The Irrelevance of Apostasy

“When a Muslim leaves Islam, we should congratulate him. Because we should celebrate people’s choices. The last thing we should do is tell him he is making a mistake or try to convince him to change his mind. That would be disrespectful and very rude because, again, what is of utmost importance and value is his choice.

“And after all, a person’s religion is like a favorite cuisine. Sometimes Indian food is your favorite but maybe tomorrow your tastes change and Indian food doesn’t fulfill you anymore. It doesn’t make you feel like your best self, so you switch. And there is nothing more to it than that.

“Only extremists or people who think religion has some kind of moral significance would object to this. These people are tribalistic fundamentalists from the Middle Ages. We know now that religion has little if anything to do with being a good person. As long as you don’t harm other people, you can subscribe to any religious beliefs you want or no beliefs at all. Religion is just about whatever unsubstantiated, insignificant beliefs you have about what happens when you die and whether you talk to your god in a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. Obviously, all religions are equally acceptable because they are all equally irrelevant to what matters most in human affairs and our moral sensibilities.

“And if you disagree with any of this, you are a bigot and should be silenced because you oppose free choice.”
Part and parcel of believing something to be true morally is to want others to believe that thing too. For example, if you are truly a believer in a woman’s right to abortion, then what that entails is that you want, in your heart at least, for other people to believe in that too. If you didn’t care about whether other people believe in abortion or not, then you wouldn’t really be a believer in that moral claim.

But since we are conditioned to think of religion as having no moral significance and not making any difference to whether or not you’re a good person, none of these intuitions apply. Rather than be grieved that a person leaves Islam, we are told to congratulate him and support his choice. What a world.

"When a Muslim leaves Islam, we should congratulate him. Because we should celebrate people's choices. The last thing we…

Posted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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