right and something wrong?
22. Are grown ups as curious as kids?
23. Why do you think grown-ups lose their sense of wonder? Or their sense of play?
24. Should there be an age for how old you have to be to run for government office?
25. Do you think we should eat meat?
Here’s an interesting one: The big bad wolf eats pigs. But so do we. Does that make us bad?
Related: Favorite Things Questions for Kids
More Deep Philosophical Kids Questions To Ask
26. What is freedom?
27. What would life be like if we never experienced pain?
28. Why is it important to help others?
29. What do you think it means to “go with your gut?” Where does intuition come from?
30. Do you think aliens exist?
31. If so, what do you think they look like?
32. Do you think aliens have ever visited our planet (or could be walking amongst us)?
33. Do you think the animals on the endangered species list will be extinct in 100 years?
34. Will climate change affect us in the future? How so?
35. Should we be spending money to develop space travel? Why or why not?
36. What makes a pet feel like a family member?
37. What is the difference between good and bad people?
38. At what age does a child become an adult?
39. At what age does an adult become “old”?
40. Is it possible that we all see colors differently but we’ve learned to label them the same?
41. Do you believe in miracles? Or can everything be scientifically explained?
42. Is it ok to kill bugs? What about spiders?
44. What do you think it is about music that makes people happy?
45. What can grown-ups learn from kids?
46. What can kids learn from grown-ups?
47. What does it feel like in your mind and body when you are happy? What do you think is going on in there?
48. Do you think wealthy people should leave their money to their kids, or give it to charity?
49. What has been the greatest advancement or invention of our time?
50. Is social media a good thing in our society?
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Philosophical Questions About Life To Ponder
51. Do you think that life is predetermined or that you choose your own path?
52. Does karma really exist?
53. Do you think humans evolved from apes?
54. Are the best things in life free?
55. Is loss or lack necessary to appreciate the good in life?
56. Do you think it’s possible for a person to become “saved” or “enlightened?”
57. Do you think as a species we are becoming wiser?
58. What does it mean to be wise?
59. In what ways does the way you were raised affect how you see the world?
60. What does courage look like?
61. In 100 years, what do you think our world will look like?
62. Does life require a purpose?
64. Do you think humans will eventually figure out how to live hundreds of years? (Through robots perhaps?)
65. Is there ever a time when freedom is a bad thing?
66. How do we know what is good and what is bad? Who defines this?
67. Do you think that technology is advancing us or destroying us?
68. Are happiness and joy the same thing?
69. Do you think one should always be honest, or that there are certain situations in which it is ok to lie?
70. Do you believe in “mind over matter”? Can someone overcome adversity with the right mindset?
71. If you only had five years left to live, how would you live differently?
72. What do you believe about this statement: “Everyone dies twice. Once with their body. And again the last time someone mentions their name.”?
73. Are our thoughts unique to us, or are we regurgitating everything we see and hear?
74. What is the meaning of life?
75. How important is it to have choices? Is there such a thing as too many choices?
More Questions For Deep Conversations:
- Hard Questions To Ponder With Kids or Adults
- Thought Provoking Questions To Ask
- Great What If Questions To Think About Life
Funny Philosophical Questions To Ask
These philosophical questions are deep but also fun! Use them to ponder in a lighthearted way.
76. Do you think time travel is possible?
77. Do you think there could be time travelers living amongst us right now? (Or do you think we would have met them already if time travel were possible?)
78. If someone could time travel, would it be ethically wrong to change history?
79. Do you think it’s possible that paranormal creatures really do exist? (Werewolves, vampires, etc.)
80. Are we really living in the Matrix?
81. What is it that makes a story riveting?
82. Would it be better or worse if everyone could hear each other’s thoughts?
83. If aliens were to come tomorrow, what would you do? Would it be any different if it were a zombie Apocalypse?
84. What do you do if you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
85. How do you know that you aren’t in a video game or simulation right now?
86. How do you know you aren’t dreaming right now?
87. If a tree falls, but no one is there to see or hear it, does it still fall?
88. Do you think some animals actually have a really cultivated language and we just don’t understand it?
89. If humans could evolve to add one physical adaptation, what should it be? (claws, wings, fur, an extra arm…)
90. If humans could evolve to add one mental adaptation, what should it be? (telepathic abilities, x-ray vision, etc.)
91. Have you ever had an encounter with what you believe to be a ghost?
93. If Cinderella’s shoe was the perfect fit, then why did it fall off?
94. Why isn’t cereal called soup?
95. Are clowns funny or scary?
96. Why do angry people yell when others can’t hear them? (At the tv, at other drivers, etc.)
97. If we make money out of paper, doesn’t it grow on trees?
And isn’t it funny that banks have “branches?!”
