Seven Science & Philosophy Questions

Seven Science & Philosophy Questions for Everyone



 The Butterfly Effect is defined as:

The phenomenon whereby a small change within a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

In other words, a butterfly making the smallest alteration in the wind might set off a chain reaction causing a hurricane two weeks later on the opposite side of the world.

Or something like that.

Think of an important event that has taken place during your life or the life of someone you know.

Now think about how that event came to be.

What was the butterfly?


No Accidents?

 Scientifically speaking, everything happens for a reason.


Meaning on a physical level every interaction in the universe has a definitive physical cause, no matter how obscure.

And thus, universally speaking, there are no accidents.

No luck.

No true randomization.


Things like human emotions, impulses, and ideas don’t necessarily fit into any standard scientific construct.

Meaning the reasons behind several of humanity’s physical actions aren’t exactly known.

Meaning human activity can disrupt the universe’s interactions.

So are there accidents after all?


The Doctrine of Double Effect

 There’s a runaway train.

Aboard it are five people.

Thing is: you’re standing at a lever which, if you pull it, will switch the tracks and save the five people.


If you pull the lever, you’ll redirect the train to a portion of the tracks where a woman and her baby are standing, totally unaware of what’s about to happen.

If you don’t pull the lever, five people will die through your inaction.

If you do pull the lever, two people will die due to your direct action.

Which choice is correct?


Worth More

For purposes of this exercise, we’re making up a point scale.

We’ll call it the Universal Point System.

The system goes from 0-10. A zero means no value at all to the universe. A ten means the highest possible universal value. A five is somewhere in the middle.

For each of the following, assign a value based on the Universal Point System:

A drop of water

The planet Mars

A single human being

A blue whale


A star

A galaxy



Game of Thrones

Choose which king you would prefer to rule the kingdom in which you live:

The Sword: Strong, decisive, militarily powerful, yet prone to rash judgment

The Peacemaker: Calm, benevolent, generous, yet unwilling to take risks

The Lawyer: Highly intelligent, even-handed, able to solve complex problems, yet entirely non-emotional

The Philosopher: Visionary, wise, deeply thoughtful, yet not at all concerned with tradition or religion

And which king would you least want on the throne?



Which of the following do you believe?

Words exist because of meaning. Once you’ve found the meaning, you can forget the words.” ~ Chuang Tzu

Man is the only animal who enjoys the consolation of believing in a next life. All other animals enjoy the consolation of not worrying about it.” ~ Robert Brault

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.”

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.” ~ Niels Bohr

You have to do it by yourself. And you can’t do it alone.” ~ Martin Rutte


If it Hasn’t Happened by Now…

 If, in the entire history of humanity, no one has yet been visited by someone from the future, does that mean time travel won’t ever be invented?


* * *

These questions and many, many more appear in my book, 101 Questions for the End of the World.

J Edward Neill

Creator of Coffee Table Philosophy

Nostradamus was wrong. The world ends TODAY…

You heard, right?

101 Questions for the End of the World is here


It has questions. Tons of questions.

But instead of ice-breaking, improve your love life-type questions, it’s full of deadly serious inquiries.

Think Socrates meets Stephen Hawking, Plato meets Carl Sagan, and that’s kinda sorta what it’s like.

It’s for science buffs, outer space lovers, old world philosophy fans, and serious truth seekers. In it, I ask readers about all of life’s greatest mysteries.


101 Qs for the End of the World Front Cover

The e-version. Send your Kindle into a black hole.

101 Qs for the End of the World Front Cover

The softcover. Dress up your coffee table like no one’s business.


A preview and three sample questions are here.

J Edward Neill

…who also writes deep, dark fiction.




10 Things to Ask Yourself Tonight

The following 10 questions are straight from my philosophy/ice-breaker book, 101 Questions for Midnight.

I hope you enjoy them.

If so, considering answering a few in the comments section below, via Facebook, or on Twitter.

* * *

Absolute Freedom

 Imagine a society in which there are no laws.

You can do anything without fear of legal retribution.

Consider, of course, so can everyone else.

What things would you do that are currently illegal?

  Realistically speaking, is such a society even possible?


If you could choose to become utterly and forever immune to being offended, would you?

Algebra of the Heart

Complete the following equation:

 ________________ + ________________

 = Love

Play the Percentages

 Define exactly what percentage of each day you’d like to spend doing the following things:


Being alone

Having sex

Spending time with friends and family


The Small of a Woman’s Back

 Define what it means to be sexy.


Most humans make swift judgments about people they’ve newly encountered, even if subconsciously.

With that in mind, what judgments would you make after seeing:

A woman in a slinky dress    

A man listening to obnoxiously loud music in their car

A woman covered neck to ankle in tattoos

A man yelling at his child in public

Arbeit Macht Frei 

An ancient Japanese samurai once claimed, “Everyone should personally know exertion as it is known in the lower classes.”

His point is that for humility’s sake, every human should perform hard labor to some extent during their lives.

Do you feel this is true?

Can hard work free the mind of some of its troubles?


By and large, human society no longer embraces the theory of Survival of the Fittest.

Weakness, disease, and genetic flaws are no longer the death sentence they once were.  Strong, fit, and healthy individuals coexist with those less fortunate.

In terms of humanity’s long-term survival, do you believe this is ideal?



Is it doomed?

In other words; in 100 years, will the concept of two people spending their entire lives together cease to exist?

If not, what do you believe will reverse the current trend of most marriages ending poorly?

Does all passion die in the end?



Many of the most famous and popular books and stories have endings that could be described as tragic.

In your opinion, why are these tales of human suffering so beloved?

* * *

Intrigued? Curious? Entertained?

Dive into all 101 questions by clicking the image below:

101 Questions for Midnight Front Cover

And here’s the rest of the Coffee Table Philosophy series:

 101-Questions-for-Humanity-333x500 101 Questions for Men Cover 101 Questions for Women Cover 101 xxxy Questions Front Cover


J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Down the Dark Path