How do philosophers answer questions

Philosophical questions


But why? This question is very popular with children. Children question everything. And that's just as well.

We should never stop being curious and questioning things. That is why we have created a list of exciting philosophical questions that stimulate thought and offer enough topics to talk about.

What are philosophical questions?

To answer what philosophical questions are, we need to know what philosophy is. Philosophy is a scientific discipline that tries to understand human existence and the world. Philosophy thus 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 - addiction choose questions from the list below and start philosophizing.

25 Philosophical Questions

We start directly 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. Childhood in the 21st Century - Was Everything Better Before?

"Everything was better before." Maybe you know this saying from your parents. Our parents grew up without the Internet or smartphones - hardly imaginable for us. If you are from Generation Z, you probably grew up with cell phones and the like as a child and teenager. Some researchers believe that early contact with electronic media (such as smartphones, tablets, game consoles) is bad for the child's development. The social integration, the contact with peers and the self-confidence of the children would suffer. What do you say?

2. Genes or Environment - How does our personality come about?

Are intelligence and personality traits innate or are they only developed through environmental influences in the course of our adolescence? Scientists agree that it is a combination of the two. But which factor do you think has the greater influence on our personality development?

3. Until death do us part - does eternal love exist?

In this day and age, weddings are becoming less common and divorces are becoming more common. To be happy with someone for the rest of their life. Is that a wishful thinking or a 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 all over the world and you now have a chance to make a career through social media. But what are the downsides of that? Can social media be a burden too?

5. Is euthanasia morally justifiable?

There are only four countries in Europe where euthanasia is allowed: Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In the rest of Europe, “killing on demand” is a criminal offense. Opinions are divided as to whether euthanasia is morally justifiable. Here is a little journey through my mind: An 80-year-old man falls ill with a fatal disease and wants to apply for euthanasia. Would you help him go to a clinic that would attend to his request? And what if a 40-year-old woman who has suffered from severe chronic depression for 20 years wants to seek euthanasia?

6. What is mankind's greatest problem?

There are two ways to answer this question. Either you focus on environmental conditions (e.g. climate change) that are problematic for humanity, or you focus on the characteristics of people themselves (e.g. hate, envy).

7. Do we live in a simulation?

Our world is just a computer simulation created by a more sophisticated civilization. So we don't exist, we are just simulations ourselves. This is a simplified explanation of the simulation hypothesis. In truth, it is much more complex and consists of three hypotheses. But the basic message remains the same: We live in a simulation. How likely do you think this theory is?

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? This topic is very topical, especially in the USA. After all, Americans are the most armed population with around 393 million small arms (Karp, 2018, Small Army Survey: Estimating Global Civilian Held Firearms Numbers). No other country has so many deaths from firearms.

11. Is artificial intelligence a danger to humanity?

Opinions differ when it comes to artificial intelligence. Some see it as a great danger and fear that sooner or later it will knock out humanity. For example, shortly before his death, Stephen Hawking said that research on artificial intelligence offers opportunities for mankind, but that the risk of abuse should not be underestimated. Elon Musk also warns of the risks of AI research. However, there are also many possible areas of application where AI can make a positive contribution. However, we are still at the very beginning of developing an AI. We'll see what the future holds. What do you think?

12. Are men and women now equal?

If you look at the history of feminism, a lot has happened so far. But have we already reached the point where we can speak of 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 prejudices, as numerous studies show. If we are not aware of it, it is difficult to get rid of it. But what we can do is to be aware of our prejudices, to acknowledge them and to control them. However, that doesn't answer the question why people become racist? What makes people feel so much hatred of strangers? No child in the world is born with prejudice. When and how do we get these stereotypes and prejudices indoctrinated?

14. Pro Life or Pro Choice - Is Abortion Moral?

Pro Life representatives believe that the abortion of an embryo or fetus is equivalent to murder. Pro Choice emphasize the right to self-determination of women about their bodies. Two recurring questions about this topic are: Can a fetus (at the time of the abortion) feel pain? Does a fetus already have a sense of self or awareness? What are your arguments for or against the right to abortion?

