Ethics: Synoptic Question 5- Religion and State



The oxford dictionary describes religion as "a particular system of faith and worship." State can be described as a "perfect body of men, united together to enjoy common rights and advantages". Sometimes the two dont mix well and can cause problems. In essay therefore, i will be discussing major issues, using my knowledge from my study ofLuke's Gospel and ethics.

Issue 1: Justice and Punishment

A major issues with the relationship between religion and state can be seen in punishment as the state and church's sets of views are not set in stone. The Old Testament used the teaching 'eye for eye, tooth for tooth' implying that retribution or rebenge is the best form of punishment. 

In my ethics module i have learned that scholar Kant agreed that it is important that criminals get what they deserve, for no reason other than the postive impact on society. 

However, Jesus rejected this teaching and commented 'if someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also." 

The problem with retribution is that it does not take into account the mental state of the person who has commited the crime or factors which can mitigate a crime.

One scholar, Wilkonson says that retribution is 'barbaric and void of human compassion." He considers it backwards looking.

The Catholic Church agree that retribution is wrong as they focus on forgiveness and say that capital punishment (a form of retribution) is not necessary in modern society there are alternatives.

Overall there is no unamimous agreement on retribution as a form of ounishment, making it an issue for relgion and state.

Issue 2: When to go to war

Another major issue that brings religion and state into conflict is war, particularly not knowing when to go to war.

According to the Just War Theory, in order for war…


No comments have yet been made