RE Unit 8 Section 4

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The need for law & justice

-Laws are rules made by parliament that are enforced by police or law courts.

-Laws are needed to protect the weak, create a peaceful environment for everyone, to be kept safe from criminals, give guidelines on acceptable behaviour, to be able to live without fear and to be protected from violence.

-Justice comes from courts as they apply the law fairly, and justice is the process of giving rewards or punishments to uphold what is right but there can be problems if a law is passed that people think is unfair and unjust.

-A sin is an action that goes against God's will and some are crimes like murder while other sins like adultery are not illegal.

-The process of law making.1.Proposed law is written out in a bill and debated in house of commons. 2. Bill is debated in Parliament again. 3.Bill is passed to a committee who go through it in detail. 4. Bill is debated again, vote is taken and if infavour of the bill it is passed to the House of Lords. 5.House of lords debate and vote on the bill. 6.If passed it is sent to the queen to give it the royal assent. 7. The bill becomes an act of parliament and is now law.

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Theories of Punishment

-Deterrence means to discourage someone from committing a crime through punishment or seeing someone else be punished.

-Retribution is the idea that punishment should make criminals pay for their actions and give their victim a sense of justice.

-Reform is the idea that punishment should help the offender realise what they did wrong to change so they don't do it again and is often done through education to become a law abiding citizen, also known as rehabilitation.

-Protection is the idea that the purpose of punishment is to protect society from criminals by putting them in prison.

-Deterrence doesn't always work as a lot of criminals reoffend, retribution doesn't always work as the punishments may not be severe enough, in some serious cases retribution can never be truely achieved, reform seems to go against punishment as it improves criminal's chances, protection only works if criminals are in prison not when they are released and some argue that the theories of punishment don't focus on the crime and it's causes enough.

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Christians and Justice

-Christian teachings say God is just an people should be too, Jesus taught everyone should be treated fairly, the Golden rule, all the Churches say Christians should be just, God will reward just Christians on judgement day and it is up to God to judge people not humans.

-Christians follow Jesus teachings by ensuring resources are shared equally, giving to charity, helping those who are opressed and campaigning for government to help other nations.

-Christian charities that campaign for justice are Christian aid which works in areas of poverty to help those in need and campaigns against unjust debts imposed n poorer nations.

-CAFOD campaings for justice and the poor and campaign against land mines and 3rd world debt.

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Muslim and Justice

-Muslim teachings are that on the last day Allah will reward those who have been fair to others, the Qur'an teaches Allah wants people to act faiirly to everyone, everyone is treated equal under Islamic law, justice is the basis of charitable giving in Islam, the Shar'iah requires justice for all and prophet Muhammad acted in a just way.

-Muslims believe they should follow Shari'ah law but also obey their country's laws, even if they're not Islamic, Shari'ah courts have strict rules to ensure fairness, like how all trials are public, and Shari'ah also has lawas to help society function fairly like not charging loan interest.

-Muslims work for justice to obey the Qur'an to fulfill Shari'ah, to please Allah, to follow the five pillars of Islam like Zakah which encourages giving to charity and acting charitably.

-Muslim aid works to remove oppression and relieve property.

-Islamic relief seeks to improve lives of people affected by poverty, war and natural disasters through emergency food and medical relief.

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Non religious arguments about Capital Punishment

-Capital punishment is the death penalty and is abolished through the EU but some nations like a few US states still have the death penalty.

-Arguments for capital punishment say the death penalty is a great deterrent, the value of human life is made clear by killing those who killed, it can make people confess for lower sentences, society can get rid of the most dangerous criminals, it is retribution and has a good psychological effect on society who see the idea of bad things happening to bad people as fair.

-Arguments against capital punishment say those countries who have a death penalty don't have lower crime rates, innocents may be executed, execution may be murder and just as bad as a criminal's act, human life is special and should never be taken away, terrorists who are executed could be seen as heroes which can further increase terrorism and some feel execution is an easier punishment than life imprisonment so the criminal escapes justice.

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Christian Attitudes to Capital Punishment

-Arguments for Capital Punishment are that the old testament justified the use of the death penalty for some crimes, Jesus never taught that the death penalty was explicitly wrong, St Paul teaches Christians should obey their country's laws which could include the death penalty and in the middle ages the Catholic church used the death penalty against those who challenged the church.

