RE Crime and Punishment

Why do we need laws & just laws

  • People will feel they have the right to break unjust laws, meaning the whole basis of society could disintegrate.
  • Some may believe all laws are unjust, meaning laws are not fulfilling their purpose.
  • People will not obey unjust laws & will campaign against these laws, causing trouble for society.
  • Unjust laws will not create a just society & without a just society, people will think the legal system is not working and may start a civil war.

We need laws because:

  • Everyone knows what sort of behaviour to expect from eachother
  • To protect the weak from the strong.
  • To keep everything organised
  • No laws or rules would create chaos
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Theories of punishment

Retribution = criminals should pay for what they have done. It makes criminals pay for their crime in proportion to the severity of the crime committed. It makes the criminal suffer for what they have done. It actually punishes the criminal.

Deterrence =  the punishment should put people off from committing the crime.If people know they will have their hand cut off, they will not steal. The punishment should be so severe that nobody will dare to commit the crimes.

Reform =criminals should be taught not to commit crime again. The only way to stop crime is to reform criminals, so they become law abiding citizens. Most criminals commit crime as they had a poor upbringing and do not know how to live without crime. Involves giving criminals education & qualifications to find a proper job and may feel they no longer have to be a criminal.

Protection = punishment should protect society from criminals and their activities. Capital punishment is good as they can no longer hurt anybody else. Long prison sentences keep criminals out of society.

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Why Justice is important

Why is it important for Christians:

  • Jesus said the rich should help the poor
  • The Christian Church teaches that Christians should work for fairness and justice
  • The Bible says that people shpuld be treated fairly
  • The Bible says that God is just and will reward the righteous and punish those who sin.

Why it is important for Muslims:

  • The Qur'an says that Allah is just and will reward the good and punish the bad on the last day.
  • The Qur'an says that Muslims should treat people fairly.
  • The Shari'ah is based on justice for everyone.
  • Islam teaches that all people should have equal rights before the law
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Capital Punishment

  • Non religious Attittudes:
  • Murderers who threaten society - CP is the best way to protect society.
  • If people know they will lose their life if they murder someone, it will act as a deterrent
  • Human life is the most precious thing, so giving those who take it the worst punishment - CP
  • Murderers sometimes see life imprisonment worse than death
  • More violent murders as if people know they will die getting caught, they will make it count.
  • No court system can be sure it is the right virdict being given.
  • Human life is the most important thing, therefore nobody has the right to take it.

Christian Attitudes:

  • The Christian Church used CP in the past for crime.
  • The Bible sets down the death penalty as punishment for some crimes so it is allowed by God.
  • Christians thinkers argued that the protection of society was more important than reforming the criminal.
  • The Roman Catholic Church have not cancelled their statements which permit the state to use CP.
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Capital Punishment continued

  • Christianity teaches all human life is sacred and only God has the right to take life.
  • Christians believe Jesus came to save sinners, but you cannot reform a dead person.
  • Jesus banned retribution when he said 'an eye for an eye' was wrong.
  • Most Christian Churches have made statements condemning CP

Muslim Attitudes

  • CP was set down by Allah in the Qur'an
  • Muhammad made several statements agreeing with CP
  • Muhammad sentenced people to death for murder
  • The Shari'ah says that CP is the punishment for muder and adultery.
  • It is recommended in the Quar'an but its not compulsory
  • The Shari'ah says that the family of a murder victim can accept blood money from the murder rather than requiring a death sentence
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UK Laws

UK Laws on Tobacco:

  • Illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 18
  • All tobacco packs must have a large health warning
  • All adverts and sponsorships on tabacco are banned
  • Against the law to smoke in all indoor public places

UK Laws on Alcohol

  • Illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under 5
  • 16-17 year olds can drink beer, wine or cider with a meal if its bought and accompanied by an adult.
  • Against the law for any under 18s to buy alcohol
  • Under 16s can go into pubs with adult supervision but cant have alcoholic drinks.

UK Laws on Drugs

  • It is an offence to: posess a controlled substance unlawfully or with intent, to supply or offer a controlled drug, to allow your premesis to be used for drug taking.
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Health & Social Problems

Health & Social Problems caused by alcohol:

  • liver problems, stomach disorders, mental health issues, heart disease, obesity, cancer.
  • deaths from falls, alcohol abuse.

Health & Social Problems caused by drugs:

  • liver diseases, psychiatric illnesses, toxic effects of a drug.
  • drug dealers are criminals, high costs of buying drugs encourages crime, violence under influence.

Health & Social problems caused by Smoking:

  • cancers, heart disease, stroke.
  • suffering of families watching their loved ones die slowly, makes you look older, more wrinkles, makes teeth yellow.
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Attitudes towards drugs, tobacco and alcohol

All Christians are against illegal drug usage:

  • Its against the law, all Christian Churches teach its wrong, drugs affect mental health making it difficult to worship God properly, St Paul teaches a Chirstians body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus drank wine at the last supper
  • Most Churches use wine in their communion services
  • St Paul said that Christians could drink in moderation
  • Jesus' first miracle was changing water into wine
  • Taking tobacco and alcohol is abusing God's temple
  • Concerned about the social and health problems
  • Passages in the Bible warning against drunkness
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