What if everything were fake? We are not real. We are all figments of the imagination of a single person's mind generating all the countless different minds with different worlds and different universes?

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    Definition of real? Well, in your case the person whose imagination products we are, is real.
    – rus9384
    Jan 20, 2019 at 8:28
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    I made an edit which you may roll back or continue editing if I misrepresented your position. Welcome to Philosophy! Jan 20, 2019 at 11:08
  • Just to point it out the usage of the terms "fake", "real", ect is not clear maybe it would be good clarifing those. About the Question: if "everything" is "fake" the "mind" generating all the other minds is also fake. However if every "mind" is fake theres no reason why one should endorse a specifc structure. Meaning theres no reason to prefer one mind creating others over some minds creating others or no minds creating others. Additionaly I think "fake" is problematic term and would suggest calling it virtual since fake under some interpretations implies intentionality and/or conciousness.
    – CaZaNOx
    Jan 20, 2019 at 12:52
  • Welcome to Absolute Idealism, or something close to it. . .
    – user20253
    Jan 20, 2019 at 13:31
  • Nothing is real. [Change My Mind]
    – Mazura
    Jan 20, 2019 at 15:53

5 Answers 5


You have asked, "what if?" The answer is this:

If we were not actually individuals but were actors in a sophisticated play, then like the actors in plays and movies who shoot each other, lie, cheat and steal... who perform death-defying stunts or slaughter masses of innocent people, we would not reap any of the longer-term consequences of our actions but might get a "best supporting actor" award if we showed enough true-seeming emotion while we did stuff.

Give it a test! Steal a chocolate bar from a gas station and see what happens!

  • Answer of a person who's apperceptions are complicated by all sorts of interesting ideas. +1 May 10, 2019 at 17:34

The OP asks the following question:

What if everything were fake?

This would mean that our belief in the reality around us is false. It would mean that we do not have true beliefs. We make enough mistakes to know that our beliefs need not be true.

When we think everything is fake we doubt our ability to achieve true beliefs. In such an extreme case even the belief that everything we believe is fake may not be a true belief. This also seems possible, because sometimes we get things right, that is, we don't make mistakes.

This kind of doubting is called "epistemic self-doubt". Sherrilyn Roush describes this as a "level-splitting state" where we are unable to fit our beliefs with our beliefs about our beliefs.

Furthermore, should we claim that everything is fake we are taking a pessimistic view of reality. Saying something is fake implies that our experience is not really as good as we think it is.

Since that pessimistic belief about our beliefs might itself be false, we need to also consider the optimistic alternative: What we experience might be better than we believe it to be. When we experience reality we might be only looking at the dark shadows playing on the wall of Plato's cave. What we experience might be good in a way we can only begin to imagine whether or not it is a single person's mind generating it.

Roush, Sherrilyn, "Epistemic Self-Doubt", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/epistemic-self-doubt/.


If our minds, consciousnesses, capacities for awareness -- are generated from and in communion with the source known to us as the universal and eternal mind (i.e. God), then we should consider ourselves of a divine nature: 'born of God'; although not necessarily 'little gods' or God's equals. The physical world we inhabit tends to make us feel mentally confused and alienated to the point where many of us are easily deluded into thinking this is all there is. Many become obsessed with materialism and forget or rebel against from whom we originated, leading to confusion over the apparent conflict between immortal mind and physical decline and death. We don't fully understand how the idealistic, imaginative mind relates to concrete reality.

I've lately reached the conclusion that our brains are actually receivers for consciousness, and that consciousness is actually a form of divine communication. Therefore, obviously imperfections, injuries, or defects of the brain may be a hindrance. I also note that human IQ across all demographics declines in children between the ages of 7 and 17. To me this is indicative of the limitations presented by material reality upon the human mind.


So the answer to your question, Is anything real?, is: Yes. Everything, including consciousness -- is real.


  • Wikipedia
  • Quora
  • Science Daily
  • Psychology Today
  • Pub Med (US National Center for Biotechnology Information)
  • Youtube (image of IQ chart)

If you are quite sure about this, you need not be worried about anything. If you are always aware that everything (including your body, mind, ego etc.) is fake, nothing will worry you. Since you feel all relations are also fake, you feel you are liberated from all bondage. So you may sit self contented.

To know more about the Ultimate Reality, See:

Brahman as a metaphysical concept

Brahman is the key metaphysical concept in various schools of Hindu philosophy. It is the theme in its diverse discussions to the two central questions of metaphysics: what is ultimately real, and are there principles applying to everything that is real?[63] Brahman is the ultimate "eternally, constant" reality, while the observed universe is a different kind of reality but one which is "temporary, changing" Maya in various orthodox Hindu schools. Maya pre-exists and co-exists with Brahman—the Ultimate Reality, The Highest Universal, the Cosmic Principles.[64]


Don't worry thinking that nothing is real. The real thing is nothing other than your true nature.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aham_Brahmasmi


That sounds like solipsism and all serious philosophy dismiss solipsism as not worth thinking about.

The only reason to take it seriously is because quite a few people get seduced into thinking about solipsism and then it's a matter of pointing out why its a philosophy of no value.

  • There aren't many solipsists around but all serious philosophers think very hard about why Solipsism and Scepticism are unfalsifiable and what it means for the nature of Reality. Less serious philosophers jump to conclusions.
    – user20253
    Jan 21, 2019 at 16:25

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