I've ran across some former Muslims that say that the punishment for Apostasy in not death. They have claimed that the Qu'ran never suggests the death penalty for those that leave the Islamic faith. I tried to corner one of them to get a reason why they say this. I gave some examples and why I reject the notion, but I didn't get a refutation. I'm happy to hear it, I simply don'e know except for what I can read on my own. So if anyone can tell me why this is wrong, please do so.

My reading:

"But if they turn renegades seize them and slay them wherever you find them” Chapter 4 Verse 89
In Hadiths spoken by Mohammed, "If somebody discards his religion, kill him.’” Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260 Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’” Vol. 9, Book 84, Number 57

Historically it's noted that in the time of Mohammed thousands were killed for leaving Islam. If this wasn't what he wanted, why did he not correct the behavior?

This is a wiki quote under the Execution section. "some jurists, scholars and writers of other Islamic sects, have argued or issued fatwas that either the changing of religion is not punishable or is only punishable under restricted circumstances, but these minority opinions have not found broad acceptance among the majority of Islamic scholars"

It seems pretty clear to me, but what am I not understanding?

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This clip does not prove that Islam is dead. This Imam is hardly impartial. Islamic Law applies to all Muslims and the punishment that a country allows is not relevant to what is actually written in the book. If the book is filled with the word of God whom created the world, the borders drawn by man are not relevant.
You suggest that we should be careful about what an Islamic country is. Turkey is a secular country and you have listed twice now as Islamic. The population may be secular, but the laws are specifically secular and there is even a national song about that. To say that Turkey is Islamic would be the same as saying that Czech is Atheist when in reality it's secular.
You'll find minimal agreement that we should all think the same because we have arrived at the same conclusion on a god. We got here by different paths. There are others that feel the same as you and we should put you all into a group to see if you can agree on anything. It's not logical to assume that because we agree on one thing, we should agree on an

How can you possibly be writing these things and be serious? Let's look at what you say repeatedly using quotes from you in this discussion;

On whether Islam is alive or dead.

"I don't read anything into dead scripture..."

"Islam is the idea of religion created by muslims"

"Who said Islam is dead?  Islam is alive and kicking and being practised by muslims in many different forms.  Far from dead."

"I'd say that islam cannot be defined by a non-muslim reading of the koran, nor even a muslim for that matter."


So Islam is dead scripture that cannot be defined and so you shouldn't interpret it even if you are a muslim, but it's not dead as a religion. Then what text are they using?


On Turkey:

Me- "Turkey is a secular country and you have listed twice now as Islamic"

Wiki: :"...removed the provision declaring that the "Religion of the State is Islam"" "The Constitution asserts that Turkey is a secular" Link

You: "To say that Turkey doesn't fit your version of Islam (ie they don't practice the death penalty for apostasy) even though 95% of their population is muslim is just cherry picking on your part."

You: "There is no one thing called "an islamic country'"


What confusion is left about what an Islamic Country is? 


On being Monolithic as Atheists, I asked a question.

Me:"You'll find minimal agreement that we should all think the same"

You:"I'm not looking for agreement,"

Let's see if that bears out in this discussion.

Me: "Why would you spend all of this time proclaiming that religions are not monolithic then tell us that we should be?"

You: "...there can be only one correct interpretation of non-God."

Derek: "If it's in the holy book, there is no argument."

You:"I'd expect a religious believer to say that, not an atheist."

You: "hardly an atheist way of doing things!"

You: "We atheists don't need to waste our time on it."


It would seem that a guy not looking for agreement seems to do a lot of demanding it. Repeatedly you have used the No True Scotsman in telling others what they should think because they don't believe in a god. I don't get it. 




Islam is what muslims make it.  They attach lots of ideas to the Koran.  That’s their choice.  I choose not to.  That’s my choice.

And you're an expert on islam are you? By your definition I could change islam into whatever I want it to be, but thats not right now is it? Whatever disagreement there is about how a religion is practiced is upon how the scripture that governs that religion is interpreted, but you cannot arbitrarily add to or subtract from that religion. There might be people who don't follow certain aspects of a religion, but they don't represent the whole of the religion.

The koran is the holy book of islam. It governs that religion and most muslims follow most(or a lot) of whats written in it. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you get to interpret the religion on your own terms.

My argument is that despite what muslims say about their religion coming from an ancient text, islam is a living religion of the present day.  Islam is the manifestation of muslim belief.  We can only interpret islam by what it is in the present day, since ideas can only exist in the minds of living people.

Agreed. And there are many muslims who follow what is written koran & the hadith. There is a large group of people who follow that ancient text.

As an atheist I do not see that I can be criticised for refusing to waste my time trying to interpret a religious text that was written 1300 years ago.  I’ll leave that useless exercise to people who think such texts have anything to say to us, which I don’t.

No one if forcing you to read & interpret any ancient text. But when you comment on the religion that is based on that ancient text and say that the said ancient text doesn't apply to the religion in this day and age, you open yourself to criticism.

If people who call themselves atheists want to waste time studying the koran I cannot stop them, it’s just that I’m not able to agree that what they are doing is a consistently atheist behaviour.

