Martel fields questions from local high school students

17Apr08

At 10:30 this morning local high school students gathered to ask questions of Yann Martel, author of (the apparently popular high school English text) Life of Pi.

Many questions focused earnestly on details from the book — ex. “What is the significance of the meerkat?” But a particularly interesting question came towards the end of the session from a young man in the second row. A student asked about atheism and agnosticism, and whether Martel thinks that doubt and belief can ever coexist. Admittedly, a somewhat vague question.

In reply, Martel said: “I think you faith is really tested if you have some moments of doubt, because I think that really reinvigorates your faith…and it also shakes away stuff that is irrelevant. I studied philosophy at university, which is a guaranteed way of making you agnostic… And, in a way, agnostics are the most reasonable people, they simply say there’s not enough evidence…their approach is empirical… In many areas of life it pays to be reasonable, but ultimately life is not a reasonable proposition. Life demands your involvement in it. To sit back and be reasonable … is a way of not fully living your life.”

~posted by Ashleigh

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One Response to “Martel fields questions from local high school students”

  1. I would have loved to have been there. I loved Life of Pi and it’s always good to interact with people who have read the book and taken the time to contemplate the many themes.

    His answer is reflected nicely in the book as well, when one character likens agnosticism to sitting in a car but not going anywhere.

    Cool stuff. I wonder if you have a transcript from this session. That would be interesting to read.

    Brian


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