280 Philosophical Questions for Deep Thinkers
Do you ever wonder why we are here? Or maybe you are questioning your life and its meaning? These types of philosophical questions are ones that most of us think about at some stage of our lives. While they might seem deep and unanswerable, these questions are a great way for people to try and understand the world and their purpose in life.
But philosophical questions aren’t just about why we are here. They cover a wide range of topics such as morality, love, death, religion, ethics, happiness, and human nature. Asking these questions can help shape your outlook on life and cement your beliefs. You will increase your knowledge and wisdom in a variety of topics.
These questions are also great to ask friends, family, and your partner. They make great discussion topics where you can find out what people value in life and what their opinions are on the big stuff. They will reveal more about people and help you decide if you have the same philosophy about life.
If you find yourself wondering about the universe and your place in it, these philosophical questions might help you look at the bigger questions or open up your mind and lead you down the rabbit hole. Whichever way you go, these questions will have you thinking long and hard and possibly set you free like the truth.
Philosophical Questions About Human Nature and Free Will
Do we really have free will? This is something many of us wonder about throughout life. It’s hard to know whether really do have choices or are conditioned to follow certain rules and ideas. What about death? What happens once we pass on? These questions have been discussed by many philosophers and will help you to explore this subject and make you consider everything you do in life.
1. Are humans innately good or evil?
2. What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?
3. Is free will real or just an illusion?
4. Can humans change their behavior if given enough time?
5. What happens when we die?
6. Does consciousness continue after physical death?
7. What should be the goal of humanity?
8. Does fate exist? If so, do we have free will?
9. Do humans need God to exist?
10. Why does suffering happen?
11. What does it mean to live a good life?
12. Why do we dream?
13. What makes us human?
14. Where does your self-worth come from?
15. Can we prevent bad things from happening?
16. How do you value human life?
17. Is it possible not to lie during your life?
18. Why does it matter if we are alive?
19. Is humanity headed in the right or wrong direction?
20. Do humans need other people in order to survive?
21. Are we born good or evil?
22. What is beauty?
23. Where do emotions come from?
24. Does everyone deserve to be respected?
25. At what age are children held accountable for their actions?
26. What is the most important goal every person should have?
27. Can we choose our emotions or do they just happen?
28. Where does self-worth come from?
29. How do you determine self-worth?
30. What standards do you judge yourself by?
31. What are you capable of achieving?
32. Is someone else’s life worth more than yours?
33. How can you judge the importance of someone’s life?
34. Can predestination and free will coexist?
35. Can human nature be changed? Should it be changed?
36. Is it better for a person to have a broad knowledge base or a deep knowledge base?
37. If you could become immortal and never die, would you choose immortality?
38. What actions in your life will have the longest-reaching consequences? How long will those effects be felt?
39. How would humanity change if everyone lived until they were 500?
40. Are there limitations to free speech?
41. What is human consciousness?
42. Why do we do things we know are wrong?
43. Can religious beliefs affect scientific thinking?
44. Are beliefs and superstitions the same?
45. What is the goal of humanity?
46. If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?
47. Does hardship make a person stronger?
48. How likely do you think it will be that humans will last another 1,000 years without killing ourselves off?
49. How do you judge your biggest successes and biggest failures?
50. If freedom is simply being able to do what you want, are animals freer than humans?
51. Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?
52. What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?
53. Does absolute power absolutely corrupt?
54. Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions but judge others by their actions?
55. Some people believe if life has no purpose, then what’s the point of living? Others think if life has no purpose, that means they can find their own joy in life. Which do you believe?
Philosophical Questions About Happiness
If you only have one goal in life it should be to be happy. Fact. How you achieve this is up to you, but living a fulfilled life where you are happy and content is the ultimate goal of most people. Maybe you find joy in family or friends? Or maybe it is through possessions and experiences. Whatever it is you choose, you need to live a life that can provide you with this happiness. These questions will help you understand what happiness means to you and how you can go about obtaining it.
