Replicant, on 11 April 2012 - 06:39 PM, said:
It's an interesting topic.
Let's say there is a person who believed in 'Religion X', and lived in a country that was run by this religion.
Let's say he converted to Islam and according to the laws of 'Religion X', he had to be killed for apostasy.
All of us Muslims around the world would be protesting outside the embassys of this country and accusing this country of oppression, violating human rights and killing people just because of their beliefs and not having freedom.
However, when an Islamic State kills apostates, then some Muslims think that is fine.
I find that inconsistent.
If the principle was 'It's fine for a state to kill apostates from the religion of that state'
then yes, there would be inconsistency. But that isnt the principle. The principle is 'It's fine to kill apostates from Islam'
. Someone who believes the latter is not inconsistent in objecting to the killing of converts to Islam because there is no contradiction involved. Such a person may reason: its right to convert to the true religion, and evil to kill converts to the true religion. Islam is the true religion, so its evil to kill converts to Islam.
Jebreil, on 11 April 2012 - 06:45 PM, said:
But the rationale for the laws of apostasy was: For all we know, killing Ibn Saba saved hundreds of thousands of Muslims from misguidance over the last 1400 years
The advocate of apostacy laws may think like this.
[Person a] Hadith say apostates should be killed, so we should kill apostates.
[Person b] Why do we have such laws?
[Person a] For all we know the effects of these laws has been overall positive.
But by forcing the Christians and Jews of Arabia to become Muslim (rather than just pay jizya), the Prophet would also save hundreds of thousands from being trinitarians and other errors. This would not need any force beyond the capacity they already had.
[Person a] But he didnt.
[Person b] Why?
[Person a] For all we know the effects of such actions would have been overall negative
The utilitarian logic can be applied in both situations. My point is: do the ends really justify the means here?
Note that its not the consequentialist logic that is the ultimate reason to believe such laws, its the hadith. The consequentialist logic is just there to help in understanding these laws. Do the ends justify the means? For all we know, yes.
This rationale, by itself, does not appear to me to be excellent. (but thank you for bringing it up) First, it is presumptive.
We're not starting from a blank slate and trying to figure out with reason alone what the laws should be. We are starting from the assumption that apostacy laws are divine laws (based on hadith), and then thinking about what would justify them. This process of trying to figure out a rational justification can be presumptive, because its not the source of our acceptance of the apostacy laws (hadith are).
Second, it could be applied to other non-existent laws.
But there would be no reason to accept these non-existent laws (there are no hadith or verses about them), and probably good reason to reject them.
Third, Gypsy gave examples where the Prophet or the Imams or Shi'i scholars did not confront certain persons despite the fact that they are the reason why 80% of the Muslim population today are misguided.
For all we know, confronting them would have done more damage than good.
Fourth, and this is crucial, it relies on force and fear to save the truth, and there is something deeply unsettling about that. Other counterarguments have been presented before.
Its not always wrong to save the truth by fear or force. Doesnt the Quran threaten those who spread lies about the truth with hell? When the value of whats at stake is very great, threats of punishment can be justified. You said that speech that endangers the existence of an Islamic state can warrant the application of apostacy laws. But for all we know, without these laws there would be no Islam state at all, because Islam would be weaker, there would be fewer muslims, or fewer Shia.
I cannot uphold that the laws of apostasy make sense, because it presupposes Islam is clearly and obviously true to everyone.
Not necessarily. It could be the case that most apostates are not evil in their apostacy, but given the damage they would do by professing their apostacy in the long run, killing them is the right thing to do.
nb, in saying the above Im not professing any opinion on the ultimate validity of the apostacy laws which depends amongst other things on a comprehensive investigation of Islamic texts.
I suppose I should also point out that Im not advocating that anyone should go out and kill or harm apostates.
Edited by .InshAllah., 11 April 2012 - 07:37 PM.