15. What would you like to change in 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?

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. Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov even believes he can make people immortal by 2045. However, according to his idea, people would no longer exist in their own bodies. He wants to transfer human consciousness to an online avatar. Assuming his project works. Would you take part in it? What would you do if you were immortal? How would your current life change?

17. Is there altruism or is it a myth?

Altruism is generally prosocial, selfless behavior for the benefit of others. You do something good for another person without expecting anything in return. An example of this would be volunteers in a homeless shelter. They help disadvantaged people without getting any money for it. But is there really unselfish behavior? Can't it be that the volunteer goes about his or her job to gain recognition or to feel good? Can one then still speak of selflessness?

18. Is an animal life worth as much as a human life?

It is obvious that human and animal life are not regarded as equally valuable in our society (see factory farming, trophy hunting, etc.). There is not only a difference between humans and animals, but also between animals and animals. Here's an example: Think about your pet. Most likely, you love your pet and consider them an equal. And then think of a chicken. Is the life of a chicken inferior because it is called a farm animal in our society? Immanuel Kant believed that a human life is more valuable than an animal life. His reasoning: Animals do not have the ability to reasonably and morally think and therefore they are also morally less valuable than humans. What is your opinion?

19. What motivates you primarily in your work? The money or the work itself?

Both of these factors are likely to play a role. After all, we cannot survive without money. If we can't make a living from our work, it doesn't matter how fulfilling the work is. How about if the situation is reversed? You hate your job, but you make a lot more than the average. Which option would you choose: little money and fulfilling work or a lot of money and work that you hate? What's the better motivator for you - money or personal fulfillment?

20. Is patriotism good or dangerous?

The definition of patriotism is “(enthusiastic) love for the fatherland, patriotic sentiment” (Oxford Languages). Some see patriotism positively, some see patriotism more critically. Critics often discuss where the line between patriotism and nationalism is? Nationalism is an exaggerated national consciousness. Your own nation is overrated and the other nations are devalued. A greatly exaggerated nationalism can have dangerous consequences (as National Socialism showed). Is patriotism really a harbinger of nationalism or a healthy pride in one's homeland?

21. Everyone has the same opportunities - fact or nonsense?

Kevin is a 6 year old boy who came from a wealthy family. The father is the CEO of a successful company, the mother a surgeon. Daniel is 6 years old and comes from a poor family who at the end of the month have no more money to buy. The father works as a factory worker, the mother as a cleaner. Do these two people have the same chances in life? What if two people have the same socio-economic background but are of different nationalities (e.g. Afro-American vs. Caucasian)? Do nationality, socio-economic status, gender, ... influence our chances in life? Or is everything achievable through hard work?

22. Is it okay to lie sometimes?

What would a world look like with people who don't lie? Your girlfriend has just had a child and is constantly sending you baby photos on WhatsApp. You think it's ugly. In this case, isn't it better to just lie or tell only half the truth? If you were totally honest with her (called her child ugly) then you are sure to hurt her feelings. Is it worth it? Here is another example: In a cover letter, you usually present yourself better than you really are. Let's be honest, nobody is 100% stress-resistant and yet everyone writes it in their application. Is it legitimate to change the truth a bit to increase one's chances of getting the job?

23. How do you feel about the unconditional basic income?

The idea of ​​the unconditional basic income is that all citizens receive a certain amount of money from the state every month without having to do anything in return. It is supposed to secure the livelihood of all people. There are arguments for and against the unconditional basic income. Some fear that the motivation to work would decrease. On the other hand, some believe that it would increase motivation to work. Existential fears would disappear. People would discover and live out their creativity. How do you feel about the unconditional basic income?

