Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Collective Religion

In the Author's Note that begins the novel, Mr. Adirubasamy tells Yann Martel, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." The book helps us to further believe why some people believe in God, but it doesn't make one believe in God. The purpose of the book is to show that people who disregard the religions of the world because they don't believe in resurrections, heavenly ascensions, talking bushes, and parting seas, are missing the point of religion: to act as a guide for people who want to live a good life, according to society and popular thought. This could be easily countered by saying religion, throughout the ages, has killed more people than any despotic tyrant; it has stunted the advancement of science and technology; it has served as a means to manipulate, accrue, and maintain power; it has served as a proxy for political vendettas. That, however, is the adherence to a religion of which I am not aware. Most religions teach tolerance, magnanimity, forgiveness, common courtesy, etc. That is the great point which Pi asserts most people miss. They are too caught up in the handling of snakes and the avoidance of beer and beef to understand and abide by the true meaning of religion.

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