Religion and morality

Religious attitudes to crime and punishment


· Buddhism teaches that its followers should abide the laws of the country that they live in

·The Eightfold Path tells us what the right steps to take are

· A life of crime is against the First Precept because this is not the right livelihood and it causes harm to others

Buddhist teachings

Suffering is caused by attachment to the material world

The three poisons, greed, hatred and ignorance are the cause of evil actions

Karma-the balance of good and bad actions

Buddhists should practice Metta-loving kindness and Karuna-compassion

Buddhists teach that people can change their behaviour and bad actions can affect Karma. Buddhsists agree that society should be protected from dangerous criminals. However,imprisonment is a chance for the offenders to reform and to not make further bad Karma. Because Buddhists believe in the priciples of non-harming and compassion, Buddhists would agree that punishments should not be severe and they should not cause direct harm to the offender. Did you know that the Angulimala society provides support for prisoners?


. Christians should follow laws unless they are unjust

.The Ten commandments

.St Paul taught that the state should be obeyed because God gave it permission to exist

.For Christians, commiting a crime is also commiting a sin, this can affect them because they believe that they are judged by God on Judgement Day

Christian teachings

.Love your neighbour

.Pray for those who persecute you

.Forgive your brother 70 x 7 times, always be prepared to forgive

. The Lord's prayer

Christians understand that criminals must be punished, but the punishments must be fair and offenders should be treated humanely. Did you know that there was a Quaker called Elizabeth Fry who deciated her life to developing prison reform? Amnesty International which was founded on Christian principles campaigns for human rights for criminals. Christians believe that offenders should have the chance to repent and make amends. Most Christians do not agree with the death penalty, but some Christians foller the Old Testament teaching of an eye for an eye