18 Moral Dilemma Questions that Will Reveal Who Someone Really Is

SharePinEmailIn a world with so many views and opinions, it can be tough to figure out if someone shares similar values to you. It’s easy to engage in small-talk, but asking those all-important big questions can be tricky. Before you know it, you might know everything from a person’s favorite ice cream flavor to their…

In a world with so many views and opinions, it can be tough to figure out if someone shares similar values to you. It’s easy to engage in small-talk, but asking those all-important big questions can be tricky. Before you know it, you might know everything from a person’s favorite ice cream flavor to their first pet’s name, but you still don’t really know what shapes their moral beliefs.

Here are 18 questions that can help you get to know someone better. These questions don’t always have right or wrong answers, and they might lead to even more questions. But that’s the whole point. Because, let’s be honest, conversations about ice cream aren’t what make relationships meaningful. It might get you thinking about your own values too.

Would You Ever Expose a Friend?

Editorial credit: Svitlana Sokolova / Shutterstock.

Imagine you catch your friend cheating on a math test, or your favorite coworker admits to manipulating numbers at work to make your team look good. Would you spill the beans? Or would you keep your friend’s secret? How would you feel if the tables were turned, and they told on you? Would you like your friends and colleagues to have the same answer as you? Asking these questions could be the key to understanding where the people in your life stand on honesty and friendship.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Editorial credit: FOTOKITA / Shutterstock.

Picture this: you and another person are both suspected of a crime. You’re held in separate jail cells and can’t talk to each other. The prosecution offers you both the same deal. If you cooperate, you’ll get a reduced sentence. But if one of you snitches and the other remains silent, the snitch receives a lighter sentence. If you both spill, you’ll both get reduced sentences.

This scenario raises important questions about the balance between self-interest and collaboration. It might make you and the person you ask wonder if working together is always the best move. Or if betraying others is really in our best interests.

Robin Hood

Editorial credit: Pressmaster / Shutterstock.

What would you do if you saw someone stealing from the rich to give to the poor? How about if someone was stealing food for their children? These questions are a great way to gauge how someone might feel about the battle between social justice and individual rights. Laws are there for a reason, but is there ever a reason for them to be broken? What about the ethics of wealth distribution? Is it okay for some to struggle to survive while others live with luxuries? If not, whose responsibility is it to do something about it?

How Do You View Your Elders?

Editorial credit: Tekkol / Shutterstock.

We all know it’s important to respect our elders, and there are vital questions about autonomy, dignity, and intergenerational solidarity. Should we do more to look after our elderly, or should resources and science move towards helping the young?

The Trolly Problem

Editorial credit: Juan Ramon Ramos / Shutterstock.

Would you sacrifice one person to save many others? Imagine you see a tram heading toward five people stuck on the tracks. You are next to a lever that can change the train’s direction to another track, where only one person is stuck. Would you pull it?

Initially, the answer might seem obvious, but what if the five people were criminals or if one person had chained the others to the tracks? Does this change your mind? And if so, does that mean some lives are worth more than others? This puzzle challenges you or anyone to consider the value of each life and whether we are responsible for fighting for the morality of all.

Do You Believe in the Death Penalty?

Editorial credit: Zerbor / Shutterstock.

An eye for an eye is a statement many people believe in, but how does this stand in the modern world? Some people think the death penalty is the only way to punish those who have committed horrible crimes. But the more we understand psychology and why people commit crimes, is this something we can still justify? With some saying the death penalty opposes the fundamental right to life, this is an important and controversial moral dilemma question to ask the people you care about.

Do You Forgive Easily?

Editorial credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A / Shutterstock.

When you’re with someone for a while, chances are they’ll eventually do something that hurts your feelings. Whether it’s a small thing or a big deal, forgiveness can go a long way toward healing. Knowing if the people in your life place the same value in forgiveness is essential. To understand this, you could ask them if they forgive others, and how.

Some good ways to forgive include not making the person jump through hoops, not saying “I forgive you” until you really mean it, and not bringing up past mistakes that have already been forgiven.

Is Cheating Ever Okay?

Editorial credit: SeventyFour / Shutterstock.

Cheating is considered morally wrong, but is this always the case in a world that isn’t always fair? How would you feel if your friend was happy to cheat on a written test? But what if you can afford extra tuition and your friend can’t? Or if your friend is dyslexic and struggles with writing but doesn’t get the additional help they need. Is cheating still wrong? Or is it a fair way to give them the same chance?

How Important is Money to You?