24. Why are people jealous?

Envy is a feeling of not indulging someone else and / or wanting to have the same thing. What causes a person to be jealous of someone? Is it dissatisfaction with your own life or is it a pronounced need for justice?

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 a thing that everyone in the world could find beautiful?

The 10 best philosophical questions that make you think

Some of these philosophical questions deal with controversial issues. Others reveal useful life wisdom.

1. Is there objectivity or is everything subjective?

Objectivity is the judgment of a thing independently of the individual. An event or a state of affairs is perceived or described as it is (without subjective distortions). Subjectivity describes the assumption that our perception is influenced by our experiences, our thoughts and feelings. An extreme philosophical theory is constructivism. This says that objectivity is impossible. Each individual would construct his own reality. There are therefore no facts, only interpretations. What do you think?

2. Does fate exist?

Have you ever had the feeling that you were in the right place at the right time? Is that fate or coincidence? Is our life controlled by a higher power? Are there things in our lives that are predetermined that we have no control over? Or is it all just coincidence? So many questions and no single answer. Still, everyone has an opinion on it. Do you believe in fate or in a lucky fortune?

3. How important is money in life?

Does money make you happy? Various researchers have already dealt with this topic. There is still no general answer. However, many researchers agree that money can make you happy to a certain extent. For example, the American economist researcher Richard Easterlin has discovered that money can make you happy when people live on the subsistence level. Sounds logical. But what about the average citizen? Other studies suggest that money can make you happy. However, if a certain annual income limit has been exceeded, it has the opposite effect. Then there are researchers who in turn say that a lot of money makes you happy. As you can see, there is disagreement about this in science. The next point of criticism is: Correlation is not causality. So we don't know in which direction the connection between money and happiness is going. There are two possible directions: (1) The more money we have, the happier we are. (2) The happier we are, the more money we make.

4. What do you think of religions?

Religions can be peace-loving but also trigger conflicts. The dispute over which is the correct religion has often led to wars throughout history. This question contains countless other questions. One can concern oneself with whether religions are true. You can question God or the Church. Are religions a man-made story or an inspiration from God? Religion is a very emotional topic. Respect the opinions of others and listen to each other.

5. What is a recipe for happiness?

Are you happy? Can you explain to yourself why you are happy? If you are not happy right now - hold on. Anyone can learn to be happy (no matter how crappy the circumstances are). What are the characteristics or behaviors of happy people? Do you think of something

6. Will we be able to stop global warming in time?

The Paris Agreement (2015) is the first climate protection agreement that many countries around the world have signed up to. The big goal of this agreement is to counteract global warming. Temperature decrease (global warming max.2 degrees Celsius), reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting poorer countries are (to put it simply) the goals of the Paris Agreement. But can we achieve these goals before it's too late? Are the previous measures effective or are new measures needed? How do we ensure that the measures are adhered to?

7. Is the death penalty morally justifiable?

In 93 countries around the world there is still a legally regulated death penalty (as of 2019). In 2019, 3,334 people were sentenced to death worldwide. Is this punishment appropriate? Should murderers and felons pay with their death? - According to the motto an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Some think yes, some think no. Opponents of the death penalty stress that the execution of a convicted person violates basic human rights. In addition, there is no scientific evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect and thus reduces crime. What do you think about that?

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 you are asked to think about what makes people unhappy. Are there certain traits and behaviors that unhappy people have in common?

9. Are people naturally good, or are some people born bad?

That brings us back to the well-known basic question “Plant or environment?”. Is a person with severe antisocial personality disorder (psychopathy) born with the disease or is it only developed by environmental conditions?

10. What would the world look like if everyone had the same opinion?

Peaceful, dead boring, or both? What effects would that have on human development or technological progress?

10 profound philosophical questions

Do you like questions that make you wonder? That you think about for so long that it starts to hurt? then these 10 profound questions are 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 man 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 they are controlled by their brain?

2. Who or what am I?

We are people. 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?

