If you accept God: omnipotent, omniscient, eternally omnipresent.

Solipsist: Nothing outside the mind should be believed to exist. If one's own mind is the sum total of existence, then all perceived experience and existential things(i.e. the universe) are all merely internal processes of the mind.

So, does that make God a solipsist?


  • 2
    No. On most Abrahamic conceptions, God is transcendent to the world he creates. Hence the created world is outside of his mind. Omnipotence already implies the possibility of such an outside, so an omnipotent being is not solipsistic. – Conifold May 28 '19 at 0:08
  • Following my line of reasoning, if we identify God with every possible state of the world to sound like the Wittgenstein from the Tractatus, then there is no way around God (in a pantheistic sense) being a solipsist, yes? – Wallows May 28 '19 at 0:13
  • It is unclear that God "in a pantheistic sense" even has a "mind", or that permeation of everything amounts to "nothing outside", so no. And I suspect that according to Wittgenstein this sort of manipulation of words "God" and "solipsism" (beyond the uses that establish their meaning) qualifies as nonsense/empty language. – Conifold May 28 '19 at 0:37
  • "It is unclear that God "in a pantheistic sense" even has a "mind", or that permeation of everything amounts to "nothing outside", so no." I'm not sure about this. It seems to me that in a pantheistic universe the only "true" mind is that of "G"od. – Wallows May 28 '19 at 0:45
  • 1
    @christo183 We have no sufficient cause to conclude anything, which is why this particular wordplay gets old fast. If one really wants a solipsistic God Berkeley's is probably the closest, but he is neither pantheistic nor particularly popular. – Conifold May 28 '19 at 5:36

As so posed, the answer would be "yes" according to some conceptions of God, and "no" according to some other conceptions of God:

  • If you are a pantheist --believing that God is the totality of everything in the universe --or (like me) a panentheist, believing that the totality of the universe is contained within God, then by definition, an omniscient God would know (not just believe) that everything is within the mind of God. This is essentially the position of ideal monists like Bishop Berkeley.

  • On the other hand, in many religious and philosophical traditions, God is viewed as creating a material universe that exists outside of God. This is arguably what is taught in the standard Judeo-Christian tradition. Similarly, while most of Plato's work suggests he is properly considered an Idealist, his myth of the demiurge (Timaeus) speaks of a creator god (or demigod) that creates a material world in imitation of the ideal but not of a substance with the ideal. Likewise, in Deism, God is distinguished from Creation (and also distanced and arguably estranged from it). Finally, if you do not believe God is personified, then it does not make sense to speak of God's "beliefs" at all. God would not fit your description in any of those conceptions.

It's further worth noting that solipsism is generally considered a delusion. If I am but a limited mortal part of the universe, and yet I believe all of the universe is contained within me, that is a solipsistic delusion. On the other hand, if God contains the universe, and knows God's self to contain the universe, then that is neither a delusion nor a mere belief. (By analogy --if I believe myself to be the Pope, that is a delusion. But the fact of believing oneself to be Pope is not intrinsically delusive. If Pope Francis believes it, he is perfectly correct.)

  • P.M.S. Hacker talks about this: What the solipsist means, and is correct in thinking, is that the world and life are one, that man is the microcosm, that I am my world. These equations... express a doctrine which I shall call Transcendental Solipsism. They involve a belief in the transcendental ideality of time. ... Wittgenstein thought that his transcendental idealist doctrines, though profoundly important, are literally inexpressible. — Hacker, Insight and Illusion, op cit., n. 3, pp. 99-100. – Wallows May 29 '19 at 18:28

I would say yes, and that this is why solipsism is unfalsifiable.

EDIT 1: A study of mysticism and the mystical theology would seem the obvious place to go for an exploration of this idea. Perhaps Kant and his 'mind-in-general' as the source of space-time is also relevant.

EDIT: This is a poor answer and deserves the down-votes. I couldn't see how to answer the OP with anything less than a long essay and still can't. As Chris says above, it's a question all about definitions.

I was just noting that if God is a solipsist then this would explain the unfalsifiablity of solipsism. This seems to me an important and suggestive philosophical fact.

  • I think this needs more justification, perhaps a reference to others who take a similar position on solipsism being unfalsifiable and God being a solipsist. Providing references is an opportunity, that should not be missed, to guide the reader's future exploration of the topic. – Frank Hubeny May 28 '19 at 13:32
  • @FrankHubeny - Quite right. I was musing out loud. I added a sentence. – PeterJ May 28 '19 at 15:25
  • I did not down vote, but I did vote to delete when it appeared in the review queue. Best wishes. – Frank Hubeny May 29 '19 at 12:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.