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Religion and Society Topic
4 Crime and Punishment…read more

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Laws and Justice
Without laws normal daily life breaks down, weak exploited
and bullies rule. Without rules there's anarchy, destruction,
civilisation breaks down & what people have achieved is
For rules to be effective they should be set up by an authority
e.g. Parliament
Laws civilised society where we can make progress rather
than devoting time to protect our lives/possessions
Justice: ensuring people are treated fairly, so if someone
commits a crime there should be a punishment appropriate
to it
Statue of Justice on top of Old Bailey shows connection
Thomas Aquinas said laws must be based on justice or they
won't work. If someone thinks a law is unjust they'll try to
break it/may decide to take law into own hands. Law & order
rapidly break down when vigilante groups who have barbaric
ideas of justice rule the streets.…read more

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Laws only work if crimes are punished, we all agree
punishment should make criminal take
responsibility for their actions
Protection-punishing wrongdoer by locking them
in prison/taking their life in order to safeguard
Deterrent-a sufficiently harsh punishment that
discourages others from breaking law
Retribution-`eye for an eye' idea
Reform-trying to stop criminal from re-offending,
could be achieved by programme of
education/training in prison
Reparation-criminal pays for crime by helping
society/victim, once they've settled debt they're
rehabilitated into society & start life afresh…read more

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Christians & Justice
Bible teaches God is just & expects his people to
treat others in same way. Treating people unjustly
is a sin, and offenders will pay price on Judgement
Day. Old Testament idea one of retribution, book
of Exodus states `eye for an eye' `bruise for
bruise' Also said once punishment was given, no
more could be taken. Long running
disputes/vendettas unjust
Jesus' Teachings-retribution not best way, love
should be used to overcome justice. `You have
heard it was said ``An eye for an eye'' But now I tell
you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs
you. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, let
him slap your left cheek too.' `Do not judge others
so that God will not judge you for God will judge
you in the same way you judge others.'…read more

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Christians Fighting Injustice
Some tackle justice of poverty by purchasing
fair trade goods
Jesus taught people to share wealth with those
who have nothing donating to
charity/participating in projects to share earth'
s resources more fairly
`Make Poverty History' and `Drop the Debt'
`He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the
captives and recovery of sight to the blink; to
set free the oppressed and announce that time
has come when Lord will save his people.'…read more

Slide 6

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Muslims & Justice
Al-'Adl means `The Just' Allah is just-he created everyone
equally and treats them with justice and expects everyone to
treat others in same way. Those who don't will be judged
accordingly on Day of Judgement.
`Great is the guilt of those who oppress their fellow men and
conduct themselves with wickedness and injustice in the
land. They shall be sternly punished.'
`Believers, conduct yourself with justice and bear true
witness before God.'
Shari'ah Law-Islam legal system, based on idea of justice for
everyone and puts teaching of Qur'an into laws
Zakah-3rd pillar of Islam-Muslims share out 2.5% of surplus
income amongst those less fortunate-works towards more
equal society
Unjust to charge interest, have Islamic Banks, any money
earned goes to help those less fortunate. Encouraged to
donate money to charities…read more

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