Crime and Punishment

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Why do laws need to be just?

  • If a law is unjust, people will feel that it is right to break the law.
  • If some laws are unjust, people will think that all laws are unjust. They will think that the government is not doing their job.
  • People will not obey the law and will campaign against it causing trouble in society
  • People will think the legal system is not working and they may start a civil war.
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Why do some Christians support Capital Punishment?

  • The Bible gives the death penalty as punishment for some offences.
  • Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England haven't cancelled their statements that Capital Punishment can be used by the state.
  • Christian Church used Capital Punishment for heresy.
  • St Thomas Aquinas said that the protection of society is more important than the reform of the criminal.
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Why do some Christians oppose Capital Punishment?

  • Jesus came to reform sinners, but you can't reform a dead person.
  • Jesus said that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is wrong for Christians.
  • Christianity teaches that all life is sacred (abortion and euthanasia are wrong, so is Captial Punishment).
  • Most Christian Churches have made statements condemning Capital Punishment.
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Why do most Muslims support Capital Punishment?

  • Punishment by God in the Qur'an.
  • Muhammed made statements agreeing with Capital Punishment for apostasy, adultery and murder.
  • Muhammed sentenced people to death for murder.
  • Shari'ah says that Capital Punishment is the punishment for apostasy, adultery and murder.
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What are Non-Religious arguments in favour of Capi

Capital Punishment?

  • If people know they will die if they murder someone, it will put them off murdering.
  • Murderers and terrorists threaten society. The best way to protect society is by taking away their lives.
  • Human life is important. The value of life can only be shown by giving murderers the worst punishment (death).
  • Retribution is a part of punishment. Only retribution for murder is the death penalty (an eye for an eye).
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What are the strengths and weaknesses of the 4

Theories of Punishment?

  • Retribution - makes criminals pay and suffer. It also actually punishes the criminal.
  • Reform - the only way to stop crime and most criminals had a bad upbringing and they don't know how to live without crime. It gives criminals an education and qualifications.
  • Protection - capital punishment works because you can't kill if you're dead. Long prison sentences keep criminals out of the society.
  • Deterrance - thieves have hands cut off so they won't steal, and murderers will be executed so they don't murder.
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What are Non-Religious arguments against Capital


  • No court can be 100% sure that the verdict is correct. Wrongly convicted people can be released from prison, but not if they have been executed.
  • Murderers regard life imprisonment as worse than death.
  • Murderers who know they will be killed if caught are more likely to kill more people to avoid being caught.
  • Statistics of people killing in countries without the death penalty are lower than in countries with it.
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What are the 4 Theories of Punishment?

  • Retribution - criminals should be punished.
  • Reform - changing criminals so they don't commit crimes again.
  • Protection - prevent society from criminals.
  • Deterrance - put people off committing crimes
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Why is justice important for Muslims?

  • Qur'an says God is just so will reward and punish on the last day.
  • Qur'an says all Muslims should treat people fairly.
  • Part of their role as vice-gerents of God's creation to treat all people fairly.
  • Unjust to charge interest (riba) as it takes money from the poor and gives it to the rich.
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Why is justice important for Christians?

  • Bible - God is just and will reward the righteous and punish those who sin.
  • Bible - people should be treated fairly and God wants the world to be ruled justly.
  • Jesus said the rich should share with the poor. Christians should treat people fairly and equally.
  • World Council of Churches Assembly (Vancouver 1984) invited Christian communities to help the process of 'Justice, peace and the integrity of creation'
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Why do some Muslims oppose Capital Punishment?

  • recommended by the Qur'an, but not compulsory.
  • Shari'ah says that the family of a murder victim can accept blood money from the murderer instead of death.
  • Agree with the non-religious arguments against Capital Punishment (2)
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What are the UK laws on Tobacco?

  • Illegal to sell cigarettes, cigars, tobacco etc. to under 18's.
  • All tobacco packs must have big health warnings and picture warnings about the effect of smoking.
  • Adverts and sponsorship for tobacco is banned.
  • Illegal to smoke indoor public places, workplaces, football grounds and all parts of railway stations.
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What are the UK laws on Alcohol?

  • Illegal to give an alcoholic drink to under 5's.
  • Children under 16 can go into a pub but can't have alcoholic drinks.
  • People aged 16 or 17 can drink beer, wine or cider with a meal, if bought and accompanied by an adult.
  • Illegal for under 18s to buy alcohol anywhere.
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What are the UK laws on Illegal Drugs?

It is an offence to:

  • Possess a controlled substance with intent to supply or offer to supply a controlled drug.
  • Possess a controlled substance unlawfully.
  • Allow your premises to be used for drug taking.

controlled - class A, B or C drugs

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What are the Health Problems caused by Tobacco?

  • Smoking increases risk of more than 50 health conditions.
  • Smoking causes various cancers, coronary heart disease; stroke, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • In men, smoking can cause impotence.
  • In pregnant women who smoke, their babies will have a lower birth weight, will be weaker and may not develop normally.
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What are the Health Problems caused by Alcohol?

  • If you drink heavily, you have an increased risk of developing serious health conditions - liver problems, stomach disorders, heart disease and some cancers.
  • Heavy drinking can lead to addiction.
  • About 1 in 7 deaths are caused by effects of drinking alcohol.
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What are the Health Problems caused by Illegal


  • Physical health of users can be damaged because of the toxic effects of a drug.
  • Can cause death by infections, liver disease or intentional self harm.
  • Heavy users often have psychiatric illnesses.
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What are the Social Problems caused by Drugs and A

Alcohol - 

  • 50% of fire deaths are caused by the effects of alcohol
  • 70% of murder victims and 40% of **** offenders had been drinking at the time of the incident.
  • 50% of sex abuse crimes are done by someone who abuses alcohol.

Illegal Drugs - 

  • High cost of heroin or cocaine habit forces users into a life of crime.
  • All drug dealers are criminals, leads to violence between different gangs of suppliers.
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What do all Christians believe about Illegal Drugs


  • They are illegal and they abuse the body which is thought of as God's temple.
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What do most Christians believe about Tobacco and

Alcohol and why?


  • The first miracle that Jesus performed was turning water into wine at a wedding feast.
  • Jesus uses bread and wine at the Last Supper and told the disciples to continue the tradition.
  • Most Churches use alcoholic wine in their Communion services.
  • St Paul said that Christians could drink in moderation.
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What do some Christians believe about Tobacco and

Alcohol and why?

REFUSE (Salvation Army, Methodists, Pentecostals):

  • Using tobacco and alcohol is abusing God's temple (their bodies).
  • Bible passages warn against drunkenness.
  • Bible teaches that consumption of alcohol damages judgement, inflames passions and invites violence.
  • Many Christians are involved in working with alcoholics and want to support them by refusing alcohol.
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What do all Muslims believe about Drugs and Alcoho


  • Qur'an says that intoxicants are a way that Satan tries to keep people from God and from saying their prayers.
  • Prophet Muhammed said that every intoxicant is forbidden to Muslims (khamr)
  • Muslim lawyers say taking drugs or alcohol is a form of suicide (harming the body) and suicide is forbidden.
  • Muhammed said that Muslims mustn't drink alcohol or have anything to do with the production and sale of alcohol.
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What do Muslims believe about Tobacco and why?

HARAM - harms the body

MAKRUH (lawyers think this) - because it is not mentionned by the Qur'an or Muhammad.

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