Reflections About Interfaith and Different Religions on Martel's Book - Life of Pi

Published: 2021-09-14 10:55:09
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Category: Religion

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In The United States of America, the religion freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment to its Constitution: ''Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...''. In the same way, India ensures religious civil liberties through a similar mean, as the Article 25 of its Constitution presents: ''Subject to public order, morality and health ... all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion''. Even though people are free to venerate any deity in both countries, society might not accept a person with multiple religions. The book Life of Pi by Yann Martel follows the life of Piscine, a youngster whose premature development occurs due to a shipwreck in the Pacific. From a peaceful childhood in India, Pi finds himself in a tough journey accompanied with a tiger, after his brother and parents died. In order to survive on the ocean, he gets support from his religious syncretism, discussed between pages 80-110. In this excerpt, Pi faces one controversial dilemma: is it possible to have different religions and be moral at the same time?
The issue addressed in this part of the book is that Pi, still a 16-year old boy living in India, became a Hindu, Muslim and Christian. At a meeting, the priest, the imam, the pandit, and Pi's parents found out his secret; although the religious figures agreed that Piscine was a good boy, they focused the conversation arguing about the characteristics, customs, beliefs and practices of each particular religion in a disrespectful manner. ''Hindus and Christians are idolaters. They have many gods'' shouted the imam, and as a reaction the pandit responded that ''Muslims have many wives''. Furthermore, the priest uttered ''What it comes down to is whether Piscine wants real religion - or myths from a cartoon strip''. Tired of watching the three inflamed men, Pi's father interjected reminding them that '' ... there is freedom of practice in this country'', which was answered in unison, ''Yes! Practice-singular!''. Thus, they requested that Pi choose a single religion, and as a response, the young man told them that he just wanted to love God. In fact, he wanted to be baptized and have a prayer rug, so that he could be even more connected with Him through different religions . By this point, it is clear to see that the author questions the society's religious intolerance towards syncretic beliefs; Pi's morality is called into question.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, morality is defined as ''principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior; the extent to which an action is right or wrong''. However, what does the word ''good'' or ''right''

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