-Arguments against the death penalty are that it goes against the sanctity of life, only god has the right to take away life, Jesus taught revenge is wrong, most churches speak out against capital punishment now, Christianity's message, that of love and forgiveness, goes against capital punishment plus Jesus came to Earth to save and reform people which can't be done with capital punishment.

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Muslim Attitudes to Capital Punishment

-Islam is in principle in favour of the death penalty but some Muslims are against it.

-In all countries where Shari'ah law is used the death penalty can be used too.

-The Qur'an teaches that capital punishment can be used for some crimes.

-Crimes for death penalty are usually murder, **** and apostasy (working against Islam).

-The Qur'an says the death penalty can only be given as a last resort after a fair trial, the criteria for it is very strict and the victim or their family have to agree with the death sentence.

-Reasons Muslims are for it are that the Qur'an says the death penalty can be used for some crimes, Shari'ah agrees with the Qur'an, Muhammad made statements that suggested he agreed with the death penalty and Muhammad sentenced murderers to te death sentence when he ruled Medina.

-Reasons some Muslims are against it say that Shariah scholars don't agree on the death penalty's application, the Qur'an states it is an option not compulsory, strict conditions given by the Qur'an about capital punishment are often not met, in some countries Shari'ah law opresses the poor and women and some Muslims are persuaded by non religious arguments against capital punishment.

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Drug and Alcohol Laws

-Laws on drug control are to protect consumers and a drug is any chemical you consume which changes your mood or how you feel.

-Some drugs can damage people's health, be addictive, children need protection from drugs, can cause social problems, some can improve health and are fairly harmless in moderation.

-Legal drugs like painkillers are sold under controlled conditions, some over the counter and others require a prescription.

-Illegal Drugs are classified according to how dangerous they are.

-Stimulants affect the CNS and increase brain activity like cocaine, Depressants slow down brain activity like alcohol, Halucinogens are drugs that change senses and give people the impression that things are there when they aren't like LSD and Analgesics are pain killing drugs like Aspirin.

-The UK alcohol laws say under 16s are not allowed in a pub without an adult, under 18s aren't allowed to drink alcohol in a pub, it is illegal for under 18s to buy alcohol or to buy alcohol for a child.

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Social an health problems caused by Drugs and Alco

-Social and health problems caused by drugs an alcohol are debt, addiction, overdoes, mental illness, disorderly behaviour, unemployment, serious illness and violence.

-Men shouldn't drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day, women shouldn't drink more than 2-3 units a day, twice the recommended amount is binge drinking and health problems include strokes, heart disease and psychological an emotional breakdowns.

-Smoking leads to health problems like cancer, damages dental health plus the addictive nature of smoking can interfere with relationships.

-Negative effects of drugs are crime to fund addiction, unemployment, social disorders, serious overdoes, psyhcological damage, mental illness and loss of brain function plus it could cause a person to become an outsider.

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Christian Attitudes to Drugs and Alcohol

-Christians are against illegal drugs but differ on alcohol.

-The Bible teaches God created human bodies and we should not abuse them and the majority of Christians believe taking drugs excessively damages God's creation. 

-Christians believe drugs are wrong as the bible teaches that Christians should obey their countrie's laws, illegal drugs are very dangerous, many illegal drugs turn users to crime, drug abuse leads to family breakups and illegal drugs change someone's behaviour.

-Reasons for drinking Alcohol are that the Bible doesn't forbid it, Jesus drank wine, Jesus gave his disciples wine at the last supper and St Paul told St Timothy to drink wine to help with his digestion.

-Reasons not to drink alcohol are that it impairs judgement, impairs ability to act in a Christian way, there are many other types of alcoholic drinks today, alcohol is much stronger today than in the past and it is best to avoid hurting others which can be caused by drunkness.

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Muslim Attitudes to Drugs and Alcohol

-Islam strongly forbids the use and sale of drugs and alcohol.

-They forbid it as the Qur'an says intoxicants are forbidden, humans were created by Allah and people shouldn't abuse Allah's creations with drugs, Muhammad taught about the dangers of alchol and drugs, drugs could cause Muslims to commit other sins, the effects of drugs would mean Muslims wouldn't be able to properly perform religious duties.

-Islam teaches all Muslims should avoid intoxicants as it can hinder their lives, drugs will negatively affect relationships and Muhammad referred to alcohol as the mother of all sins

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