Define atheistic behavior.

Educating yourself about a religion or a culture and following them are two very different things. Don't confuse the two.

We have been talking about muslim countries.  I am well aware that the state in Turkey is secular not muslim.  But there is more to a country than a state, and to pretend that Turkey is not a muslim country is to contradict reality.

Turkey's population is mostly muslim, but since the LAWS in Turkey aren't islamic, it can't be classified as an islamic nation.

Anyways, bringing nations into the discussion would be deviating from the topic. It is about Apostasy in islam - its teachings & its holy texts, not in the laws of individual nations. If some muslims choose not to follow a certain part of their religion doesn't mean its not a part of the religion as a whole.

For example, smoking and drinking is not allowed in sikhism. But I know many sikhs who smoke & drink. That does not mean that you get the licence to say that sikhism allows smoking and drinking.

I’m not an expert on islam, but that doesn’t stop me having opinions about it.  Not being an expert on islam doesn’t stop most rabidly right-wing atheists expressing lots of opinions about it, so why shouldn’t I?

Having an opinion is one thing, but changing the rules of the game is something completely different. To say that something isn't part of a religion because all of the people belonging to that fail don't practice it is fallacious. The fact they choose to ignore that part of their religion doesn't make it any less a part of their religion, specially if there are many others who do follow that part. You could say that the practice isn't widespread as most don't follow it, but to say that its not a part is just wrong.

To say that people invent their own ideas into religion is also wrong. They choose not to follow certain aspects of their religion. There is a difference between the two. Their not following dogma A doesn't mean that dogma A isn't part of the religion. It might happen that most, almost all people don't follow dogma A and its been so long since dogma A was practiced that you feel like it it was never part of the religion. Then you can say that currently dogma A isn't part of the religion. But it would be wrong to make such a statement while dogma A is being practiced by a sizable portion of the followers of the religion.

It's not really a game, and there are no rules.

Game was a metaphor. When discussing religion, to disregard whats written in its holy book(s) would be similar to talk about the law of a nation while disregarding whats written in its constitution. Those are the rules. You cannot create your own definitions or rules asto how to look at a religion.

"It's not really a game, and there are no rules."

Typical ignorant American comment. We've had religion for thousands of years some places and the problems associated with it aren't new. There have been a large number of different solutions on how to deal with it that has worked in the real world.

It's a game between intellect and emotion, honesty and lies. From game theory we know the best thing is that if everyone is honest that God is a figment of the imagination, and publicly admit it. 

The Bible/Koran/Thora should be retracted like dishonest science and its proponents dismissed playing the fear game. I propose the Kama Sutra as a potential replacement. :)

That's really prejudiced, and just a teensy bit racist.


I didn't expect to type these words in this thread, but I agree with Jared! HA!

My sincerest apologies for hurting your sensitive feelings and providing such ample evidence of my prejudice against the great history of the deeply cultural nation you belong to.

As evidence, you may now overwhelm me with quotes from all the famous US historians from any time before the 18th century. :)


I fail to see how a general statement like "It's not really a game, and there are no rules" warrants a response of "typical ignorant [insert arbitrary name of nation I currently dislike here] comment." Though I disagree with him, I don't see anything typical or American about his comment, and Jared may or may not even be an American.


Starting off a response with an emotional prejudicial comment is counterproductive for rational discourse. And if there was any doubt about your feelings towards Americans after your initial comment, your follow up response has certainly clarified.

'Ignorant American' refers to a well know (at least outside the US) phenomenon of Americans denying the existance of anything that don't fit with the world picture they have been socially conditioned to believe in. Also, the general knowledge among the majority of Americans of what exists outside their border is low. It's quite common in large or powerful countries.

Here is what I've been taken seriously saying by about half dozen Americans: "I'm from Norway, the capital of Sweden. We live in igloos and have polar bears for pets."

Here's a few other sterotypes: 'Blue-eyed Scandinavian', 'Asshole French', 'Hooligan English', 'Sleazy Greek', 'Violent Muslim',  etc. It doesn't describe every individual, just a certain negative aspect of other cultures.

In addition, I didn't call Jared an Ignorant American, I called his comment that of what is usually provided by the ignorant Americans. And the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of ignorant Americans, or have you forgotten what Bierce said?

Thanks for the tangent on foreign stereotypes, but none of those examples of "typical ignorant American comments" are equivalent to "It's not really a game, and there are no rules" so I still fail to see how it warranted that response.


There are plenty of "typical ignorant comments" from national hiveminds around the world. The amusing part is that people rarely consider the ignorance of their own comments.

"why you hate Americans"+"people rarely consider the ignorance of their own comments."

Unfortunate (sorry, "ironic") passive-aggressive argumentation... So you believe I am ignorant and hate Americans - that's quite rich and also ad hominem. :)

So I guess friends can't rightly criticize the shortcomings of friends, and any criticism of Americans is therefore immediately hateful anti-Americanism? If not a person which has lived 4 years in the US, and wish to return, then who has the right to critizice Americans?


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