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A selection of questions from 'The Galactic Question Center'

All the following questions are taken from and represent a sample that we think would be interesting as a basis for philosophical discussions with children of primary school age (and older).

The Three Horses Problem
Consider three horses, each pulling a cart filled with hay. The horses are in a row, walking down the road. As it walks, the second horse gets to eat from the hay that the first horse is pulling. The third horse gets to eat from the hay the second horse is pulling. Which horse would you prefer to be?

Dreams and reality?
You are offered the ability to have control over your dreams at night and make them as real as your experiences in life. Would you like such a power?

A being tells you that your current life is actually the afterlife, and it will last for as long as you wish. If you desire, you will not age or get sick. Does this statement bring you happiness or sadness?

Fiction versus nonfiction?
Generally speaking, which gives you more pleasure: reading fiction or reading nonfiction?

Future happiness?
Do you see yourself happier five years from now than you are today? Why?

If you could choose the place and manner of your death, where and what would it be?

Earliest memory?
What is the first thing you remember?

Sights or sounds?
Forced to choose between your sight and hearing, which would you rather keep, and why?

Future Job Skills?
What skills do today's children need to learn to do well in life and in their future jobs?

What is your favorite word?

Frozen in time
You have ten years left to live. You can finish out your days consecutively, if you choose, or be frozen in time and resurrected at will, for a year each time. How lengthy a gap would you choose between resurrections? If complete annihilation of the species and/or planet occurs during one of your hibernation periods, you're done. How far in the future are you willing to plan your final year?

Observe your thoughts?
Have you ever tried to observe your thoughts without getting entangled in them? Do you find this practice helpful or interesting?

A great start
You are about to write the greatest novel the world has ever read. What is the first sentence?

Do you feel that time moves at a different pace in various situations, or does a minute, or an hour or a day feel more or less the same to you regardless of content?

An ant?
A wise man tells you, "An ant is bigger than an elephant."
How could he be right?

The dilemma of the dials
You have the opportunity to determine the beauty level and intelligence level of your child, before the child is born, simply by turning two dials from 0 to 10, 10 being high. "5" is average. To what number would you set your dials?

Is there a question you're dying to ask a particular person but you don't because you fear the answer? What is the question?

Virtual ventricumbent vampire?
For $50 million tax free, would you become a virtual vampire? This means you must stay in your home during daylight hours for the rest of your life -- never to leave except in cases of medical emergencies and doctor visits.

Past or future?
If you had the choice to travel to anytime in the future or anytime in the past, and STAY THERE, would you choose future or past?

Too much information?
If you could know the exact date and manner of your death, would you want the information? (assume that nothing could be done to alter the outcome).

What is the best way to determine if you are dreaming?

Holy grail?
Is the path of your life dictated by your quest for a certain goal, idea or piece of information? What is it?

Stranger in a strange land
Do you think it's true that people are the same wherever you go?

What do you believe to be true?
What do you believe to be true that your friends usually do not believe to be true?

Books or minds?
Given a choice between the ability to read minds or books, which would you choose? Why?

Rich or poor?
Which do you prefer: being a rich person in a poor country, or a poor person in a rich country?

Money, energy, or information?
Humans can have one of the following gifts, you decide: unlimited money, unlimited energy, or unlimited information.

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