56. What does it mean to be happy?
57. Is it more important to be respected or liked?
58. Is happiness universal or a matter of perspective?
59. Have we become less happy in this age of technology?
60. Can you be happy when faced with suffering?
61. Are humans obligated to better ourselves and will that make us happier?
62. Is it possible to feel happy and sad at the same time?
63. Is having a big ego a negative trait or a positive trait?
64. Is happiness the most important thing to find in life?
65. Can you ever truly be happy?
66. How much should we care about making ourselves happy?
67. Is making other people happy important?
68. Is it really necessary to pursue happiness?
69. Does being happy require a purpose or goal in life?
70. Is it easier to love or to be loved?
71. Are we happier now as a society than in times past? Why or why not?
72. Does other people’s happiness impact your own?
73. Does being wealthy automatically make you happier?
74. What brings you true happiness?
75. Does carrying out acts of kindness make you happy?
76. Are people more or less concerned with happiness these days?
77. Can happiness be measured or quantified, like money and power?
78. Can experience bring you happiness?
79. Is it always best to seek out pleasure over avoiding pain?
80. Is happiness just the product of chemical reactions in the brain?
81. What is true friendship?
82. Can you achieve happiness by doing nothing?
83. If everyone spoke their mind would this world be a better place?
84. Why do we strive for perfection if it is not attainable?
85. Is there such thing as the perfect life?
86. Can life be meaningful without friends?
87. Does utilizing time properly make our lives meaningful and happy?
88. Does happiness require autonomy, community, or both?
89. Do we know if we are actually happy?
90. Is it possible to compare two people’s happiness on one scale?
91. Do knowledge and understanding make you content and happy as a person?
92. Can spirituality make you a happy person?
93. What are the behavioral consequences of happiness?
94. Is being obsessive about someone or something a good thing?
95. Are rich people happier than those without money?
96. Is there an absolute way to attain a happy state of mind?
97. Do you have to know certain things to die happily?
98. Do you need to find love to be happy?
99. Are highly intelligent people less happy than individuals with average intelligence?
100. How do you know you are happy?
Philosophical Questions About Ethics and Morals
These questions are important to explore as they tell you a lot about yourself and others. The answers you give to these questions will help you understand where you stand when it comes to good and bad, right and wrong, and the types of standards and ethos you want to live your life by.
101. Is morality relative or absolute?
102. Is taking a human life ever justified?
103. Where do morals come from?
104. Do animals have morals?
105. Is it possible to make moral judgments without religion?
106. Is it ever justified to hurt others?
107. Without religion would people become more, less, or be equally morally corrupt?
108. Does every human life count equally?
109. What rights does every human have?
110. Do human rights change based on age?
111. What makes something immoral?
112. Why do people think lying is bad?
113. How do you define what is good and what is evil?
114. Can you be good and evil?
115. Is justice a human construct or is it independent of humans?
116. Should all actions have equal consequences?
117. Why do people expect a universe full of randomness to be fair?
118. Is life fair or unfair?
119. Is the death penalty an acceptable form of punishment?
120. Does morality come from within or outside ourselves?
121. Is stealing ever allowed?
122. Do you think we need rules and regulations?
123. With no laws or rules to influence your behavior, how do you think you would behave?
124. Is deceiving other people ok?
125. Should we always follow the rules even if doing so causes harm?
126. What would be the most ethical way to give away five million dollars?
127. If you were paid ten million dollars to take a life, would you do it?
128. Is privacy a right?
129. Should we judge acts based on their outcomes alone?
130. Is slavery ever ethically defensible?
131. Are people ethically obligated to improve themselves?
132. Should euthanasia be legal? Why or why not?
133. Is dishonesty always wrong?
134. Should there be limitations on the right to free speech?
135. Would you kill one person in order to save 1,000?
136. What constitutes free speech?
137. Do your actions define you?
138. What’s the difference between justice and revenge?
139. Are humans replaceable?
140. Are we obligated to help others?
141. Do business owners have the right to refuse service to customers?
142. Is it wrong to kill animals?
143. If doing something good for others makes us feel good, can there ever be such a thing as pure altruism?
144. What is your definition of evil?
145. What is virtue?
146. Do all people have equal value regardless of their actions or are a person’s values based on their actions?
147. Why are humans fascinated by murders and serial killers when this is seen as evil?
146. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?
