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Religion: Crime & Punishment Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies

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1 Religion: Crime & Punishment Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies
Unit Religion: Crime & Punishment

2 Key Words Sin: An act against the will of God.
Crime: An act against the law. Law: Rules made by Parliament and enforceable by the police and the courts. Justice: Due allocation of reward and punishment, the maintenance of what is right. Judgement: The act of evaluating people and their actions. Capital Punishment: The State sponsored death penalty. Reform: The idea that punishments should try to change criminals so that they will not commit crimes again. Deterrence: The idea that punishments will be of such a nature that they will put people off (deter) committing crimes. Retribution: The idea that punishments should make criminals pay for what they have done wrong. Rehabilitation: Readapt to normal life and thinking in society. Responsibility: Being responsible for your own actions. Addiction: A recurring compulsion to engage in an activity regardless of its effects.

3 Sin & Crime Q 1. What is the difference between sin and crime?
A 1. Sin is an act against God, crime is an act against the law. The Bible states that not one of us is free from ‘sin’. “Everyone sins and falls short of God’s standards.” Rom 3 : 23 And the reason is..? “People sin when they give in to the temptations of their own evil desires.” James 1 : 14 Q 2: Which one(s) of the following would you say was a sin and why? A rich man is asked for food by a beggar but refuses. A married woman sleeps with another man - adultery. A boy swears and shouts at his parents all the time. A business man pays immigrant workers less because he knows they need the work. A 2: All of them, because they go against the will of God.

4 Does this not make sin and crime a matter of perspective?
Breaking God’s laws is a sin, breaking society’s laws is a crime. Often wrong actions are both a sin and a crime, but many sins, like adultery, are not crimes, and unjust laws are not sins. Laws tell people how to behave, and justice makes sure the good are rewarded and the evil are punished. Society needs laws for it to work properly, and the laws need to be just Society needs laws so that: People know what sort of behaviour is expected. People are protected from violence and crime. People can enjoy the rewards of their efforts without them being taken from them.

5 Crimes are not necessarily sins.
In 1956 Rosa Parks was arrested in the USA for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for white man. This was a crime. Germans who gave jobs to Jews during the Nazi period broke German laws. This was a crime. So, should Christians forget the law and just follow religion? No! St Paul said “Everyone must submit themselves to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Romans 13 : 1 Crimes that are not sins usually come about as a result of unjust laws. Unjust laws are not proper laws. People should obey the laws of the land. However, St Thomas Aquinas argued; - First Century Christians should have renounced Jesus and worshipped Caesar so as to please the Roman authorities? - Jesus should have just said, “Oh well, I am not really your King. Go ahead and worship Caesar”? - Christians in the 1850s should have obeyed the Fugitive Slave Laws and sent runaway slaves back to their owners? - Rosa Parks should have obeyed the local segregation ordinances and given up her bus seat to that white man? - America should never have declared its independence from Britain? - Christians should not have defended Jews or otherwise resisted in Nazi Germany? - No one should have resisted or fled from numerous Communist regimes of the last century? - Christians in countries where Christians are persecuted should renounce Christ and just “go along to get along” with their  earthly masters? If laws are unjust people will feel it is right to break them. If some laws are unjust people may think all laws are unjust. If laws don’t give justice, people may take the law into their own hands.

6 Law, Justice & Punishment
Humans live in communities, and any community requires rules outlining acceptable behaviour. Laws, society’s rules made by Parliament, guide people as to how they should behave in a civilised society. ‘Justice’ is often represented by the image of a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales in her left hand and a sword in her right hand. This represents that true justice does not discriminate, is fair, and will punish where appropriate. For law and justice to work their must also be punishment for those who break the law. Punishments are given to make sure the law is obeyed and that justice is done, and seen to be done. Punishment is the consequence of breaking the law. The form of the punishment given should always be in proportion to the crime committed and be suitable to the desired aim.

7 Form Aim The type of punishment a person is given (e.g. fine or prison) is called the ‘form’ of punishment. The purposes for which a punishment is given (e.g. protect society or deter others doing the same) are known as the ‘aims’ of punishment. Complete each section of this paragraph in your own words. Laws are important because without laws... ...However, laws need to be fair laws otherwise people will... …punishment is necessary because… …It is important that punishment has an aim because… You should now have fully answered the GCSE question; ‘Explain why society needs law and justice.’, to at least a ‘B’ grade or above.

