The narrative returns to Pi’s voice. Pi describes his biology teacher, Mr. Satish Kumar. Mr. Kumar was an atheist and an active Communist. He used to come to the zoo to watch the animals and wonder at the natural world. Pi, who had been religious since a young age, was at first shocked by Mr. Kumar’s atheism, but soon they formed a deep bond. Pi respects atheists for choosing a certain worldview (one without a God), but he dislikes agnostics, as they must live in a constant state of doubt or indifference.
The Satish Kumars (there will be another) of Pi’s life provide symmetry in their influence. Pi’s digression on atheists and agnostics is very important –clearly he accepts that the existence of God is inherently unknowable, and so it takes faith to either affirm or deny it. When the truth is unknowable, we can only choose which story we find more beautiful. Pi prefers a worldview with God in it, but he respects those who do not. What he does not respect are those who refuse to choose, who linger in doubt. Pi respects those who choose a story.