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Have you ever sat in a room by yourself and thought about the big questions of life? I know I have.
I remember the tagline from the film, “Aliens”’ that read, “In space, no one can hear you scream.” It made me think, is space really silent? If so, why do we have sound on earth?
Sometimes I wonder what is the purpose of life, since it will all end eventually? Or what would happen if we one day achieve a world where money is meaningless, like in the Star Trek universe?
If everything has a beginning and an end, how can the universe be infinite? And so on.
While I am not a philosopher, it's hard not to look at this planet and the diversity of its people… as well as consider the existence of other lifeforms, and not have a few questions pop up randomly. In other words, I often have existential questions.
What Are Existential Questions?
Existential questions are big philosophical queries centered around the meaning of life, death, destiny, identity, freedom, and responsibility. They provide us with an opportunity to ponder our existence and reflect on our lives in a deeper way.
By considering these questions, we can form a better understanding of ourselves, the world around us, and our place in it. They help to add perspective and create new opportunities for exploration and self-discovery.
How Existential Questions Come in Handy
Existential questions can be used in various ways:
Now that we understand the nature of these questions and how they can be useful throughout life, let's take a peek at some existential questions that you can use to spark a fun philosophical conversation.
[See Deep Questions to Ask for Interesting Conversation]
129 Existential Questions to Spark Conversation
1. Can people really be good or bad? If so, how do we measure that?
2. Why do we get attached to some people instead of others?
3.Would aliens want to be friends with humans?
4.Can animals have wisdom?
5.Why do we associate wisdom with age? Can a child be wise?
6.How well can you ever know someone else?
7. Would identical twins still have similar personalities if raised separately?
8.Have humans always had emotions?
9.Why do we love and what's the point of it?
10.Is love only a feeling or can it also be an action?
11.Does love differ from sexual desire?
12.Is love in the brain or the heart?
13. When did humans develop love?
14.How does unreciprocated love affect people?
15.Can you stop yourself from falling in love with someone?
16.Can you love an object?
17.Can friendship be more powerful than romantic love?
18.Would you rather have respect with no love or love with no respect?
19. Can you fart in a dream?
20.What happens to memories that I forgot?
21. Can insects feel pain?
22. Can trees communicate with each other?
23. If time travel were possible, is it best to go back in time or to the future?
24.If time travel were possible, would it be wrong to change history?
25.Do animals have humor?
26. When did the concept of humor begin?
27.What makes wild animals wild?
28. Do animals have a moral code?
29.What would happen to Earth’s oceans with no gravity?
30.Why are hot dogs named after dogs as opposed to cats?
31.Do our pets really like us?
32.Why do people get scared at horror movies?
33. If aliens invaded, would you side with them or stay with humans and why?
34. Would you take the chance to live on another planet with your family?
35.Would you rather live on a planet that has slower or faster time than Earth?
36. If you could evolve, would you prefer to live in the ocean or fly in the sky?
37.Would you rather live forever and be plain or die young but be extremely hot and rich?
38.What is worse in movies – too much sex or too much violence?
39. Can animals fall in love with a human?
40.Can animals fall in love with another animal species?
41.Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?
42.Would you want to be immortal if you had the chance?
43. If everyone was immortal, would you prefer one true love for all time or different lovers?
44.Do we need money to survive?
45.Since people eat animals, is it wrong for an animal to eat a human?
46.If you could control time, would you rather go back in time or pause it?
47. Is it possible to remember something that didn't actually happen?
48. If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
49. Does human consciousness exist without the brain?
50.Would you rather time travel or teleport?
51. Is it in our nature to hurt others if we are hurt by them?
52.How can two people look at a situation differently?
53. Is there a limit to human creativity?
54.Would you want to know the day and time of your death if you could?
55.Are humans inherently selfish or are we capable of altruism?
56.Do people have free will, or is fate predetermined?
57. Do animals think like humans or is it something completely different?
58.Do you think we should take responsibility for our own actions?
59. How would the world be if there were no laws?
60. How do dreams affect us in reality?
61. Can robots feel emotions?
62. Does the past only exist in our memories?
63. Do all animals feel different emotions?
64. Is it possible to ever fully understand the human brain?
65. Is it possible to know what another person is thinking without them telling you?
66. What would happen if humans stopped dreaming?
67. Do insects feel emotions?
68. Is it possible for animals to experience pleasure?
69. Does the universe go on forever or does it have an end point?
70. If time travel were possible, would you choose to go back and relive moments from your past or change them?
71. Would you want to read minds if you could?
72. Do you think humans will ever be able to control their dreams?
73. Would you prefer to know every language on the planet or be able to communicate with aliens?
74.Do we have souls?
