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  #1  
Old Dec 3, '12, 10:52 am
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
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Default "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel, a Canadian of French origin who studied philosophy in college. The novel was made into a movie by Ang Lee, and released in theaters in the U.S. one week ago.

I read the novel, since I kept hearing that it was a pro-spirituality book. The book says that it will "make you believe in God."

But after reading it, I wanted to throw it in a dumpster. I took it as a cleverly constructed story to convey the idea that all the religions are fictions just like novels. This message is conveyed, I thought, through the "framing story" that opens and closes the book. The book is pro-fiction, and in that sense pro-religion. But the book meant, I thought, to show and prove that all the religions are nothing more than fiction stories that provide us with comfort.

I haven't seen the movie version, though I've heard it is very faithful to the book.

Anyone see the movie? Anyone see atheism being promoted in that movie?
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  #2  
Old Dec 3, '12, 10:58 am
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Lion of Narnia Lion of Narnia is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

I heard the author on NPR, read the book--and yeah, I agree, the kid comes off as a "bright" in that he cant dicern any truth claim between Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism that would give credance of one more than the others. An utterly contrived situation to get across a really unsupporatable position.
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  #3  
Old Dec 3, '12, 11:29 am
Bezant Bezant is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post
Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel, a Canadian of French origin who studied philosophy in college. The novel was made into a movie by Ang Lee, and released in theaters in the U.S. one week ago.

I read the novel, since I kept hearing that it was a pro-spirituality book. The book says that it will "make you believe in God."

But after reading it, I wanted to throw it in a dumpster. I took it as a cleverly constructed story to convey the idea that all the religions are fictions just like novels. This message is conveyed, I thought, through the "framing story" that opens and closes the book. The book is pro-fiction, and in that sense pro-religion. But the book meant, I thought, to show and prove that all the religions are nothing more than fiction stories that provide us with comfort.

I haven't seen the movie version, though I've heard it is very faithful to the book.

Anyone see the movie? Anyone see atheism being promoted in that movie?

Someone recommended that book to me telling me it would 'enhance my perspective on life.'

I regret donating the £8.50 to Waterstone's. Maybe I'm just a fussy reader but I was neither inspired nor offended as much as utterly, utterly, bored.
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  #4  
Old Dec 3, '12, 11:40 am
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CatherineOH CatherineOH is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

I would never recommend the book. Despite the fact that he adopts all three major religions a his, he is a false follower of any religion. He calls himself as one of the faithful for those three religions and follows them only because he relates all three to being about Love. Well, that is a start, but is not the whole truth, so there is a lot left to be desired as far as the theology presented by Pi is concerned.

..... but if you read the book you know it promotes alternate realities of insanity, you would not even be discussing it. It also presents murder and the depravity cannibalism as a common reaction for a victim of this sort of trauma. I will lever go see the movie. I will never recommend either the movie nor the book. I am sorry I wasted the time to read that book, but it did keep me awake on a long wait where I had to stay awake.

I am also appalled that it is now required reading in some High Schools. It is a worse book than To Kill a Mocking Bird, or worse, Lord of the Flies. At least the Lord of the Flies presented issues of morality and civility that are present in today's society. It is an opening to quite good discussions in Civil responsibility and moral truths.
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  #5  
Old Dec 3, '12, 12:17 pm
TheAtheist TheAtheist is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?



Funny, given the Life of Pi is now being "ranted about" by the my more..shall we say... aggressive "cousins" if you will.

ie: How you folks derived a "pro-atheist" message from a book that i've seen come underfire from the New Atheist wing for doing the opposite is....interesting...

Quote:

I am also appalled that it is now required reading in some High Schools. It is a worse book than To Kill a Mocking Bird, or worse, Lord of the Flies. At least the Lord of the Flies presented issues of morality and civility that are present in today's society. It is an opening to quite good discussions in Civil responsibility and moral truths.
Huh? What the heck is wrong with To Kill a Mocking Bird or Lord of the Flies?!
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  #6  
Old Dec 3, '12, 12:37 pm
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Scottgun Scottgun is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

You may remember Ang Lee as the director of the morally poisonous Brokeback Mountain
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  #7  
Old Dec 3, '12, 12:55 pm
_Abyssinia _Abyssinia is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

It is relativistic. Pi believes in Hinduism. Christianity too when he is introduced. When he learns about Islam he prays towards Mecca

There appears to be no distiniction made between which is true but sees all as equal paths to God with no religion being any more true than another. Pi says

Quote:
“In India there are 33 million gods,” .... “It’s only natural I should get to know a few of them”
His father says

