50 Important Philosophical Questions

I’d like to offer a very simple post here (something I can’t seem to do very often). The following list is philosophical issues that I think are very important for Christians in particular, although many of these issues should be important for anyone. These are issues that either directly affect our understanding of a core historical Christian concept or teaching, or otherwise have obvious implications for secondary (non-essential) concepts or teachings (such as God’s relation to time or how to reconcile God’s sovereignty and man’s freedom of the will). The second list (see next post) contains various arguments for God’s existence and for Christian claims. In the first list, each point will have the particular or some of the branch(es) of Philosophy that the issue falls under (please see this post for explanations of the basic branches)

My goal with the first list is to simply demonstrate how important Philosophy is in forming one’s world-view and that a basic understanding of Philosophical concepts can dramatically aid one to think clearer about important issues:

  1. Does God exist? (Metaphysics + Philosophy of Religion)

  2. How can we know that He exists? (Epistemology + Natural Theology + Philosophy of Religion)

  3. Does God have a nature? (Phil. of Religion + Metaphysics)

  4. Does God have properties? (Phil. of Religion + Metaphysics)

  5. Can we gain knowledge about God’s nature or properties? (Epistemology)

  6. Is God the source of all reality? (Metaphysics + Phil. of Religion)

  7. What does it mean to say that God is transcendent over His creation? (Phil. of Religion)

  8. Is God the source of morality? (Ethics + Phil. of Religion)

  9. What is Morality? (Ethics)

  10. What is Good? (Ethics)

  11. What is Evil? (Ethics)

  12. How can we tell what is Good and Evil? (Ethics + Epistemology)

  13. Why should I be moral at all? (Ethics)

  14. Are humans just physical entities or do they have an immaterial self? (Metaphysics)

  15. Do humans have an essential nature? (Metaphysics)

  16. Do humans have free-will? (Philosophy of Mind + Metaphysics)

  17. Are humans morally responsible for the things they think, do, intend, etc.? (Philosophy of Mind + Metaphysics)

  18. Does the personal identity of a human persist through change? (Metaphysics)

  19. What are the anthropological implications of determinism? (Metaphysics)

  20. If we can prod the brain and produce a physical or even a mental effect, what implications follow? (Phil. of Mind)

  21. How can God know the future? (Philosophical Theology + Phil. of Religion)

  22. Does God know counter-factuals? (Phil. of Religion)

  23. Is God within time or outside of time? (Metaphysics, Philosophy of Time/Science)

  24. What is time? (Phil. Of Time/Science)

  25. Is time a physical entity or a metaphysical entity? (Phil. Of Time/Science)

  26. How can humans have free-will and God be sovereign all at the same time? (Phil. of Religion)

  27. Is science compatible with religious belief / Christianity? (Philosophy of Science)

  28. What is science? (Phil. of Science)

  29. Is there only one scientific method? (Phil. of Science)

  30. Do the findings of science imply naturalism or materialism? (Phil. Of Science)

  31. Which fields of study count as science? (Phil. of Science)

  32. What theological implications follow from the findings of Quantum Physics? (Phil. of Science)

  33. Is scientism a rational view? (Epistemology)

  34. Isn’t Evil incompatible with God’s being real? (Phil. of Religion)

  35. Do God’s “omni” properties make sense? (Philosophical Theology)

  36. Can God do anything? Even something logically incoherent? (Phil. of Religion)

  37. What is Truth? (Epistemology)

  38. How can only one religion be true? (Phil. of Religion)

  39. How can one effectively compare different religions or views to see which one is true? (Phil. Of Religion + Epistemology)

  40. Is the trinity a coherent concept? (Phil. of Religion)

  41. How could God become a man? (Phil. of Religion)

  42. What does it mean to say that Jesus has two natures? (Phil. of Religion + Metaphysics)

  43. What are miracles? (Phil. of Religion)

  44. Are miracles possible? (Phil. of Religion)

  45. Can we examine ancient documents and gain knowledge from them? (Epistemology + Philosophy of History)

  46. Can we know certain truths without evidence? (Epistemology)

  47. What role do “supernatural experiences” or “mystical experiences” have to play? (Phil. of Religion)

  48. Do abstract objects exist (i.e. does the number 2 exist)? (Metaphysics)

  49. If abstract objects exist, what is God’s relation to them? (Metaphysics + Phil. of Religion)

  50. Do universals exist? (Metaphysics)

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12 comments

  1. [...] per the last post, the following list is a compilation of various types of arguments either directly for God’s [...]

  2. It would be GREAT to have a follow-up to this list where all 50 questions are succinctly answered…both via the Christion worldview AND the atheist worldview. What a wonderful “compare and contrast”. You up for that? If you are, I’d love to incorporate your work into my http://www.iLoveAtheists.com website…providing you full credit of course.

    1. Todd,

      I’d definitely be interested in doing so. If you want to email me @ thoughtsontheline@gmail.com feel free to do so. Would you want me to simply post some follow ups on this site or do some write ups via text files?

  3. [...] 50 Important Philosophical Questions: Just a simple list of 50 philosophical issues (in question form) that are relevant to Christianity [...]

  4. To anyone who might be interested:

    I have posted an entry on my blog, Incinerating Presuppositionalism, which addresses all 50 of the questions listed here. My answers can be found here:

    Answers to “50 Important Philosophical Questions”

    I am happy to discuss any of the answers I have submitted over on my blog. Just follow the link.

    Regards,

  5. [...] You probably fell in love with her intellect, but everyday life doesn’t allow for you to re-discover that often.  Ask her a philosophical question.  If you’re having trouble thinking of something, visit: http://thoughtsontheline.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/50-important-philosophical-questions/ [...]

  6. ryan lunnon · · Reply

    todd downing is the smartest guy in the world!!!!!

  7. ryan lunnon · · Reply

    callum boreham is a doosh!

  8. Anonymous · · Reply

    too much god shit.

  9. The majority of these are religious questions.

  10. If we leave christianity aside for a moment, there seems to be answers to our philosophical questions. I came across the following post that almost has me convinced.
    8 Great Philosophical Questions: A Vedic Perspective

  11. Dylan O · · Reply

    My problem with this article is how 85% of the questions revolve around a god. However , if I answer question 1 no, then all questions relating to god become irrelevant. For example, I answer no to number one, then what’s the purpose of question two ?

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