75. Are some people predestined for greatness or is it all just luck?
76. Is it possible to know everything?
77. Do some animals have a sense of right and wrong?
78. Are we our own worst enemies?
79. What would happen if everyone was the same color, race, gender, etc.?
80.Would you prefer to deal with zombies or space aliens?
81.Does our perception of reality change over time?
82.Do we create our own luck or do some just have more than others?
83. Is it possible to be completely free from society’s expectations?
84.If you could talk and understand any animal, what type would you choose to communicate with?
85. What would happen if the world suddenly stopped spinning and all time completely stood still?
86. Is it possible for us to exist without money?
87. If you could make one thing illegal, what would it be?
88. Do plants have feelings too?
89. What would the world be like without language?
90.If you could go back in time, where and when would you choose to go?
91. Are we all just one big family, no matter our differences?
92. Do you think robots will surpass humans in intelligence one day?
93. Can animals think for themselves or do they follow instinct?
94. Is something only right if it’s legal?
95. If you could erase one thing from history, what would it be?
96. Do we have a moral obligation to help those less fortunate than us?
97. Is the idea of “happiness” subjective or does it have a universal definition?
98. Do you think we are living in an age of enlightenment or are we still stuck in darkness?
99. Are animals born good or bad?
100. Would humans be happy on another planet?
101. Is it possible to be happy without self-reflection?
102. Would you rather live one eternal life or several shorter ones after being reincarnated over and over again?
103. If you could talk to any famous dead person, who would it be and why?
104. If you could spend another day with one deceased loved one, which one would it be?
105. If you had to pick, would you live on a spacecraft that never lands or on a ship that sailed forever?
106. Would you prefer to live in a world that was extremely hot or frigidly cold?
107. Would you prefer to be reincarnated as another human or an animal?
108. Is it possible to be in love with more than one person at the same time?
109. Do you think robots can ever feel love and compassion?
110. What would happen if humans all had telepathic abilities?
111. Would you prefer to live during the Ice Age or among dinosaurs?
112. Is it possible to be truly happy without any conflict?
113. Can emotions exist without thought?
114. Would you rather live in a world with no pain or one with no pleasure?
115. Would you prefer to live as a very pampered house cat or as a lion?
116. Do you think our brains are hardwired for certain emotions?
117. Would you want to know what will happen in the future if it could be revealed to you?
118. Would you prefer to be a Queen Bee or a cute ladybug?
119. Is it possible for the human race to survive without war?
120. Is too much freedom as bad as too many restrictions?
121. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is there an objective truth?
122. Should people live their lives based on faith or facts?
123. Can a person be both happy and sad at the same time?
124. Do you think humans are capable of unconditional love?
125. Is it possible to have justice without law?
126. Can an animal be smarter than a human?
127. Does having power come with more responsibility or less?
128. Is it better to be overly optimistic or realistic about life?
129. Do animals see beauty?
Can Existential Questions Help in Certain Career Fields?
If you're at a party, or having a chat with friends, a fun philosophical conversation can get things moving. However, are these types of questions only for recreation? Can existential questions actually be useful in certain career fields?
Yes, they can. Existential questions can help scientists, writers, and entrepreneurs come to meaningful conclusions by provoking them to think more deeply and objectively about their work.
By asking deeper questions, professionals can explore further into certain topics and come up with solutions that are more creative, innovative and effective than if they had not asked questions at all.
For instance, scientists may use existential questions to think about their research or experiments in a different perspective. Writers might use them to help hone their craft by trying to articulate their thoughts in a precise way. I'm sure some of the above questions would make good writing prompts.
Entrepreneurs can use them to come up with solutions to challenging problems or devise strategies that could help their businesses grow. Let's take the iPhone for example.
During its creation, maybe the late Steve Jobs or the inventors asked themselves questions like, “Could one device bring the world together?” or “What would happen if people had access to a handheld computer?”.
Existential questions can help professionals in many different fields come up with creative solutions that may have never been thought of before. So, the next time you're stuck on a project or want to gain a fresh perspective on something, try asking yourself some of the above questions and see what kind of insights you can uncover.
You might be surprised at how much thinking outside the box can help!
Final Thoughts About Existential Questions for Fun Conversation
Whether you want to facilitate a deep class discussion or start a fun conversation at a party, existential questions can be a great way to get everyone thinking. These types of questions are thought-provoking, open-ended and can help us explore various topics from different angles.
By asking more meaningful questions, we can get people to step out of their comfort zones and think about topics more critically. The above questions can help you get the ball rolling, but feel free to use your own too.
So, gather some friends or colleagues and get ready to have some fun! Who knows, you might even stumble on a few answers that can help shape your future. Got you hooked? Then be sure to check out the article, 151 Funny This or That Questions to Ask in 2023.
And if you want more questions to spark great conversations, check out these blog posts: