"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Wondering Questions

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, February 2, 2023 Under: Reflections

One way to deepen relationships and encourage people to think about their values and beliefs is to ask good questions. I read a book by Doug Pollock called ‘God Space’ and in it he talked about using ‘Wondering questions’ in our conversations. There’s an excerpt on the Cru website here

To add to that, I’ve compiled a list of questions to help me understand the worldviews of my friends better and help them explore the basis of their beliefs. 

  • If there is no ultimate meaning, how do we find meaning for our lives?
  • What is justice and how is it meted out?
  • What is the basis for ethics and altruism?
  • What happens when we die?
  • What makes something morally wrong? Is it simply about harm to others or is there more to it (for example, the character of the agent)?
  • How did intelligence come to be?
  • How did something come from nothing?
  • What gives hope in life?
  • How does history shape you and your place in it?
  • In a couple of generations when everyone who remembers you is dead, what legacy will you leave?
  • What happened before the Big Bang?
  • Why are humans more important than animals?
  • Why eat a chicken but not a chimp?
  • What makes one random bunch of atoms any more significant than another?
  • How do you explain deep and complex emotions like love, grief, compassion and anger?
  • How do you explain the spiritual nature of a moving piece of music, breathtaking vista or artwork?
  • How do you personally live with injustice?
  • Is forgiveness possible?
  • How do you explain the fine-tuning of the universe?
  • If the universe had a beginning (which is scientifically undisputed) how do you get life from non-life? What existed before the universe?
  • What do you make of the sense of eternity, of something beyond, that has been common to almost every human culture and civilisation throughout history?
  • If there is no ultimate meaning and meaning is simply locally created, why do we often live as though there is lasting, overarching significance?
  • If the world is random and arbitrary, how does it make any sense to talk of fairness and unfairness?
  • Why do you think we should help the poor, weak, vulnerable and marginalised? Why should we make sacrifices to help those who don’t contribute anything to society?
  • Do you think that people are really more free sexually or is the current identity politics simply a new way of enslaving people and stopping them flourishing in healthy ways of relating to one another?
  • Why do you think that mental health problems and loneliness are at epidemic levels in the West? What would you suggest the answer is?
  • Do we have free will? If you take a materialistic / deterministic view of the world, how is freedom possible? If we aren’t free, how can we be morally responsible for our actions?
  • Do you think secular humanism is simply a worldview for the affluent and healthy?
  • What can put a restraint on hedonism?
  • Do you think we have a conscience? What is it? Where does it come from?
  • Can science answer every question we could ever ask about the world? If it can’t, how else might we get answers? What other types of knowledge are there apart from scientific knowledge?
  • If morality and meaning are personally constructed, how do we gain consensus? Whose opinion arbitrates? How are laws formed? Is morality simply democratic social convention or is there intrinsic right and wrong? (Is there a moral difference between driving through a red traffic light and murder?)
  • What do you make of the interplay of rights and responsibilities? What about when they clash?
  • If there was a God, would you want to know him?
  • What compelling reasons can you give for being other-centred rather than self-centred?
  • Why do you think long-term commitment in relationships is decreasing? What are the effects on individuals, family and society? What’s the solution?
  • How can a person derive value if they are essentially a random clump of atoms briefly, and often painfully, existing in a meaningless universe?
  • Do you think we are generally improving as we make scientific and technological progress? Does our morality track scientific progress? Is it linear? Are we becoming better people than our grandparents and ancestors? Is your view of the future of humanity utopian or dystopian?
  • Why do many who don’t believe in God still use language that points to him such as ‘creature’ and ‘gifted’?

In : Reflections 

Tags: questions 


"loving god' commandment relationship 40th activity acts addiction adoption adultery advent aesop agapé android animation anxiety apologetics app apps argument aroma atheism audio bear ben folds bible bible characters bible narrative bible study bible trading cards big picture birthday blog body of christ book book review books busyness cat celebration celibacy celtic change charity chart child children christ christendom christmas chronicles church church history climate change coastguard colouring comedy commentary communications communion community compassion conference consumerism contemplation context conversation coronavirus covenant covid-19 creation creation care creativity cross crucifixtion cryptic culture cwtch daily prayer data day of the lord death debate devotional diagram dictionary digital disagreement disciples discipleship discipline discussion documentary easter ecclesiastes economics education effort elder brother emotion encouragement enemies environment environmentalism ethics evangelism event evidence ezekiel fable facebook fact check fair trade faith faitheism fake news father fear feast feeling fellowship feminism fiction film fireseeds flesh flourishing food foodbank forgiveness free freedom freshers fun fundraiser funny galatians game gay gay wedding genealogies generosity gifts giving god god's presence good good news gospel gospreflection grace gratitude great commission green growth guitar hagar healing health heart heaven hebrews history hoarding holy biscuit holy spirit home homosexuality honesty hope hopelessness hospitality house hub humanism humour hymn identity in individualism infographic infographics inheritance insurance internet interview interviews intimacy ios jesus joel joke jonah joseph joy justice kindness kingdom kingdom of god lament law leaflet lectio divina legacy lennox lesbian levite lgbtq liberty library literal literature liturgy living out lockdown lord’s love lust magazine map mark mark's materialism matthew maturity meal meditation meditations memory mental health ministry mission missionaries moody moral morality move murray music names of god nation new creation new year newcomers news non-fiction north east obsession old testament online outreach pain palm sunday parable passover patience peace pentecost persecution perseverance perspective philosophy photo photography piano picture this thought podcast poem poetry political correctness pool night possessions post-christendom poverty power praise prayer prayer requests prayer walk preaching presentation presents priest princess anne priorities prodigal son productivity project prophecy protection provision psalm publicity puzzle questions quiz quotes reading rebellion reconciliation redemption reference reflection relationship relationships relativism religion remembrance repentance rescue resource resources rest restoration resurrection retreat review reviews riches right and wrong royalty rules rush sabbath sacrifice same-sex attraction sarah scholarship science screens scripture scripture engagement secularism seed self esteem selfishness sermon sermon on the mount sex sexuality shalom sharing faith shopping showcase significance silence simplicity sin slavery smell social social action social media society software solitude song songs sonship soularium sources speaking spiritual gifts spirituality sproul spurgeon stations of the cross stats stewardship stone story stott student student life students study suffering supper support support discovery talk tech technology temple tft thank you thanksgiving theology time toby tools top trumps trading cards training transformation translation treasure treasure hunt trivia true freedom trust truth unity update utilities value video vine visual waiting waiting for god walk war wealth website websites wesley witnessing women words world worldview worry worship worth writing wrong wycliffe youtube ywam

Living Out is registered UK Charity no. 1165572 | The Baptist Union is Charity no. 249635