8 Aims of Punishment Deterrence: ‘The idea that punishments will be of such a nature that they will put people off (deter) committing crimes.’ Reform: ‘The idea that punishments should try to change criminals so that they will not commit crimes again.’ The idea of deterrence is prevention. The punishment a person is given is severe enough to act as a deterrent and discourages a person from committing the same offence and the offender from re-offending. Many people see punishment as an opportunity to reform offenders. Helping the individual realise the error of their ways, change, and become law abiding citizens who will not commit crimes again. Reform can include training and education so offenders will not need to re-offend.

9 Retribution: ‘The idea that punishments should make criminals pay for what they have done wrong.’
Protection: ‘The idea that society should be protected from the criminal and the offences that a criminal commits.’ Many people believe that a person should pay for what they have done. This gives society and the victims of crime a feeling of justice. Punishments should also match the severity of the crime. Many people are frightened by crime. One of the ideas of punishment is to protect society from the acts of criminals, particularly violent or persistent offenders, by imprisoning them so they cannot harm society.

10 Judgement & Justice in the UK
In the UK, laws are enforced by the police and the courts. Minor crimes, e.g. shoplifting, are dealt with by magistrates’ courts, while more serious crimes, e.g. murder, are dealt with in crown courts. In a magistrates’ court a judge or panel of judges will decide guilt or innocence and pass judgement on what a person has done. In a crown court a jury will decide guilt or innocence and a judge will decide on the punishment. An individual can appeal a judgement to the High Court, the Court of Appeal and then the House of Lords. Appeals can even be taken beyond that to the European Court of Justice or European Court of Human Rights. UK law has a system called ‘Doli Incapax’ which means ‘incapable of wrong doing’. One application of this is that a child under 10 years old is considered too young to understand what they are doing is a crime, and so cannot be convicted of a criminal offence (unless it can be proven that they fully realised what they were doing was wrong).

11 Christian Attitudes to Justice
The concept of justice is extremely important to Christianity. Criminal justice is important. However, so is social justice, so the weak and vulnerable are not oppressed and the strong and powerful don’t take advantage. God is a ‘God of Justice’: ‘There is no God but me, a just God and a Saviour.’ Isaiah 45:21 People should be treated fairly and not cheated: ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.’ Matthew 7:12 The rich should share with the poor: ‘The man who has two coats should share with him who has none, and the man who has food should do the same.’ Luke 3:11 People should be treated equally: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ.’ Galatians 3:28 For Xians, social justice is a responsibility. ‘Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do but does not do it, sins.’ James 4:17

12 Christian Attitudes to Punishment
The Bible teaches that judgement and punishment ultimately belongs to God. Many Xians believe the primary aim of punishment should be reform and not retribution. The Bible says: ‘Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged.’ Matthew 7: 1-2 Jesus encouraged people to settle difference out of court. ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.’ Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus taught the disciples to pray: ‘Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.’ Luke 11:4 St Paul encouraged people to settle difference out of court. ‘When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before resolving it?’ 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 Jesus’ example was one of forgiveness and reform: ‘Then neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more.’ John 7:53-8:11 (Adulterous Woman) Christ died to forgive people not condemn them. ‘Father, forgive them.’ Luke 23:34

13 Christian Church on Crime & Justice
‘Even the most depraved person is capable of reform. It is society’s role to offer that possibility of reform through systems of confinement and imprisonment which the state organises.’ United Reform Church ‘Christians recognise that the government has a duty to protect society from crime. Those found guilty of breaches of law may be punished. However, the aim of punishment is not primarily retribution, still less revenge, but the reform and rehabilitation of the offender.’ Methodist Church ‘Experience in prison can badly damage people and rarely stops crime. Quakers would like to see a more positive approach taken towards everyone involved with crime and punishment.’ Quaker Church

14 Islam, Sin & Crime Muslims believe there should be no difference between state law and religious law. The Islamic religious law is called Shari ’ah Law. In Islam committing a crime is a sin against God. Shari’ah Law governs the lives of Muslims around the world and is the most widely used religious legal system there is. It is traditionally upheld by the Imams and the Ummah. Muslims believe that God will judge all people justly on the Last Day. They also believe that it is their duty as vice-regents (stewards) of creation to ensure that people are treated fairly and the world is governed in a just way. The Qur’an describes God as just. Justice is the basis for the ‘pillar of zakah’. The Shari ’ah is based on justice and equality for all. God wants people to treat each other fairly and establish justice. There are many Hadith (sayings/teachings) of Muhammad about justice.

