It had been said that Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher of the 19th century) once remarked: “There cannot be a God because if there were one, I could not believe that I was not he.” Nietzsche was the son of a Lutheran minister, but later in life he shed himself of his father’s religion and, ultimately, became insane (Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 5, p. 505).
His sentiment is exactly the sentiment of a great many who do believe in God. They don’t think it in so many words, but they do live it. These people are known as “practical” atheists. A practical atheist is one who lives as if there is no God, though there is belief that He exists. A practical atheist does not accept the notion of eternal accountability; when they do come to accept it, they try to shed their practical atheism. Unfortunately, for a large portion of humanity, they have not learned how because they thought themselves to be God. RT