147. Why do humans often associate beauty with morality?
148. Is climate change our responsibility?
149. How much effort should an individual put into not offending others?
150. Do evil people exist? If so, what characteristics make them evil people?
151. Can a good person do evil things and remain a good person?
152. When should we forgive wrongdoing? Under what circumstances?
153. Can you really ever forgive and forget?
154. If humanity was put on trial by an advanced race of aliens, how would you defend humanity and argue for its continued existence?
155. Are there acts that are beyond redemption? What can and cannot be redeemed?
156. At what point is overthrowing a government ethical, considering all the violence a revolution usually entails?
157. Can morality ever be objective or is it always subjective?
158. Is somebody morally culpable if they take a morally wrong action at the orders of a superior?
159. Are intentions or outcomes more important when judging whether actions are moral?
160. If it was discovered that animals are conscious of life and death, would you feel differently about them?
161. Is DNA manipulation ethical, even if it means we could stamp out birth defects?
162. Are you ever morally obliged to take action when something questionable occurs?
163. If we managed to find a way to predict people who are more likely to become criminals, how should that data be used?
164. Are we morally obligated to be charitable, if we have the means to?
165. Are we born good or is it something we learn along the way?
166. How big an impact does a person’s upbringing have on their morals and ethics?
167. If you had to break a law that could see you go to prison to save somebody’s life, would you still do it?
168. Is it right to deny people entry to a country when doing so probably means death for them and their families?
169. Hedonism is all about maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. Do you agree with this?
170. A building is burning. You have time to save the six children in there or rescue one painting. The painting is worth ten million dollars which you can sell and use the money to save 20 kids. What are you doing?
171. Is it ok to eat animals?
172. Is it best to respond to criminality with punishment or rehabilitation?
173. Should smoking or alcohol be banned? Or should other drugs be made legal?
174. Should abortion be allowed?
175. Should organ donations be made compulsory?
176. Would the world be better without nuclear weapons?
177. Are we obliged to live by the rules of the society we are born into?
178. What rights should people have?
179. Should animal testing be legal? If so, under what circumstances should it be allowed?
180. If a system were created that directly rewarded people for taking morally good actions, would that be a good idea?
Philosophical Questions About Love
Everybody wants to love and be loved. But it’s not always that easy. Your definition of love and a relationship may vary from other people. There is no real right answer, as long as you feel like you are being loved and respected by your partner. These questions delve a little into love and what it means in a philosophical sense.
181. What is love?
182. How do you know when you are in love?
183. Does true love exist? If so, what is it?
184. Do you believe in love or lust at first sight?
185. What is more important to you; lover or money?
186. Do humans crave love?
187. Do you need to be in a loving relationship to be fulfilled?
188. Can you ever truly understand what love is?
189. Are you born with a sense of love for your parents?
190. Can a relationship work without love?
191. Can a relationship work based on lust alone?
192. What makes people fall in love?
193. Why do people get married?
194. Is marriage an outdated ritual?
195. What is the difference between love and lust?
196. Does love last forever?
197. Is there such thing as happy ever after?
198. How important is it to love yourself?
199. Is love a choice?
200. Where do we find love?
Philosophical Questions About Consciousness and the Brain
This set of questions is all about what goes on inside our heads. Are we really intelligent beings with an incredible grasp of reality or just bones and flesh with chemicals telling us what to do and think? Is this life even real? Maybe we really are in a simulation…
201. What does it mean to be a person?
202. Is someone still human if they are alive but in a coma?
203. Is happiness just endorphins in our brain or something more?
204. How do you define consciousness?
205. How can you prove that you are actually conscious?
206. Could we be living in the simulation?
207. Can you prove other people are conscious?
208. Do you believe animals are conscious?
209. Are there limits to what the human brain can take?
210. If you die and your consciousness is imported into a computer, is that computer now you?
211. If your memories were erased, would that change who you are?
212. Are the mind and the brain the same thing or different?
213. Will artificial intelligence ever attain consciousness?
214. How would we know if an artificial intelligence attained consciousness?
215. What is the benefit of consciousness from an evolutionary standpoint?
216. Can you tell if time has been altered?
217. Are humans the most advanced species in the world?
218. Would you rather discover humans are the most advanced species or that there is an alien lifeform out there with higher consciousness?
