Richard G. Swinburne is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been an influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of god. His philosophical contributions are primarily in the philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. He aroused much discussion with his early work in the philosophy of religion, a trilogy of books consisting of The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason.
Thomas Samuel Kuhn was an American physicist, historian and philosopher of science whose controversial 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was influential in both academic and popular circles, introducing the term paradigm shift, which has since become an English-language idiom.
Based upon Swinburne’s response to Kuhn the difference between divine personhood and human personhood is that the divine is “the person picked out”. Being a person means you have powers, but a person derived from divinity means your powers are infinite, this entails being omnipotent. Being a person also means having beliefs about the world, where as being divine means being all knowing, or omniscient. Humans can also make choices and in a sense entitling them with a sense of freedom. However a person is affected by irrational desires wavering their own freedom. Divine personhood on the other hand is not affected by irrational desires or thoughts making him perfectly free. Lastly anything and everything lasts for a certain time, nothing is eternal, except divine power, which is eternal and everlasting. This characteristic enables him to embody the title of alpha and omega for the universe.
An example of an affirmative argument from Donnet’s perspective can be characterized with a question, what do we need god for? The only thing that a person can obtain from believing in god is a burden. If god is omnipotent and all merciful and good, then why does evil exist? Why would god allow such evil things to continue on? Evil exists because it can. Evil is not the antagonist that loses in the end and makes the protagonist stronger. If god is omnipotent, omniscient, ultimately free, and merciful, evil shouldn’t exist.
God is not an entity whose existence is to be believed in but to be experienced. Whether one experiences god or not is what matters, not whether one believes in it. God is like music; music is not accessible to everyone. If one is born deaf, one cannot appreciate music. The same goes for god. If one is in tune with divinity, then experiences are more sensible to the person.
The value of believing in god is that when god is in place, all the pieces of the universe fall together. Science has to deal with the senses, most prominently sight. However this is an incomplete perspective, no one has ever seen a thought or feeling. Truth is ultimately beyond words.
According to Michael Shermer the difference between a strong atheist and a weak atheist is that a strong atheist believes there is no god, whereas a weak atheist does not have a belief in god. This means that a weak atheist believes there is no god but is still not 100% certain because science cannot truly disprove god’s existence. A strong atheist on the other hand undeniably believes there is no god.