Religion and Society: Crime and Punishment

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  • Created on: 12-01-13 15:19
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Religion: Crime and punishment
The need for law and justice
Why do we need laws?
Humans live in groups and all groups need rules to organise the behaviour of individuals
within it. The law lets people know what sort of behaviour to expect from others.
Laws are needed so that people can working and be involved with business without
someone taking it away all the rewards of their work. Without laws society could not function
as nobody would be bother to work.
Laws protect the weak from the strong e.g. rape.
Laws keep everything organised
Why does there need to be a connection between the law and justice
If a law is unjust people will feel that it is right to break the law therefore society may
If some laws are unjust people may start to think that all laws are unjust therefore not
fulfilling their purpose.
If a law is unjust people will not obey it and will campaign against the law causing trouble in
If the laws don't create a just society people will think the legal system is not working and
may start a civil war
Theories of punishment
The theory that criminals should pay for their crime. Many people believe this should be the
main reason for punishment because:
It makes criminals pay for their crime in proportion to the severity of the crime they
have committed.
It makes the criminals suffer for what they have done wrong.
It punishes the criminal.
The theory that the punishment should put people off committing crime. Many people
believe this should be the main reason for punishment because:
If someone knows they will get their hands cut off if they are caught stealing then they
will not steal so deterrent punishment will stop theft
The theory that criminals should be taught not to commit crime again. Many people believe
this should be the main reason for punishment because:

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They believe that the only way to stop crime is to reform the criminal so that they
become honest law ­ abiding citizens who will not want to commit crimes again.
They believe that most criminals commit crimes because of how they have been
brought up.
Reformative punishments often involve getting criminals educated and qualified so
they can find a proper jobs and no longer need to be a criminal.
The theory that punishment should protect society from criminals and their activities.…read more

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Retribution and/or compensation are major parts of punishment and the only
retribution/compensation for taking a life is for the criminal's life to be taken.…read more

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The laws on drugs and alcohol
UK laws on tobacco
Illegal to sell to anyone under the age 18
Must have hard-hitting health warnings and carry shocking pictures on the effects of smoking
All adverts for tobacco products are banned
It is against the law to smoke in all indoor public places
Prosecuted for smoking while driving
Can have a £50 fine for dropping a cigarette end
UK laws on alcohol
It is illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under five
Children…read more

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Different attitudes to drugs and alcohol in Christianity
Against illegal drugs because:
It is against the law and Christians should obey the law as long as it is just
St Paul taught that a Christian's body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which should not be
abused and taking drugs is abusing God's temple
Drugs have a mental effect making it difficult to worship God properly or follow the Christian
way of life
All Christian Churches teach that the use of illegal drugs is…read more

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Crime An act against the law
Judgment The act of judging people and their actions
Justice Due to allocation of reward and punishment/the
maintenance of what is right
Law Rules made by Parliament and enforceable by the courts
Capital The death penalty for a crime or offence
Deterrence The idea that punishments should be of such a nature that
they will put people off committing crime
Rehabilitation Restore of normal life
Reform The idea that punishments should try to change criminals
so they will…read more


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