What seems to be the case, usually as contrasted with what is really
the case in reality.
That things may seem to be the case that
are not really so is a matter of everyone's daily experience: One often makes mistakes in
one's judgments about what things
are, in part based on what they seem to be like or - when human or
animal - try to seem to be like and in part based on one's prejudices, fears, hopes and expectations.
and religion much is made of this
basic distinction, usually in terms of claims that what seems to be the
case in the commonsense reality of natural
realism is in various ways mistaken, mere appearance (maya, illusion), of some far deeper reality.
This is so from the beginnings of both
philosophy and religion.