Questions for Stimulating Conversation

Note: This list is intended to be a work in progress and is open to submissions! Please send any and all suggestions to fayres _@_ wesleyan.edu

  • What are your views on simulation theory?
    • Does it matter if we are indeed living in a computer simulation?
    • (For a primer, see Nick Bostrom’s seminal paper and this YouTube video)
  • What is your mental representation for dates and time?
  • When driving on the highway, do you go by the numbers (Exit 37, e.g.) or the names (Main Street) of exits?
  • What are your views on the existence of intelligent or advanced life elsewhere in our galaxy? Our universe?
    • What effect would its discovery have on humanity?
  • Should humans become a multi-planetary species?
    • If not our species per se, then consciousness in the form of AI?
  • What type of humor makes you laugh the most or brings you the most joy?
  • Would you rather give up caffeine or alcohol?
  • What was the most defining moment of your life?
  • What was the scariest moment of your life?
  • What is the most recurring dream you have? Are there variations on a theme?
  • What is the most recurring nightmare you have?
  • What do you miss most about your childhood?
    • About college, if you attended?
    • About your time before marriage or having children, if that applies to you?
  • What is your biggest regret about your childhood?
    • About college, if you attended?
    • About your time before marriage or having children, if that applies to you?
  • What is a common trait shared by people you’ve dated?
  • What event in history would you change?
  • What is the most heterodox or contrarian view you hold?
    • How often do you make this view known?
  • If you are a theist, would your beliefs in a god or a higher power change if there wasn’t an afterlife?
  • If you are a theist, what convinces you most that there is a god or a higher power?
  • If you are an atheist, what convinced you most that there is not a god or a higher power?
  • Independent of whether a life after death exists, what would you most look forward to in an afterlife?
  • By nature, are humans altruistic or more Hobbesian and “brutish”?
  • Would you rather be a good person or a nice person?
  • Do you subscribe more to deontological or consequential normative ethics?
  • Do you subscribe more to the human capital hypothesis or the signaling hypothesis in regards to the economic returns of higher education?

2 thoughts on “Questions for Stimulating Conversation”

  1. “How do you handle criticism and praise?”: asking this question to a group of people that you are close may most likely shift the conversation into a respectful thought bubble on how to handle situations without emotions taking the front wheel.

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