8 philosophical questions to think about

We present a list of thought-provoking philosophical questions that give us the opportunity to open our minds a little more. Do not miss it!

Last update: December 05, 2021

Philosophy is a discipline that try to understand the world and human existence since time immemorial. In general, philosophical questions do not demand a concrete and definitive answer, but rather invite debate, reflection, and even controversy. Some examples would be “God exists, we are free, what is good and evil?”.

These questions seek to answer and understand the enigmas that lie behind a diversity of phenomena and situations. Here we will present some of the most interesting philosophical questions, which have sparked the most heated discussions among various thinkers and which still do not have a definitive answer.

Philosophical questions to think about

The questions we present here will surely leave you pondering. Do not miss it!

1. Is there life after death?

We will hardly find someone who has not asked this question. And it is one of the great questions of human existence.

Now, if our consciousness continues to exist after death, we must assume that there is something immaterial that makes us up (that is, a soul). Well, it would be that substance that would transcend.

Nevertheless, so far there is no reliable evidence to support the existence of a soul. And much less that this prevails after death. But neither has the opposite been proven. Therefore, it remains a question whose answer depends on the beliefs of each person.

Death is a great subject of philosophy, as it raises questions that we all ask ourselves at times.

2. Do we really have free will?

This questioning deals with the dilemma of determinism, which has to do with whether our actions are predetermined by a causal chain of events that precede it or if we are truly free beings, who make decisions based on their own will. In other words, if everything happens for a reason or we are the reason that everything happens.

As in the previous question, this question does not have a definitive conclusion. On the one hand, we can say that human beings are capable of making their own decisions, but these only represent a minimum fraction of all those things that are beyond our control and will.

A man can do what he wants, but he cannot want what he wants.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer ~

In this sense, we can assume that free will exists, but always framed within a limited number of possibilities that life presents us. We are talking about a compatibility between freedom and determinism. However, some philosophers disagree.



3. What is the secret of happiness?

Many of us have also asked ourselves this question and advertising agencies know it very well, since they sell us any number of products, making us believe that we can find happiness in them.

The truth is that this question is quite complex and arouses a great debate, insofar as it places us before other questions as if there is a formula that makes us all happy. Or if what makes me happy is different from what makes others happy.

This question seems to point more to each one, Well, so far we have not found the elixir of happiness. However, asking ourselves this can be challenging, since we don’t always know what things really make us happy.

4. Is there objectivity or is it all subjective?

It is one thing to understand the world objectively and another to perceive it through an exclusively objective framework. And is that we can only perceive the world through the filter of our senses, which allows the knowledge about what surrounds us to be quite limited to them.

That is, what we have seen, touched, smelled and known has been filtered through our physiological and cognitive processes. Therefore, our experience of the world is subjective.

For example, imagine being able to perceive ultraviolet light or have the smell of dogs. Our senses cannot grasp the totality of reality, which makes knowledge non-objective. Although there have been philosophers who defend that we do assimilate the world as it is. And you? What do you think?

5. What is the best moral system?

Another of the most debated philosophical questions it has to do with the notions of right and wrong. Although many believe they have discovered the perfect formula to morally evaluate the actions of humans and establish a just and universal code of ethics, the truth is that they are often wrong.

This is because life is not so simple that there is a universal and absolute ethic. The golden rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated., but this does not always apply to all circumstances. For example, what should we do with criminals?

Furthermore, the simplicity of the rule leaves out much more complex scenarios, such as whether it is morally correct to sacrifice a few to save the many. Or what has more value: the life of a newborn or that of an adult ape.

With that said, we see how actions depend on circumstances and individual psychology. In addition, moral valuation also depends, to a large extent, on culture. Therefore, it is not a topic with a definitive conclusion.

6. Does God exist?

This question will be answered based on the beliefs of each person. And each one will base the existence (or nonexistence) of God according to them.

The truth is that we don’t know enough about how the universe works. Therefore, we are not prepared to make big claims about the nature of reality or to determine whether or not there is an omnipotent creator God.

7. What is the meaning of life?

This is one of the philosophical questions that humanist and existentialist philosophers have been responsible for answering. However, it is not a question that only concerns them, since most of us have also asked it.

What this questioning seems to point to is that the meaning of life is what everyone wants to give it. Now, the question gets interesting when we ask ourselves the role that meaning or purpose plays in our lives.

Questions of happiness, meaning in life, and purpose are inherent in human nature. Seeking fulfillment is something we long for.

8. Are we good or bad by nature?

This is one of the most debated philosophical questions. On the one hand, there are those philosophers who defend that man is good by nature and that it is society that corrupts him, as stated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

While for others, like Hobbes, the human being is bad by nature, so that in order to coexist he needs absolute power, an authoritarian law that controls the aggressive impulse that arises from the selfish motivation of all beings.

However, there is a third position to this dilemma. And is that man is not naturally good or bad. This will depend on a number of variables, such as parenting, experiences, heredity, and genetics, among others.



Philosophical questions for everyday life

Reflect on these and other philosophical questions, no doubt it will help us to be more critical and more open-minded. Well, these are issues in which it is not advisable to remain only with your own opinion. As we have already seen, they are complex topics, whose richness and interest lies in the variety of responses.

It might interest you …