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Law and justice are essential to most societies
1) Most nations think laws are the best way to protect people
2) With law people know what they can/cannot do and if there was no law, there
would be chaos
3) The laws are made by Parliament and enforced by the courts
4) Christianity, Islam and Judaism teach that God commanded us to follow the
law. However some religious believers think religious law is more important
than laws of the land.
5) If religious law and state law disagree, some believers think it is better to
commit a crime than sin
6) Justice is where people get what they deserve ­ due allocation of
punishment and reward . In the context of the law the guilty are punished
and the innocent are protected…read more

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Crime vs. Sin
· A sin is when a religious law is broken
· A crime is when the state law is broken
· Christians believe justice is very important as we are all equal in the eyes of
God. Christians also have a duty to look after others and help them repent of
their sins.
· However Jesus taught judgement and punishment belong to God.
Muslims try to follow the Shari'ah
· Muslims have a clear law and this is usually the state law in Islamic
countries e.g. in Saudi - Arabia
· Muslims strongly believe in justice and the Qur'an teaches Allah is just and
Muslims should treat each other fairly
· Muslims believe Allah sees everything so he knows if a crime has been
committed and on the day of judgement the offender will be made to answer
for it. A truly repentant sinner will be forgiven.…read more

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Forms of Punishment
Punishment can take different forms which include community service, a fine, or capital
punishment. These punishments have different aims for example fines are deterrents
and a prison sentence is to protect society. Different countries and religions favour
different punishments.
Deterrence If punishment is expensive, embarrassing, restricting, painful etc Some critics argue that some people
it will put off people from doing the crime. This is the idea behind do not think about consequences
people knowing what the consequences of their actions will be especially if there are issues such as
so they know in advance. drugs or alcohol.
Protection If a criminal could be dangerous the punishment should protect some may disagree by saying the
society from them offenders should be reformed
Reform The idea that punishment should change criminals so they won't
reoffend. Criminals could become useful members of society
again, programmes include counselling and visiting victims of
Rehabilitation This should prepare criminals for a return to normal life, it is However people may argue this is a
more practical than reform as it usually involves the offender waste of money as the criminal may
improving education or learning a trade ­ this improves self- reoffend so the money should be spent
esteem and gives them better job prospects. on hard-working, law-abiding people.
Retribution Some people think of punishment as taking revenge, a way of Critics may argue that revenge doesn't
making them pay for what they have done wrong put right what has happened ­ two
wrongs don't make a right ­ therefore it
is better to find a more constructive
solution…read more

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Capital punishment
Capital punishment is now abolished in most places,
however it is used in some places for serious For (NON- Against (NON-
crimes e.g. murder, espionage and treason. RELIGIOUS) RELIGIOUS)
The risk of death may act Lots of murderers act in
Many Christians are opposed to capital punishment as as a better deterrent than the heat of the moment
it does not allow for reform or for the offender to a prison sentence and do not think about
show mercy consequences
Bible passages teach only God can give life so
therefore only he can take it away If a murderer is executed Execution does not give
it is impossible for them the offender chance to
However some agree with capital punishment as Jesus
to reoffend. reform
said to his followers: `whoever curses his father or
mother is to be put to death.' Executing criminals who There are cases where
have committed serious people have been proven
Muslims agree with capital punishment in extreme crimes could protect innocent after they have
situations. The Qur'an states that criminals can be innocent members of the been executed.
punished by death however it encourage people to public from them
accept `blood money' There tend to be more
`You should not kill any man whom God has forbidden murderers in countries
you to kill, except for a just cause'- that have capital
punishment so it does
not always work…read more

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Drugs and Alcohol
· Drugs (illegal) These drugs are split in to three
categories (A,B and C) where A is the most dangerous
and normally cause serious psychological or physical
· Drugs (age-restricted:alcohol and tobacco) These are
illegal to sell to under 18's, it is not illegal to drink/smoke
under the age of 18 you just cannot buy iy. Campaigners
argue that these drugs are as addictive and harmful as
many illegal drugs, some use this argument to say there
should be criminalisation of tobacco or tighter controls on
alcohol however some use it to say that other drugs that
are currently illegal (such as cannabis) should be
legalised.…read more

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