3. What is nothing?

Have you ever wondered what exactly “nothing” is? Is there anything at all that is really nothing? But if anything is nothing, then it cannot be not at all. Because something cannot be nothing. A little warning: This question can drive you crazy, so it's best not to 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 and what is wrong for you? What principles do you follow and do you think others should act on?

5. What is time?

What is past, present and future? Is time independent of our being? Or is time a construct based on our self-perception?

6. Is there a soul?

Soul (or psyche) has different meanings. A definition of soul is: “The totality of what makes up a person's feeling, feeling and thinking”. 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?

7. Is everyone worth the same?

Initially, most people will answer yes. But are people who have committed terrible crimes worth as much as people who have not committed crimes? Is the life of a mass murderer worth as much as the life of everyone else?

8. Would a world without borders be possible?

Do you think create a world without borders, peace or chaos? The idea of ​​a world without borders and xenophobia is a dream. But is this notion realistic?

9. Is 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. To what extent can one be a believer and at the same time advocate the theory of evolution?

10. 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? Some studies suggest that criminalization creates more drug addicts. Drug Charity Release claimed that drug users would have a better chance of not falling into addiction if they weren't "involved in the criminal justice system" (, Pros and Cons of Legalizing Drugs). What do you say?

Bonus: 10 profound questions about life

Here are 10 philosophical questions that will make you think about life.

1. What does justice mean?

The core principle of justice is (according to Wikipedia) that what is like is treated equally and what is different is treated differently. 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?

2. Are near-death experiences an indication of life after death or a delusion of the brain?

Are near-death experiences a glimpse into the hereafter and a proof of the existence of God or is it just a production of our brain? Near-death reports have a calming effect on many people. It takes away a little of their fear of death. After all, people with near-death experiences tell of a place full of love and security. Some even say they wanted to stay there. Scientists believe that there are neurobiological explanations for near-death experiences. One study found that the brain is hyperactive just before death. This extreme brain activity could lead to extreme sensations and hallucinations. However, the phenomenon has not yet been clarified and still needs some research. That is why it is easy to philosophize about this topic.

3. What is love?

It is difficult 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 for 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 simply nothing or do we have a soul that goes to another place after our death?

6. What does a good life look like for you?

How would your life have to look like that you feel that you have arrived? Family, dream job or independence? How would it feel when you reached your goal? 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 thing. Do you hate something or someone to protect your ego? Is it based on envy or self-dissatisfaction? There can be many reasons for hatred. And maybe the reasons for it are different from person to person. Do you think that there are universal conditions that lead to hatred and excessive hostility?

8. Is there a connection between our lifestyle today and the rise in mental illness?

There are various factors that can contribute to the development of mental illness. These include biological, psychological and social causes. Around 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Anxiety disorders, depression, burnout, alcohol addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and (in old age) dementia are among the most common diseases in adulthood. Research suggests that excessive use of social media may be responsible for the rise in depression (and suicide). Are our smartphones and social media platforms making us sick? What other factors might be responsible?

9. If you were able to erase memories from your mind, would you do it?

Is there an experience in your life that you would not have liked to have had? Maybe it was something traumatic or just an embarrassing moment in your life. Would it have a positive effect on your life if you erased this memory from your mind? There is a saying: "Experience makes us what we are." Good and bad experiences shape our personality. Therefore, would our personalities change if we erased an experience from our memory?

10. Do stricter laws lead to a more peaceful world or to more crime?

Can harsher punishments solve the crime problem and make things safer? Or does it even have the opposite effect? Is harsher punishment an effective deterrent to deter a person from committing a crime? Some studies have found that harsh sentences actually increase the recidivism rate of criminals. And what impact do harsher sentences have on the average population? Does it make you feel more secure?

Here is an extensive list of questions, topics to talk to, and games to break the ice and start the conversation: 👉 ​​Conversation Starters

✍️ October 1, 2020