Three Philosophical Questions That Turn Your World Upside Down!

by Shirley Williams
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Everyone thinks about the meaning of life and whether it was the chicken, which existed first, or the egg. But some of the greatest minds in the philosophical world come up with questions that go far beyond these subjects. Prepare to be blown away by these questions…

The first issue bears the name: “The infinite hotel”. It asks you to think about the concept of infinity. Imagine that a hotel has an infinite number of guests and an infinite number of rooms. The moment you walk to the reception and ask for a room, it, unfortunately, appears that the infinite number of rooms are filled with an infinite number of guests.

Fortunately, the receptionist has an idea: “I just move guest number one from room one to room two.” He then moved the guest from room two to room three and room three to room four. And so an infinite number of guests are moved up one room.

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This sounds like the perfect solution, but the hotel originally had an infinite number of guests and now it has an infinite number of guests plus one guest. The hotel only has an infinite number of rooms. How many guests and rooms are an infinite number of guests and rooms?

The next brain teaser is published by Ludwig Wittgenstein and is called “the beetle in the box”. Ludwig asks that we all imagine a group of people who all have a box with something in it called a “beetle”. Everyone holds a box but no one is allowed to look into the box of the others. Then everyone is asked to describe their beetle, but everyone is only allowed to talk about his own beetle because something else could be in his box. Over time, the beetle simply becomes known as “the thing in someone’s box”.

The beetle is then compared to our mind and presented as our unique thoughts. Although we say and understand that someone feels pain, we can never know for sure what someone else feels. We can never be sure that our won beetle is the same as the beetle in someone else’s box.

The following issue is probably the best known and has recently been discussed a lot when it comes to the self-driving car. The experiment asks you to imagine that you are behind the wheel of a trolley. The trolley’s brakes no longer work and you have two options: you do nothing and you drive five people or you pull the lever and you drive one person.

The dilemma states that you have to choose. You do nothing and without being able to do anything about it, five people die, or you pull the lever and your action leads to one person dying. Are you willing to make the hardest choice ever and intentionally kill someone?

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