In his new book, The Case for Polytheism, philosopher Steven Dillon sets out to prove that belief in the existence of multiple “disembodied consciousnesses” (i.e. gods) can be rational, logically coherent, and intellectually credible.
And, for the most part, he succeeds—for one already inclined to belief, at least. Though this diehard polyatheist (= non-believer, but culturally polytheist), for one, remains unconvinced, Dillon is hardly to be faulted for not achieving the impossible. To have attempted the impossible in the first place in itself constitutes heroic endeavor.
Dillon's argument, however, is handicapped by an unexamined premise that he shares with John Michael Greer, whose World Full of Gods is also a notable contribution to the field of what the late Isaac Bonewits was wont to call “polytheology.” This is the premise that all gods ever worshiped by anyone, pagan or non-pagan, have the same ontological existence.
Now, to contend that many gods exist is by no means the same as contending that all gods exist. Is the polytheist to be permitted no skepticism whatsoever? Is to love the Many necessarily to be party to everything that the human heart has ever dreamed?