Crime and Punishment

A model answer, with questions a, b, c and d, for the Crime and Punishment topic in Unit 8.

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Unit 8, Topic 4: Crime and Punishment
a. What is Sin?
An act against the will of God.
Mark: 2/2
b. Do you think capital punishment is wrong?
I think capital punishment is wrong, because execution is nothing more than murder by the state.
A government cannot forbid murder if it responds to such crimes by killing, as this is hypocritical.
I also think the death penalty is wrong, because although it is meant to act as a deterrent to
potential criminals, it is ineffective; those who are considering serious crime are uncaring of the
possible consequences. Evidence is that in some countries with capital punishment, crime rates
are not lower than those without capital punishment.
Mark: 4/4
c. Explain why some Christians support capital punishment.
Some Christians support capital punishment, because they say that the Old Testament teaches
capital punishment should be used for some crimes. In this case, modern society should also
enforce the death penalty for serious crimes, such as murder. Evidence is the Bible, which says
`Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man should his blood be shed.'
Another reason some Christians support capital punishment is that in the middle ages, capital
punishment was used against those who challenged the Church. In today's society, there are
much more serious crimes, which should therefore be dealt with just as severely.
Another reason for Christians to support capital punishment is that Jesus never taught against
the death penalty, directly or indirectly. He did, however, teach that we should do good, which
leads to the conclusion that criminals and people who do not should be punished accordingly.
Mark: 8/8
d. Sometimes good people should break the law. Do you agree?
*Refer to at least one religion.
I disagree with the statement, because I believe that the law is made to bring justice, and it is not
for us to take that into our own hands. Christians would agree with me, because they say that
we, like God, should be just ­ breaking the law is not just. Evidence is the Gospel, which says `do
unto others what you would have them do to you'.
Another reason I disagree is that if good people break the law, this encourages other people
to break it too, regardless of whether they should, if they think it is for the right reasons. This
idea would undermine the justice system completely and make the law ineffective.
Some people disagree with me, because they say that the law is not always fully just, and good
people must sometimes break it in order to achieve justice. Evidence is Paul Hill, who killed an
abortionist because he believed abortion was murder.
Another reason people disagree is that they argue breaking the law is sometimes a
necessary evil to achieve justice. In cases where a person has been murdered, the victim's family
may feel the need to kill the murderer as an act of retribution.

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