Religion and Criminal Justice
- What is the difference between Absolute Divine Command Theory and Moderate Divine Command Theory?
In absolute divine command theory, God commands ethics and determines what is good and bad because he says so. There is no other consideration for right and wrong, it is simply what God has said and any belief otherwise is a departure from that particular deity. To believe in absolute divine theory is to believe in a particular deity, and the world has more than 2,000 known religions. A moderate divine command theory would suggest that a deity’s rule would be beneficial to all and not just that particular religion. So, regardless of the deity’s rule, the rule is good because it is good for all.
- What role should religion play in the making of law and policy in criminal justice? Why?
Religious rules and laws have the same effect, essentially both aim to punish behavior that each have determined to be bad or unethical. Since they both work on the reward and punishment system they both ignore developing a persons understanding of the why such rules or laws are wrong. They seek to establish social control through the use of fear.
- In what ways might religion be used in rehabilitative practices? Why should it be used or why should it not be used?
One aspect of using religion in rehabilitative practices is to encourage an omniscient presence of being caught and having to be punished by a supreme being (deity) for sinning or breaking a commandment (rule or law). Society’s laws are easily ignored since most of the time people are not caught for violating those laws and when they do, punishment is very lenient. Therefore deterrence has little to no effect on repeat offenders because they have made up their minds that they can endure whatever punishment the system turns out.
Our Required Text
Williams, C. R., & Arriago, B. A. (2012). Ethics, crime, and criminal justice (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
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