Religion, Spotlight

Polytheism Ebook Fail

Michel Hill's Hill Evidencism Polytheism Book

So, I recently received an (unsolicited) free copy of an ebook on polytheism. The email was signed by author Michael Hill, but the email address looked a lot like spam. So instead of clicking the attachment I decided to do some googling.

I found out that there really is a polytheism treatise by Michael Hill, and it looks like a real hoot. According to the abstract:

“Numerous and unrelated pieces of physical evidence currently exist that proves the existence of the Gods.”

Unlikely.

“A few examples of physical evidence, historical events like the Black Death, and some thoroughly-explained logic were combined to tell a complete story that reveals the answers to most religious questions.”

In case I was still on the fence, this pretty much confirmed that the book is not worth reading. Helpfully, the rest of the abstract brags that it’s a short, easy read. In fact, it says that of the 44 pages in the book (so… paper?), more than half is bibliography. In other words, Michael Hill believes he has polished off 6,000 years of theological debate in a handy 20 pages.

The best part is that Hill seems to be trying to found a whole new religion, “Hill Evidencism.” I finally gave in to curiosity and downloaded the complimentary pdf. Here’s a an actual quote:

“The main reason why lightning is physical divine evidence is because lightning frequently introduces humans to fire… After being introduced to fire, humans learned how to use fire.”

It’s hard to argue with reasoning like that… but not for the reasons Hill would like to think.

All of this reminds me that, although polytheism is a beautiful concept, there’s not a whole lot of respectable work being written about it these days.

I wonder if I should take the time to write a polytheism book of my own?

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20 thoughts on “Polytheism Ebook Fail

  1. Actually, there is quite a bit of respectable polytheist material being written. It’s a veritable Golden Age for polytheism. Between presses like Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the wide range of excellent materials coming from less focused presses, along with material coming out even from “occult” oriented presses like Scarlet Imprint/Bibliotheque Rouge (I strongly recommend Geosophia), there is a veritable library of excellent works on polytheism that has been published in just the last ten years. Of course, with all of that good stuff, there is bound to be a large amount of… less good stuff. You seem to have found a bit of the latter.

    • Thanks for the recommendations. Most of what I’ve seen in the recent past gets really hung up on the “poly” in polytheism and argues against monism, which seems misguided to me. Others are anti- any humanistic or symbolic interpretation of the gods. Are these sources going to fall into those camps?

      • I don’t know. I’m not really worried about that argument, so I am happy to read arguments for both sides of it and don’t really pay much attention to them. Why, is it a deal-breaker for you to read the arguments for each side?

        • No, I’m not sure how it came across that way. Reading interesting argumentation is never a bad thing. But I believe that polytheism encompasses both monistic and non-monistic viewpoints, and allows for both supernatural and humanistic perspectives. I also think this is fairly obvious when looking at either polytheism in the Classical world or Hinduism today. So when someone absolutely insists that’s not part of polytheism, or is a postmodern or new age addition, it smacks to me of personal bias more than anything. In other words I have yet to see particularly good argumentation for such an exclusive brand of polytheism, in part because that exclusivist view seems flatly wrong.

          I’m much more interested in other issues, since I consider the exclusivist argument to be eyeroll material, or in authors who can intelligently make room for all four types of belief in their theology.

          Actually, that might be my book outline right there.

          In any case I will definitely check out these sources. Thank you :)

  2. Ha! I got this, um, “book” in my email too. I actually gave it a look purely for entertainment value. Yep, totally loony-toons. I have a file of wacky emails I’ve received over the years. Comedy gold.

    • My favorite part is that the gods use “soul destruction” to keep the afterlife free of animals, because some people might get annoyed with too many mouse souls running around.

  3. John Beckett does some decent writing on polytheism in his blog Under the Ancient Oaks. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his thinking, but it is THINKING and he holds his thoughts, as he recently said, lightly, but takes them deeply. Worth looking at if you haven’t.

  4. My thinking is that if you were to write on the subject it would, in the very least, be thought provoking – which, in general, would make a pretty decent book to begin with.

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