219. If there was a clone of you, would it also be you or something different?
220. Human memory has been shown to be unreliable. How do you know what memories are genuine?
Philosophical Questions About Death
Death is inevitable, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about it. It’s a great discussion to have with friends and family that often throws up different responses from people. You often have to take into account a person’s faith in regard to their response. No doubt you have found yourself wondering what it will be like when you pass over, and these questions provide you with even more to think about. Maybe don’t go smoking a joint before reading these questions. It might put a damper on your high.
221. What is death?
222. How do we know when we are dead?
223. Is there life after death?
224. Why do we fear death?
225. How do you want people to remember you once you have died?
226. What happens to your body after death?
227. What if we were immortal?
228. Would you want to live forever?
229. What can death teach us about life?
230. Is death the beginning or the end?
231. Why do people die?
232. Should we accept death when it comes?
234. Why do we try to live longer than we are meant to?
235. Do ghosts and spirits of our deceased loved ones exist, or are they only mental projections?
236. Would you rather know when you die (the time and day) or how you die?
237. How do we know we are not already dead?
238. Does purgatory exist?
239. If death is inevitable, what’s the point of living?
240. Is there such thing as having a good death?
Philosophical Questions About Religion
Does god exist? This is a question that has plagued man since the beginning of time. There are many different religions out there you can follow, along with a slew of spiritual teachings that aren’t necessarily connected to god, but more so about being true to yourself and present and helping those less fortunate.
241. Does god exist?
242. How can you prove he exists?
243. Do you need religion?
244. Is there such thing as heaven and hell?
245. Do you need to believe in god to go to heaven?
246. Are miracles real?
247. Can god really hear you and answer your prayers?
248. What is the importance of faith?
249. Is god created by someone or something else?
250. Can morality exist without marriage?
Philosophical Questions About Society and Government
Human beings are inquisitive by nature and often have questions about things going on in the real world. Many of these are to do with society and the government that sets the laws we live by. We all have our own beliefs in politics and how society should be ruled, with these questions sure to pose even more thoughtful debate and create answers you might not agree with.
251. How far should governments go to prevent their citizens from causing harm to themselves?
252. What makes a country democratic?
253. Do democracies always make better decisions than dictatorships?
254. What constitutes good governance?
255. Is a revolution ever justified?
256. Do people in wealthier countries have a moral obligation to help those in poorer countries?
257. What is the role government should play in society?
258. Are laws always good?
259. Should we be taxed?
260. Who defines corruption?
261. Should voting be compulsory?
262. Are police officers obligated to protect criminals?
263. Who decides which laws apply to whom?
264. Is poverty in society inevitable?
265. What would a utopia be like and how would it function and continue to exist?
266. Does the state have the moral duty to provide healthcare for its citizens?
267. Should college be free for all? What about grade school or high school?
268. Are freedom and liberty the same thing?
269. Is it right to govern the number of children families can have to control the world’s population?
270. What makes someone free?
271. In an ideal government, what should a good citizen provide to their government and what should that government provide that good citizen?
272. What role do political parties play if any?
273. How do you know whether your views are correct?
274. Should citizens obey unjust laws?
275. Under the current government are there any rights that you have but shouldn’t? Or how about rights you don’t have but should?
276. What would happen to a society in which no one had to work and everyone was provided with the essentials (food/water/housing/medicare) for free?
278. Where do we draw the line between criminal behavior and civil disobedience?
279. If all humans want the same basic things, why is there so much violence and strife between people?
280. Can a society exist without laws?
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