15 Islamic Attitudes to Punishment
Islamic punishments, as laid out in the Qur’an, can often seem very harsh. E.g. cutting off the hand of a thief or 100 lashes with a whip for someone caught in adultery. However, Muslim attitudes to punishment are based on deterrence and reform. Imprisonment is used in Muslim countries to protect society from anti-social criminals. The greatest deterrent to a Muslim is that God sees everything and He will judge each person on the Last Day. The Qur’an lays down the punishment for certain crimes. ‘As for a thief, male or female, cut off their hand: a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime.’ (Surah 5:41) Strict punishments are only given as a last resort. Islamic courts will look into family circumstances. A person would not have a hand amputated if they stole to feed a starving baby.

16 The Qur’an and Justice The Qur’an teaches that judgement and punishment ultimately belongs to God. However, God demands all people show justice and mercy to all other people. Justice is for all. Everyone should put justice first, even before their family. ‘Stand up firmly for justice, as a witness to God, even as against yourselves or your parents or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor.’ Surah 4:135 Justice is an central part of God’s character. ‘My Lord hath commanded justice.’ Surah 7:29 Muslims should act against injustice. However, for a victim to forgive a person’s injustice, is far better. ‘Act against those who oppress people and transgress (sin) against justice. They will have an agonizing punishment - though, if a person is patient and forgives, this is one of the greatest things.’ Surah 42:42-43 Allah is merciful to those who seek His forgiveness. ‘If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul, but afterwards seeks God’s forgiveness, he will find Him most forgiving and merciful.’ Surah 4:110

17 The Qur’an and Social Justice
Social justice is very important in Islam. Muslim Aid and Islamic Relief are two aid agencies working to relieve poverty and secure justice for the poor and oppressed around the world. One of the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’, is zakah, a compulsory payment to the poor. It is an annual payment made up of around 2½% of any excess wealth a person has (i.e. cash, savings and value of any jewellery etc.). It is not seen as charity, which is optional, or tax, which is for the state. It is based on social welfare and the distribution of wealth. Shari ‘ah law bans the charging or paying of interest on loans as this makes the less wealthy pay the wealthy and is unjust. As a result many Muslims feel they cannot take out traditional mortgages in Britain. Some UK banks now offer Muslim mortgages similar to rental agreements.

18 Capital Punishment Capital Punishment: ‘The death penalty for a crime or offence.’ The process of judicial killing is called execution or the death penalty. A crime which is punishable by death is called a capital offence. The death penalty is still legal in many countries including the USA (37 the 50 States), Iran, Libya, Rwanda and North Korea plus 65 other countries worldwide. Modern methods of capital punishment include lethal injection, electric chair, firing squad, gas chamber and beheading (only beheading is not carried out in the USA). In the UK the death penalty was formerly abolished with the ‘Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965’. In 1999 Britain signed the European Convention on Human Rights which stated the death penalty could not be reintroduced.

19 Secular Arguments on Capital Punishment
For Against The death penalty acts as a deterrent. Society can be free of its most dangerous people. The value of human life is made clear by executing those who kill. Execution is the ultimate retribution and compensation for killing others. Execution helps brings satisfaction and closure to victims families. Execution is cheaper than keeping a prisoner in prison for life. Capital crimes do not seem to drop in countries with the death penalty. There have been many occasions of innocent people wrongfully executed. People facing the death penalty will be more likely to kill to avoid capture. Terrorists who are executed could end up as martyrs encouraging others. Human life is important and should not be taken in any circumstances. Execution can be seen as an easier sentence than imprisonment.

