They’re the profound questions we tend only to ask ourselves – often in the darkest dead of night. But while we all ponder them, we rarely ask those around us for the answers. Perhaps it’s because we fear they’ll trigger an eye roll at a dinner party, or an awkward silence at work. Or maybe it’s because we believe such existential questions, Life’s Big Questions, will always elude definitive solutions.
They may seem naive, dark, even pointless – mysteries all our technological advances and brightest artistic minds have failed fully to penetrate, even after centuries of enquiry and soul searching.
Yet we all face moments in life when deep questions such as these haunt us. The death of a loved one, the birth of a child or a divorce can all force us to query the meaning of life, love, death and the universe. And even just pondering such things can lead us on dazzling mental adventures.
In fact, age-old questions such as “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Is there life after death?” lie somewhere behind many of humankind’s greatest achievements. We all want to better understand and control our lives and it is this instinct that has driven much of human progress, from the building of the pyramids to our seemingly insatiable urge to explore the furthest reaches of the universe. Indeed, just because we’ll probably never see into the heart of a black hole doesn’t mean we’ll ever stop trying.
At The Conversation, there’s no such thing as a question that’s too naive, too scary – or too big. We work with academics to bring the most exciting and rigorous research and comment to the general public. Working with BBC Future, we have now created a new Life’s Big Questions series, which is about taking that to the next level and getting you, the reader, more involved. The articles will be published weekly on The Conversation, and will be co-published with BBC Future.
From the nature of happiness and the origins of consciousness to the concepts of evil and free will, we believe that experts can provide fascinating perspectives, perspectives most of us may never have considered.
You simply need to ask.
You can find all Life’s Big Questions articles here.
If you are looking for answers to one of Life’s Big Questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to find an expert with the solution – or at least one of them. Questions should be two to five sentences long, and can be as personal as you wish.
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