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“Prisons would not exist in a truly Christian society.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have considered more that one point of view.
All societies have different forms of punishment for people who break the law, some of these punishments are; the death penalty, imprisonment and fines. In this question I will explore both sides of the argument. Firstly I will be talking about the ideas of prisons not existing in a truly Christian society then compare them to those of prisons existing.
Christians believe that God is merciful and compassionate; this therefore gives the sinner the chance to repent and to turn away from their sins. An example of this is when Jesus does not condemn the Adulterous Women but tells her not to sin again. This gives her the chance for her to acknowledge her sins and therefore not commit this crime again. Moreover this will encourage people to take the chance to change and they won’t commit any crime again, then being no point for prisons to exist. However this may not be the case as people might not just change, maybe they don’t want to be a better person.
Another reason for prisons not to exist is if you send all the criminals to the same place prisons could turn into a college of crime and there people would only educate each other in more law – breaking ideas, and organise and take part in criminal activities.
Thirdly, sending people away to prison is making them outcasts to the out side society, this is not what Jesus wanted as he deliberately sought out those people on the edge of society such as; lepers.
Prisons would not exist as sending someone to prison is not a sign of forgiveness, it is taking someone’s life away, and only God can do this.
However Prisons could exist in a truly Christian society as prisons offer people the chance to reform through the support of other people such as counsellors or Chaplin’s.
Again, Prisons could exist in a truly Christian society as it is the Christians responsibly to create the Kingdom of God and therefore prisons could lock away those who would cause harm to the society and stop the Kingdom of God coming about. An example of a teaching for Prisons existing in the bible is of the Cain and Abel story. In this story Cain murders his brother Abel, and God gets angry with him and gives him the punishment of him being banished from his home and curses him so that he will never be able to earn a living on the land again. Some Christians would say that Cain’s exile resembles prison.
Sending a criminal to prison gives the person time to reflect on what they have done wrong and gives time to change.
In conclusion, it would seem that prisons would not exist in a truly Christian society because it is not showing or practicing the signs of forgiveness, yet it is possible that prisons are compatible with Christian teaching because of the Cain and Abel story, what with Cain being made an outcast. In my opinion, I believe that prisons should not exist as people should always be given a second chance, the chance to change.