20 For Against Christianity on Capital Punishment
The Old Testament set capital punishment as a penalty for some crimes. ‘Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.’ Genesis 9:6 Jesus teaches forgiveness not retribution. ‘If any of you is without sin, let him cast the first stone.’ Matthew 8:7 St Paul teaches against retribution. ‘Do not repay evil for evil… do not take revenge. For it is written ‘vengeance is mine says the Lord.’ Romans 12:17-19 Neither the Roman Catholic Church or The Anglican Church (CofE) have retracted their support for state instigated capital punishment. Most Christian denominations are against capital punishment. ‘We do not have the right, even in the case of dreadful crimes, to take a life as punishment.’ The United Reform Church. ‘The Laws of the Realm may punish men with death for heinous and grievous offences.’ (Article 37 of ‘The 39 Articles of the Church of England’). Christian believe life in the Sanctity of Life and only God has the right to take life. Jesus came to save (reform) people, you cannot reform an executed man. Jesus overturned ‘an eye for an eye’ with commands for forgiveness. Important Christian leaders such as St Thomas Aquinas have supported capital punishment to preserve the peace of society.

21 Islam on Capital Punishment
Some Muslims are against capital punishment, they say that Shari’ah Law in the Qur’an only suggests capital punishment and does not make it compulsory. Shari ‘ah, allows for capital punishment for three offences: Murder - the unlawful taking of another’s life. Adultery - a married person sleeping with someone they are not married to. Apostasy - where a Muslim denies Islam and works against it (this amounts to treason within Islam). These Muslims would point to scriptures suggesting forgiveness and mercy rather than death. ‘Let harm be repaid by an equal harm, though anyone who forgives and puts things right will have his reward from God Himself - He does not like those who do wrong.’ Surah 42:40 Muslim arguments for capital punishment include. It is a punishment laid down in Shari’ah Law within the Qur’an. The Prophet Mohammad agreed with capital punishment. Mohammad sentenced people to death for murder when he was ruler of Madinah. An alternative to the death penalty is that a victims family can accept compensation called ‘blood money’, from the murderer rather than requiring a death sentence.

22 Laws on Tobacco & Alcohol
It is illegal to give alcohol to a child under 5 except in a medical emergency and under supervision. Children under 16 can enter a pub so long as they are supervised by an adult. Young people aged 16 & 17 may drink beer, cider or wine so long as it bought by an adult to be consumed with a meal. They are not allowed spirits. It is against the law for anyone under 18 to buy alcohol in a pub, supermarket, off-licence or other premises. It is illegal to buy alcohol for someone who is under 18 to be consumed in a pub without a meal or in a public place. It is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under 18. It is illegal to sell tobacco products (cigarettes, tobacco etc) to anyone under 18. It is against the law to smoke in any indoor public places, work spaces, any enclosed public spaces (e.g. A football ground) and any railway/tram station including the platform area. You can be prosecuted for smoking whilst driving a vehicle as this is classed as ‘failing to have proper control’ or ‘driving without due care and attention.’ Any form of advertising of tobacco products or sponsorship of events is banned. Packaging must carry large overt health warnings & graphic images of smoking related diseases.

23 Laws on Classified Drugs Penalty for Possession
In the UK drugs which are illegal to possess or deal without prescription are classified into three categories (A, B and C). Each category carries different penalties for possession and/or dealing. Class Example Penalty for Possession Penalty for Dealing A Ecstasy, LSD, Heroin, Cocaine, Methadone (Morphine), Amphetamines prepared for injection, Magic Mushrooms. Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Up to life in prison B Cannabis, Amphetamines not prepared for injection, Ritalin, Speed. Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Up to 14 years in prison C Tranquilisers, some Painkillers, Anabolic Steroids, GHB, Ketamine Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Laws governing controlled substances are under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 which is updated and amended regularly. Police can stop and search a person if they have reason to believe they are in possession of drugs. It is illegal to unlawfully possess controlled substances, possess it with the intent to supply it to others, supply or offer to supply, allow you premises (including your home) to be used for taking drugs.