98. Is there a synonym for “synonym”?
99. Is a nude body really a form of art? Or is it just nudity?
100. Is succeeding actually just failing? Because you failed to fail.
Unanswerable Philosophical Questions To Ponder
You can answer these questions, but everyone’s answers may be different. There’s no clear winner here!
101. What do you think is out in space that we have not discovered yet?
102. Do you think that AI will eventually take over human thinking?
103. Do you think there is such a thing as luck?
104. Where does the Earth come from?
105. Does time go on forever?
106. Do you think the soul is a real thing?
107. How much of everyday life is free will, and how much is your habits and the influences of others?
108. What does the vastness of space tell you?
109. What determines beauty? What is beauty?
110. What determines art? What is art? What makes some art better than others?
111. What do you think is the most important thing in life?
112. Is it possible to have a government that is not corrupt in some way?
113. What do you believe is an ideal society?
114. Do you believe that Heaven exists? What do you think it looks and feels like?
115. If a memory is forgotten, does it no longer exist?
116. Are all geniuses a little crazy too?
117. Is the death penalty ethically wrong?
118. Can plants feel pain?
And if so, does that mean that veggies feel pain when you bite into them?!
119. Where in your body does your soul live?
120. Do you believe in reincarnation?
121. Will the world come to an end one day? How do you think it will happen?
122. Is cloning an ethical practice?
123. Should everyone have to be an organ donor?
124. Does the universe end?
125. What is infinity?
Philosophical Questions About Yourself
Next, turn these hard philosophical questions inward and challenge your perceptions.
126. Can one person really change the world?
127. How much do nature and nurture play a role in who you are?
128. If you could give your younger self one piece of life advice, what would it be?
129. Do you believe in God?
130. Do you pray?
131. What holds you back from living the life of your dreams?
132. Why do we get stuck inside our heads, ruminating about the same things over and over?
133. Is success only about money and accomplishments?
134. What is the difference between living and existing? Which one are you doing?
135. We are told to be “fearless.” But is fear necessary?
136. Is it best to always seek out comfort and pleasure?
137. Which is the most important: time, focus, or energy management?
138. How do you measure happiness? Is it possible?
139. Do you think humans need other people? What about you?
140. Do you believe in astrology?
141. Would you rather be respected or liked by others?
142. Is it worse for you to fail at something or to never try in the first place?
143. Can people change? What makes someone successful at changing?
144. What do you think of the saying “money can’t buy happiness?” Is this true? Can you be happy without money?
145. Do you believe in the “law of attraction”?
146. What do you think consciousness is?
147. Why is it important for someone to be exposed to other thinking (through books, travel, etc.)?
148. Are you controlling your technology or is your technology controlling you?
149. When was the last time you stopped to wonder at what makes life so incredible?
150. Who will remember you once you are gone? What will they remember?
Related Post: Best Questions To Ask Your Future Self
Deep Philosophical Questions About Love
151. Do you think an arranged marriage and a chosen marriage are equally capable of lasting love?
152. Do you think animals experience love?
153. What is love? And how do you explain different kinds of love? (sibling love, romantic love, etc.)
154. Do “soulmates” exist?
155. Can someone be in love with more than one person?
156. Do you think love at first sight really exists?
157. Does absence make the heart grow fonder?
158. Is love blind?
159. Does unconditional love really exist?
160. How do you know you are loved?
161. What makes someone feel attached to another person?
162. What causes someone to “fall in love”?
163. Can you love others if you don’t love yourself?
165. Can you love someone even if you don’t respect them?
166. If acts of kindness make you feel good, does that actually make them selfish?
167. Is it easier to love or be loved?
168. What makes a relationship last for many years?
169. Do you think we were born to be monogamous?
170. Can you love someone without trust? Or trust someone without some form of love?
171. How is love different from desire?
172. Do large age gaps matter in a relationship?
173. Is an omission of something still a lie?
174. Why do you think people get married?
175. Do you think love lasts forever?
Related Post: Great Debate Topics For Couples
Hard Philosophical Questions To Think Critically
These philosophical questions are deep. There’s no turning back now!