Editorial credit: vitma / Shutterstock

Money has advantages, but sometimes ethics can take a back seat when making a profit. If you’re solely focused on maximizing your financial return without considering the consequences, you might make even more cash. In a world where surviving is tough, and value is placed on material wealth, is it okay to prioritize money?

How will you feel when you look back on your life from high up on your mountain of gold? Will you remember your moral sacrifices, or be too caught up in luxury to care? Would you want your friends to bring you back down to earth or ride the money train with you?

Have You Ever Broken a Promise?

Editorial credit: andres barrionuevo lopez / Shutterstock.

Pinky promises are a big deal in friendships, and we all want to know that when our friends promise something, they’ll stick to it. This question might help you figure out where someone stands on honesty and keeping their word. Are they okay with breaking a promise if it’s for their own good? Can you imagine a situation where you’d want them to? If they tell you they’ve never broken a promise, would you believe them?

Is It Ever Okay to Lie?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock

We are all told that lying is bad, and most of us try our best to lie as little as possible. But what if you need to lie to protect someone from harm or to protect their feelings? In these circumstances, is a little white lie okay?

We often think that honesty in relationships comes down to whether someone tells the truth or not, but it’s also about being real. Most people have told a lie at some point, so this question is more about having genuine and authentic conversations. Can you talk openly about the good and the bad? How honest does the other person’s answer feel? How honest was your answer?

Do You Think Assisted Suicide Should be Legal?

Editorial credit: Zerbor / Shutterstock.

The right to life is an absolute and fundamental human right, but so is the right to dignity and quality of life for all. The question of euthanasia is a controversial but important conversation to have if you want to understand someone’s values. Not only will it give you insight into where they stand on the value of human life, autonomy, and dignity; it might also help you understand where you stand.

Would You Like to Have Children?

Editorial credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.

For many people, having children is part of the natural progression of life. But some say it puts a burden on an already overpopulated planet. What if you can’t afford to feed your children? In a world full of challenges, is it always the right choice to have children? Is it important to you that the people around you feel the same? Asking this question is a sure-fire way to find out.

How Important Is Freedom of Speech?

Editorial credit: alexskopje / Shutterstock.

What’s your take on freedom of expression? Some people argue that while free speech is a basic right, it can also be used to justify hate speech. It’s important to figure out where you and others draw the line and to follow this moral code. Do you prioritize individual freedom over the wellbeing of society, or do you think restrictions on free speech have gone too far?

Do You Think Animals Should Have Rights?

Editorial credit: RossHelen / Shutterstock.

Whether you eat meat or not, the topic of animal rights is a conversation some of us have had. It can also be an excellent way to understand people’s values. In an ever-changing world, is it justifiable to still eat meat? How about with every meal? Are fish sentient beings? What about when eating meat is part of your culture? All these questions will open valuable communication between you and someone you are trying to get to know. You could also ask about the right to test on animals. This is another contentious debate that’s sure to get opinions flying.

Are You an Organ Doner?

Editorial credit: Marta Design/ Shutterstock.

There has been an increase in people joining organ donation registers, but for some, this is a more challenging choice. Organ donation saves lives, but it can clash with religious beliefs and be traumatic for family members. This makes it an essential moral dilemma question to have with anyone you are trying to get to know more deeply.

Would You Ever Read Someone’s Diary?

Editorial credit: Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock.

This can be an important question to ask to determine how someone values trust and privacy. Trust is an important part of any relationship, as it helps build comfort, loyalty, and security. Respecting someone’s privacy is one way to build it. But where do we draw the line? Is it ever okay to break someone’s trust or invade their privacy? What if you read someone’s diary because you think they’re in danger? Or is it okay to invade personal privacy for national security?

Understanding how you value and view your privacy is important during this conversation. Would you mind if someone broke your trust to protect you or someone else? How about your privacy?

Do You Feel a Responsibility to Save The Planet?

Editorial credit: Julia Ardaran / Shutterstock.

We all know saving the planet is essential, but the question of responsibility can create a moral dilemma. Some believe global warming is everyone’s problem, emphasizing the need for individual action. While others believe in the necessity of more systemic change. What do you think is needed to save the planet? And how important is it to you that the people around you value this question the same? 

20 Catholic Beliefs That Aren’t in the Bible

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

20 Catholic Beliefs That Aren’t in the Bible

18 Outdated Church Traditions That Are Driving People Away

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

18 Outdated Church Traditions That Are Driving People Away

25 Quirks of Catholic Culture That People Struggle To Understand

Editorial credit: KieferPix / Shutterstock.

25 Quirks of Catholic Culture That People Struggle To Understand

Leave a Reply