24 Health: Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco
Tobacco: Smoking can various forms of cause cancer, it can lead to coronary heart disease, strokes, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It can also cause digestive problems, dependency (addiction) and impotence. It affects both the smoker and others who inhale their smoke and it can cause severe abnormalities and illnesses in unborn children. Alcohol: Excessive drinking of alcohol can cause serious liver disease (cirrhosis of the liver), stomach disorders, mental health problems such as depression, psychosis and hallucinations, infertility or impotence, anaemia (blood disease), heart disease, some cancers, obesity and dependency (addiction). Alcohol is also linked with many accidents. Drugs: Taking drugs can lead to many physical and mental health issues including toxicity, dependency (addiction), liver disease, cardiovascular illnesses, bacterial and viral infections such as HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis B. It is associated with paranoia, mood swings and aggression. Taken in wrong amounts or mixed can lead to an overdose and even death.

25 Social Issues Any town or city centre on a weekend evening will give evidence of the social problems caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. 1/3 of all ambulance call-outs are alcohol related and between midnight and 5am 70% of all hospital emergencies are due to alcohol. In 2009 government figures show the number of people claiming benefit due to alcoholism rose by 79%. Alcohol leads to violent assaults, rapes, drink driving and deaths. Tobacco causes pain and suffering to both those who are ill and their families. Illnesses directly caused by smoking takes up 5.5% of the NHS annual budget. Substance Deaths Amphetamine (speed whizz) 384 Cocaine 575 Solvents (glue/aerosols) 246 Ecstasy 227 Opiates (heroin etc) 4,976 Alcohol* 25, ,000 Tobacco* 500,000 * Deaths caused directly or indirectly (e.g. accidents or secondary illnesses) Alcohol and drug misuse is responsible for 90% thefts, burglaries and violent crimes. The issues caused by drugs, alcohol and smoking bring fear to innocent people and affects society, families and places of work; they cause illnesses, death and misery.

26 Xianity: Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco
Most Christians are against illegal drugs as it is against the law. There are many arguments used by Christians for and against the use of alcohol and tobacco. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding (2:1-11) There are many examples in the Bible where alcohol has caused people to sin. Noah brought shame on his family (Genesis 9); Lot slept with both his daughters (Genesis 19) St Paul said ‘Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.’ and as such it should not be abused. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) St Paul said Christians can drink in moderation (1Timothy 5:23) Churches such as the Salvation Army, Methodists and Pentecostals, point to the social issues caused. Jesus gave his disciples wine at the last supper (Mark 14:23) The Catholic church says drinking in moderation is acceptable (Catechism 2290) Many churches will use non-alcoholic wine so as not to tempt anyone who may be a recovering alcoholic.

27 Islam: Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco
Islam forbids the use of alcohol and drugs because they are banned in the Qur’an and in the Hadith of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Tobacco is disapproved of but not banned as it is not explicitly mentioned in sacred books. The Arabic word for alcohol is ‘khamr’ and means to shroud the mind. If alcohol does that a Muslim would feel it is wrong as the mind should be used to consider God. Shari'ah law bans alcohol as it is ‘haraam’ (forbidden) in the Qur’an. ‘O ye who believe, intoxicants, gambling, idol worship and divination, are an abomination and Satan’s handiwork. From these you must abstain.’ (Surah 5:93-94) Because of these things alcohol and drugs (intoxicants) are haraam (completely forbidden). The Hadith (sayings and deeds of the Prophet) states ‘Allah has cursed wine and whoever drinks it, buys it, pours it, sells it, makes it for themselves or others, transports it, or benefits from its sale.’ ‘In alcohol is great sin, and some profit for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.’ (Surah 2.19) Tobacco is considered makruh (not forbidden but extremely disliked) as the Qur’an or Hadith do not directly mentioned it.

28 Revision Checklist The difference between sin and crime.
The need for laws and justice in society. The forms and aims (theories) of punishment. The importance of justice in Christianity. Christian attitudes to punishment. The importance of justice in Islam. Islamic attitudes to punishment. Capital punishment and secular arguments surrounding it. Christian arguments surrounding Capital punishment. Islamic arguments surrounding Capital punishment. UK laws on tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Health and social issues caused by tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Christian attitudes to tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Islamic attitudes to tobacco, alcohol and drugs.

29 Notes, Quotes & Other Key Terms

30 © Phillip Allen

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