176. If you steal something to survive (i.e. a loaf of bread) is it ok?
177. If you commit a crime to save another person’s life, is it ok?
178. Do you think wisdom automatically comes with age?
179. Will war ever go away?
180. Which is more important: love, health, or money?
181. If you had to defend the human race in order to save us all, what would you say?
182. Is our legal system fair?
183. Do you think it’s true that some people have telepathic abilities?
184. Is it the responsibility of wealthy citizens to support citizens in poverty?
185. Is it the responsibility of wealthy countries to support impoverished countries?
186. What are people looking for when they embrace religion or spirituality?
187. Is technology making us more polarized or more open in our thinking?
188. Is technology gathering too much of our information?
189. Do you think that humans treat animals well?
190. Is a zoo a way of saving animals or a less-than-ideal way to treat them?
191. Do prisoners of war have rights?
192. Should the legal age for alcohol consumption be lower or higher?
193. Should the legal age for driving be lower or higher? What about voting?
194. If it was possible to live forever, would you want to?
195. Should good healthcare be a universal right?
196. Should those who live an unhealthy lifestyle have to pay more for healthcare?
197. Do you believe racism will ever go away?
198. Do you think women will ever be paid an equal amount to men?
199. Should the government have stricter laws on what goes into our food and how it is processed?
200. If killing someone saved hundreds, would that make it ok?
201. Or what about killing to save thousands more? (President Harry Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs is an example)
202. Is euthanasia an immoral way to end a life?
204. Is it ever ok to burn books?
205. Do guns protect or kill? Are guns a person’s right to own?
206. Does a university education make someone educated?
207. Is college worth the cost these days?
208. Should good education be a universal right for everyone?
209. Does power change people?
210. Should people be required to have more children to aid in growth, or is having more children destroying the Earth?
211. Is it right or wrong to limit immigration to developed and/or prosperous countries?
212. What are the pros and cons of capitalism? Are there alternatives?
213. If democracy is so amazing, why don’t all countries have democracies?
214. Is a genius born that way or have they developed a set of habits and skills that make them that way?
215. What will religion look like in 100 years?
216. Where should we draw the line regarding illegal substances? Should alcohol, food additives, and sugar be banned if these are addictive and kill people too?
217. If AI is one day able to be creative, will this make humans obsolete?
218. Is a person ever born evil? Or do they become that way from trauma and experiences?
219. What makes a crime a crime?
220. What makes a “bad word” a bad word? Who decides this?
221. Do you think anyone has gone through an entire life without lying?
Good Pondering Questions With Answers
222. Why is it so easy to spread misinformation on social media?
One recent study revealed that it’s the structure of the platforms themselves. They reward widespread sharing and posting through likes and comments. So, users who share the most eye-catching information (whether it’s true or not) get the most attention (USC).
223. What is the most deadly predator on the planet?
224. Can a person be happy and sad at the same time?
While this one has not been unequivocally proven, evidence points out that it’s rare but possible. (TODAY)
225. How does gravity work?
“Earth’s gravity comes from all its mass. All its mass makes a combined gravitational pull on all the mass in your body. That’s what gives you weight. And if you were on a planet with less mass than Earth, you would weigh less than you do here.” – NASA
Abstract Philosophical Questions To Ask Friends
Finally, use this list of philosophical questions to quiz friends and learn new life views.
226. What makes a true lasting friendship?
227. Do you think the chicken or the egg came first?
228. Do you believe the phrase “you are the 5 people you spend the most time with?”
229. Do you think our pets have names for us too?
230. Do you need friends in order to live a happy life?
231. What makes the virtual world such an enticing place to be?
232. Would you prefer to know you are going to die or go quickly without knowing it’s coming?
233. If people live in a time zone ahead of us, does this mean they live in the future?
234. Why don’t buses have seatbelts? Cars do. Planes do. But not buses.
235. If there is life on other planets, do you think we would be more or less advanced than others?
236. If an advanced life form from another planet wanted to eat us, would that be wrong considering we eat animals on earth?
237. Is it easier to believe in something that can’t be proven?
238. How would society look different if men had babies instead of women?
239. Would you ever want to know how or when you were going to die?
240. What makes one human life more valuable than another?
241. Why are we always wondering “why” about everything?
243. Why are we so afraid of the unknown?
244. Why do we remember things we should forget and forget the things we didn’t want to forget?
245. Is hope essential to life?
246. Is it possible to be in the wrong place at the right time?
247. Is the glass half empty or half full?
248. Will it ever be possible for one human or one computer to know everything?
249. What is the deepest conversation you’ve had recently? What was it about?
250. What would be your biggest regret if you knew you were going to die?
To Consider With Big Questions About Philosophy
Phew, that’s a big list and your brain should hurt from all that pondering! What are your all-time favorite philosophical questions to wonder about? Do you enjoy talking about it with others?
Leave a comment and let us know!