I for myself consider myself an agnostic. Because i simply dont know, but i dont reject. My girlfriend on the other hand is a firm believer and we both watched The life of Pi yesterday.

Maybe because my girlfriend would wish it for me, altough she does in no way pressure me, i really consider faith and would like to believe. BUT i dont want to lie to myself and want to really believe to believe like she does, unshakeable. But because i grew up in a very non christian or religios house i struggle to "disregard" logic to believe. I simply would like the comfort of god, the thought of seeing all my loved ones in heaven after death etc. Having someone to thank for evrything good. But logic always denies this for me.


In the movie two storys are told. The story of the tiger, the fantastic beautiful story, and the grey realistic story with just people, and in the end he askes the other guy which he would prefer and like more. And says that it is like that with god.

But i feel and interpretations i read about the movie also say things like.

The logical, gray and uncharming reality which is depicted as being bland and destroying every sense of magic in the world. And the godly, faithful and beatiful reality which is ultimately possibly self-deception

But does it have to be like that? Does one have to practice self-deception and discard all logic to believe. Or is there a side where the logical reality and the beatiful faith can coexist.

I really struggle here and cannot find a way out. And maybe I am way to indoctrinated with logic, and realism and science to simply JUST BELIEVE but i would like to try to give my life more meaning than to simply die and thats it.

So my question is:

Does someone who has believed in reason, logic and pure science his whole life need to discard this in order to believe or is there a way for both to coexist and give meaning to a (maybe way too) critical thinking mind.

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    I was baptised just over fifty years ago at the age of sixteen, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. But nothing that I believe is in any way contrary to logic, to sound sense and to intelligent thinking. Hope this helps. (I am also a Licentiate of the Royal Society of Chemistry.) – Nigel J Nov 20 '18 at 13:31
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    There are some religions, such as Hinduism, where this is true that logic must be dismissed sometimes, but the Bible is very logical in how it explains various topics. Here's a Bible Study course where you can see this first-hand. – 4castle Nov 20 '18 at 15:21
  • @close voters, I think this is an OK question since the frame of reference is Life of Pi. Ideally answers would comment on the themes in the movie or book. – Peter Turner Nov 20 '18 at 17:10
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    @Peter the Life of Pi is a book/movie, not a Christian document. It can't provide adequate scoping by itself. The question itself in italics at the end isn't on topic either. – curiousdannii Nov 21 '18 at 22:12

Faith and reason do not contradict each other any more than science and the Bible do.

Science teaches us about physical realities and the Bible about spiritual truth. Science can't prove or disprove the existence of a soul and the Revelation doesn't hinge on its literal interpretation. But unlike these two domains, faith and reason actually help each other out, especially on ones quest toward their final end in Jesus.

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves

St. John Paul II - Fides et Ratio

In Life of Pi, the movie at least, leaves a viewer a little off in their conception of faith and reason because you might have to abandon reason to simultaneously be Hindu, Muslim and Catholic

But, while it features a positive treatment of Catholicism and a sympathetic priest, this visually artful psychological parable -- told in flashbacks by its now-adult protagonist (Irrfan Khan) -- upholds its main character's view that he can be, simultaneously, a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. Not for the impressionable or the poorly catechized.

USCCB Movie Reviews

So it's not the best introduction to the way Christianity is meant to be lived, for that one should get to know the saints. Like St. Joan of Arc, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Thomas More or St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

we are greatly helped not only by theological investigation but also by that great heritage which is the "lived theology" of the saints. The saints offer us precious insights which enable us to understand more easily the intuition of faith, thanks to the special enlightenment which some of them have received from the Holy Spirit, or even through their personal experience of those terrible states of trial which the mystical tradition describes as the "dark night".

St. John Paul II - Novo Millennio Ineunte

Specifically with the "that is what it is like with God," that is a terrible horrible deception. Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe not its mascot. There's a lot of well meaning Christians and non-Christians who take Life of Pi or The Shack as representative of Christianity, but they're just the works of individuals, not sanctioned by any Church. The truths may resonate with the Faithful and the Catechized, but there are truths in Homer and Marx too*. It's not even necessary for Catholics to take to heart and believe all that the Saints have written.

But, back to faith and reason. It is possible to prove the existence of God through reason. I'm not sure if all Christianity believes this to be the case, but Catholics, like Pi, ought to.

St. Thomas Aquinas sought to do this 800 years ago with his 5 proofs. But it's not the best way to come to know God. All Christians believe that the best way to come to know God is through meditating on the Life of Christ. Reading the Gospels and trying to do what Jesus says are the greatest commandments, Love God and Love your Neighbor.

*Simpson and Groucho at least


Science and logic do not conflict with belief in God. In fact, as far as I can see, belief in God is a prerequisite for natural science to make sense. Ultimately, natural science seeks to determine the laws that describe how nature operates. But why should there be any laws at all? (I'm not asking why human beings should be able to understand the laws, though that's also an interesting question; my question is even more fundamental: Why should nature behave according to laws at all, whether or not we can understand the laws?) I think any answer to this question must involve an intelligence capable of imposing laws or intelligibility on nature.

If I refused to believe in God and insisted that the material universe is all that exists, then I would have no reason to expect the material universe to be understandable, and the ultimate goal of science would look entirely unjustified to me.

I realize that these thoughts are nowhere near enough to convert you to Christianity --- that will require a gift of faith that only God can give you. But I hope that what I've written can get you past the first obstacle that you're facing, the idea that belief in God is incompatible with logic and science.

In case it helps: I'm a professor of mathematics and my main research area is mathematical logic.


One does not have to dismiss reason, logic, and "pure science" at all to believe in God. If the ability to use reason, logic, and science is a product of chance reactions why would we trust in our ability to reason to tell us the truth about reality?

Contrast pure science to philosophies of science. I would submit that while there are philosophies of science that may contradict belief in God, nothing in the pure sciences do. It's one person's belief against another persons belief.

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