Religion: crime and punishment

To have successfully revised for this topic you need to know the following:

  • The need for law and justice. 
  • Theories of punishment and the arguments for and against them. 
  • Why justice is important for Christians. 
  • Why justice is important for the followers of one religion other than Christianity. 
  • The nature of capital punishment and non-religious arguments about capital punishment. 
  • Different attitudes to capital punishment among Christians and the reasons for them. 
  • Different attitudes to capital punishment in one religion other than Christianity. 
  • Laws on drugs and alcohol and the reasons for them. 
  • Social and health problems caused by drugs and alcohol. 
  • Different attitudes to drugs and alcohol in Christianity and the reasons for them. 
  • Attitudes to drugs and alcohol in one religion other than Christianity.

Required keywords:

  • addiction     
  • capital punishment
  • crime
  • deterrence
  • judgement
  • justice
  • law
  • reform       
  • rehabilitation
  • responsibility
  • retribution
  • sin

Take a definitions spin quiz:


B questions

Give two reasons for your opinion

  • Do you think that alcohol should be made illegal?
  • Do you think justice is important?
  • Do you think that Christianity promotes justice?
  • Do you think all Christians should be against capital punishment?
  • Do you think laws are always needed?
  • Do you think punishment is always right?
  • Do you think all Christians must work for justice?
  • Do you think capital punishment should be legal in the UK?
  • Do you think should accept the use of capital punishment?
  • Do you think the laws about alcohol are too strict?
  • Do you think drugs cause problems in society?
  • Do you think Christians should drink alcohol?

C questions

  • Explain different Christian attitudes towards capital punishment.
  • Explain why one religion other than Christianity have different attitudes to capital punishment.
  • Explain why justice is important.
  • Explain why some people agree with reform as a theory of punishment and some do not.
  • Explain why Christians think justice is important.
  • Explain why justice is important Muslims.
  • Explain why some people agree with capital punishment.
  • Explain the laws which control the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Explain how drugs and alcohol may cause health problems.
  • Explain why some Christians agree with drinking alcohol and some do not.

D questions

  • “The best form of punishment is retribution”
  • "People should always obey the law."
  • "Retribution is the best theory of punishment."
  • "Christians do not need to work for justice."
  • "Muslims cannot end the problem of injustice."
  • "Some criminals deserve capital punishment."
  • "Capital punishment should never be used."
  • "Real justice must mean giving capital punishment."
  • "It does not matter if people take controlled drugs."
  • "Drugs and alcohol do not cause problems in society."
  • "It does not matter if Christians drink alcohol or take drugs."

In your answer you should refer to at least one religion
(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion.(3)
(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you.(3)