Quote:
.... religion is part of the darkness” and, “Believing in everything is the same as believing in nothing…. Think rationally”
Pi says

Quote:
.... faith is a home with many rooms
That eludes to believing that various religions have a place of faith

If you do not understand what this film is trying to say regarding the falseness of relativism you could be led down a bad path in your understanding of truth
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  #8  
Old Dec 3, '12, 12:55 pm
GEddie GEddie is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion of Narnia View Post
I heard the author on NPR, read the book--and yeah, I agree, the kid comes off as a "bright" in that he cant dicern any truth claim between Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism that would give credance of one more than the others. An utterly contrived situation to get across a really unsupporatable position.
I have not read the book or seen the movie and probably will not do either. A child living with circus animals doesn't inspire interest in me, especially at 3D ticket prices.

But if the "situation" is that the child was raised amid people of all three faiths, and as he grew older became convinced that all three were equivalent; that is not so contrived. Subtract the island and the circus animals, and that would vaguely resemble the first part of my faith life.

Blessed Advent, ICXC NIKA
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  #9  
Old Dec 3, '12, 1:01 pm
louisak louisak is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAtheist View Post
Funny, given the Life of Pi is now being "ranted about" by the my more..shall we say... aggressive "cousins" if you will.

ie: How you folks derived a "pro-atheist" message from a book that i've seen come underfire from the New Atheist wing for doing the opposite is....interesting...
It may be interesting - that's a matter of opinion - but there's nothing strange or illogical about it. The book, and movie, appear to promote syncretism (which says that all religions are equally valid), which is incompatible both with Christianity (which says that exactly one religion is valid) and with atheism (which says that no religions are valid). Therefore it is perfectly reasonable that both Christians and atheists would reject it.
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  #10  
Old Dec 3, '12, 1:04 pm
TheAtheist TheAtheist is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEddie View Post
But if the "situation" is that the child was raised amid people of all three faiths, and as he grew older became convinced that all three were equivalent; that is not so contrived. .
The fact that Pi comes from India should already be a gigantic hint.

I know people are already reaching for the "Secularist, relativist" labels regarding the beliefs expressed in the book - but you are really missing the point...(not to mention the levels of criticism fired from the folks who find something objectionable in the Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings).
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  #11  
Old Dec 3, '12, 1:21 pm
Mountain Man Mountain Man is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

I came away with a different interpretation of the movie, that ultimately we have to choose between faith in God or a purely materialist understanding of reality as a struggle for brute survival. I don't think the movie answers the question, leaving it up to the viewer (I haven't read the novel so can't comment on the author's intention).

Of course it is ridiculous for the boy to simultaneously embrace three different religions, but I got the impression that his adult version recognized this, though we never learn which if any of the three he settled on. But this is only my take on the film and I can see where others might view it in a negative light.
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  #12  
Old Dec 3, '12, 2:30 pm
Sarcelle Sarcelle is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

I was on the fence about watching the movie. Now I know better.

I will save my money for the hobbit movie.
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  #13  
Old Dec 3, '12, 3:27 pm
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Here is the best review of the "Life of Pi" movie that I have found.

http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/a-story-t...rig=diversions

This reviewer takes a generally negative view, and gives reasons that I think are very accurate.
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  #14  
Old Dec 3, '12, 3:59 pm
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Funny.

My 29-year old daughter, the Catholic convert and professional stage manager, sent us an emotional email last night in which she stated that Life of Pi was one of the most Christian movies she has ever seen, that it encouraged her in her faith in God, and she was crying by the ending. She can't wait to read the novel (she's probably read it today already--fast reader).

She said she's so proud of Hollywood for making this movie.

Funny how different people can have entirely different perceptions of the same piece.

I don't like movies much, so I probably won't go see it.
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  #15  
Old Dec 3, '12, 4:21 pm
Franciscanguy Franciscanguy is offline
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Default Re: "Life of Pi" as a pro-atheism story. Anyone agree, disagree?

Haven't read it. Frankly, have bigger fish to fry right now.

But, I think that there's an underlying problem here- why does everything you (or I, or anyone else) have to be "Christian"? We forget it was the Greek pantheist Aristotle that revolutionized Christianity (intrestingly, via Saracens) in the form of Thomas Aquinas. It was the Neo-Platonics that inspired Augustine. The non-Catholic-turned-Catholic-turned-non-Catholic Max Scheler that inspires JPII.

If us on this forum are such good Catholics why worry about the challange to their faith? At best it gives us better perspective. At worse it challanges us to understand ourselves better.

Jesus didn't hide from the world. Paul didn't hide from the world. JPII didn't hide from the world. Sounds like a good idea to not hide from the world to me.
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