Let’s say you’re at a really boring gathering.
There’s no booze, cell phones, and internet. Just imagine the silence!
When you add boring conversation starters, the conversation immediately flat lines and goes absolutely nowhere.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way – asking thought-provoking questions is the answer to break the ice.
Here are 115 thought-provoking questions that you can ask to spark your mind and those around you.
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Deep thought-provoking questions
- What should be humanity’s goal?
- Should everyone on the planet be striving toward a common goal? If so, what would that be?
- Can you think of something that everyone could agree on, despite the chaotic world we live in?
- How will humans become extinct?
- Will it be an environmental disaster? A rampant disease? Or maybe you think a meteor will hit the earth that is large enough to ruin the entire planet.
- Do you think humans will last another 1,000 years?
- If you could teach the entire world just one concept, what would it be?
- What concept do you think could have the most significant positive impact on humanity?
- Is mankind going in the right or wrong direction?
- Have humans figured out how to keep progressing towards something better?
- Or are we moving backward and should revert back to the values and lifestyles of those who lived before us?
- Is it better for someone to have a wide range of superficial knowledge or deep knowledge about a few things?
- What if there were no professionals in any given subject, but everyone knew a little bit about everything?
- How can we judge ourselves by our intentions yet judge others by their actions?
- Can we ever believe someone when they say their intentions are different from their actions? What if someone’s intentions were truly transparent?
- What is the biggest waste of human potential?
- There are so many possible answers to this question, but which do you believe is the truest?
- Is it not sharing your wisdom with other people? Not spreading knowledge? Is it engaging in traditional schooling where children are confined to desks for most of the day?
- Why are people resistant to doing things that we know are healthy but crave things that are detrimental to our health?
- What if one of your long-held memories isn’t actually completely true? Does it matter?
- Can you think of times where you have felt completely sure of something but someone tells you otherwise?
- What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?
- Is free will real or just an illusion?
- Is there a meaning to life? If so, what is it?
- Is the meaning of life the same for animals and humans?
- Where is the line between art and not art?
- If someone you loved was killed in front of you, but someone created a copy of them that was perfect right down to the atomic level, would they be the same person and would you love them just as much?
- Does fate exist? If so, do we have free will?
- What does it mean to live a good life?
- Why do we dream?
- Is it possible to live a normal life and not ever tell a lie?
- Does a person’s name influence the person they become?
- What should be the goal of humanity?
- If you could become immortal on the condition you would NEVER be able to die or kill yourself, would you choose immortality?
- How will humans as a species go extinct?
- What actions in your life will have the longest reaching consequences? How long will those effects be felt?
- How long will you be remembered after you die?
- If a child somehow survived and grew up in the wilderness without any human contact, how “human” would they be without the influence of society and culture?
- Where does your self-worth come from?
- How would humanity change if all humans’ life expectancy was significantly increased (let’s say to around 500 years)?
- Where do you find meaning in your life?
- What do you think would be humanity’s reaction to the discovery of extraterrestrial life?
- Will religion ever become obsolete?
- If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?
- Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition? What would people who never suffered be like?
- Does hardship make a person stronger? If so, under what conditions and at what point is it too much hardship? If not, what makes a person stronger?
- Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?
- What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?
Thought-provoking questions that are fun
- How do you think your future self will remember your current self?
- When did you screw everything up, but no one ever found out it was you?
- What have you gotten away with? How sneaky were you when you were younger? Or was it something recent that you messed up and got away with?
- What would you name your boat if you had one?
- What will finally break the internet?
- What celebrity would you rate as a perfect 10?
- Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?
- What is the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
- If you had to change your name, what would your new name be, and why would you choose that name?
- What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?
- What’s a body part that you wouldn’t mind losing?
- What’s your biggest screw up in the kitchen?
- What’s the worst commercial you’ve recently seen? Why is it so bad?
- What’s the closest thing to real magic?
- What is the craziest thing one of your teachers has done?
- Who is the messiest person you know?
- What problem or situation did TV/movies make you think would be common, but when you grew up you found out it wasn’t?
- What quote or saying do people spout but are complete BS?
- What’s something your brain tries to make you do and you have to will yourself not to do it?
- What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
- If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
- What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
- What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
- If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl that you couldn’t sell, what would you fill it with?
- What’s the most useless talent you have?
- What would be on the gag reel of your life?
- Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been?
Personal thought-provoking questions
- Tell me the 3 best things about you.
- On a scale of 1-10, how strict are/were your parents?
- Who was your worst teacher? Why?
- Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
- Which would you pick: being world-class attractive, a genius or famous for doing something great?
- Who are the 3 greatest living musicians?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- What was your favorite toy growing up?
- Name 3 celebrities you most admire.
- Name a celebrity you think is lame.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- Which of your friends are you proudest of? Why?
- What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
- What are your 3 favorite movies?
- How would you describe me to your friends?
- Which historical figure would you like to be?
- What’s the right age to get married?
- Tell me 3 things you remember about kindergarten.
- What paper that you’ve written are you most proud of?
- What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
- Who would you like to live like for a day?
- If you could time travel, where would you go?
- If you could live in any TV home, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
- Would you rather live for a week in the past or the future?
- What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory?
- What’s your best childhood memory?
- What’s your favorite holiday?
- If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
- If you could be a cartoon character for a week, who would you be?
- If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?
- What’s one choice you really regret?
- What’s your favorite childhood book?
- What’s a great book you’ve read recently?
- Do you feel like a leader or a follower?
- If you could ask your pet 3 questions, what would they be?
- What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
- Who would play you in a movie of your life?
- If you could be an Olympic athlete, in what sport would you compete?
- If you had to live in a different state, what would it be?
Everyone likes a good conversation.
The questions above cover all kinds of different subjects, so there’s no shortage of questions to ask next time.
If you’re looking for an amusing way to engage a group of friends, family or colleagues who are beyond small talk, then these examples are for you.
Let us know how it goes.