Are Religious People Less Supportive of the Death Penalty? nice clear research question
why not start with an interesting story about religion and the death penalty. Maybe an excerpt about the Pope’s speech against it? -> The Death penalty is always a polarising topic dividing people with different views. The same holds true for religious people with some supporting it while others are against it. In Christianity, religious text can be used in support of both sides of the argument. This inconsistency in Bible teachings causes the difference in opinion among Christians (Owens, Carlson and Elshtain 123). Need to have a paragraph explaining what you will do in this paper. First I will give history of the religious stance on the death penalty. Next I will analyze arguments for and against the idea that religious people are less supportive of the death penalty. Then I will....-> The Catholic Church in history has long supported capital punishment. The church believed in lawful killing to punish those who had committed unspeakable acts such as murder. Scripture used to support this were often gotten from the Old Testament that taught about an eye for an eye (Deathpenalty.org par 5). The church believed that the death penalty was retribution for crime and also safeguarded life since it deterred crime.
However, the Catholic Church’s stance on capital punishment has changed in recent times. Pope John Paul II argued that this form of punishment should be avoided by all means and should be performed in cases where there are no alternatives and the society is at risk from the offender (Schieber, Conway and McCarthy 33). Some Catholics are against the use of the death penalty because they believe in the sanctity of human life and, therefore, adhere to the consistent life ethic. This means Christians have the responsibility to protect life from conception to death determined by God. These groups are pro-life and are against both abortion and capital punishment. You need to have more information here about protestant Christians and evangelical Christians. there is great diversity within Christianity just as there is in other religious groups.
One interesting find is that while Catholics tend to be against the death penalty, evangelical Christians tend to be very supportive of it. -> Other Christian sects are also divided when it comes to the issue of the death penalty. For example, bishops in the Lambeth Conference in 1988 condemned it while the Southern Baptist Convention supported it.
In Islam, the view on the death penalty is different from that of many Christians with most Muslims in favour of it. The Quran teaches that every life is sacred but it allows capital punishment when the law demands it. The scripture says capital punishment is allowed when due process is followed and the offender is found guilty (Deathpenalty.org par 12). Capital punishment is also used for offenders that have committed treason against the Muslim faith, raped a person, engaged in homosexual behaviour and when one is engaged in piracy. This is why the death penalty is highly used in Muslim states that have the sharia laws Be careful when talking about sharia law and Islam as different countries that practice Islam and have some form of Sharia law have very different laws and ways they approach issues such as punishment. You don’t want to present it as if sharia law or Islam was one thing. (Owens, Carlson and Elshtain 90). For example, the family of a murder victim under the sharia laws is allowed to determine the retribution they want from the perpetrator including their execution.
Buddhism, on the other hand, is against capital punishment. Their teachings are against the destruction of life and are also against any form of violence towards any living thing (Schieber, Conway and McCarthy 174). However, this does not hold true with all Buddhists with some supporting capital punishment. For example, Bhutan has no capital punishment while Thailand, which is also a Buddhist state has it. Violence is only condoned in this religion in cases where it prevents further suffering. Buddhists believe if the suffering of one person prevents the suffering of many then their actions are justified. Though some Buddhists support the death penalty, all oppose killing for the purpose of revenge.
In Judaism, capital punishment is theoretically allowed but the burden of proof needed to deliver this sentence is extremely high therefore making this form of punishment rare. In the world today, most Jewish scholars are against the death penalty as used today. Even when the death penalty is allowed, Jewish teachings require certain steps to be carried out to prevent the punishing of an innocent person (Owens, Carlson and Elshtain 69). These laws have made the implementation of the death penalty almost non-existent. This is why Israel, a Jewish state which allows capital punishment has only executed two people in its history. In conclusion, though religious people are divided on the morality of the death penalty it is evident that most religious people are less supportive of it.
You need to provide more examples, statistics on this issue to make this claim that religious people are less supportive. I am not convinced by the evidence presented so far.
Conclusion a bit too simple. Add depth to your analysis by looking at the contradictions within religious groups (such as Catholics more against and Evangelicals more for).
You also need to have a section with your opinion on the issue. After looking at scholar’s arguments, give your opinion on what they said. So far you have given interesting information about different religious groups, but the assignment requires you to find two academic articles that argue on different sides of this issue. You should have one scholar arguing religious people are less supportive of the death penalty, one arguing more favorable, maybe one arguing it depends on which religious group you are looking at because there are differences within and among religions.
“Death Penalty Focus: Religious Perspectives On the Death Penalty”. Deathpenalty.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.
Owens, Erik C, John D Carlson, and Eric P Elshtain. Religion and The Death Penalty. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 2004. Print.
Schieber, Vicki, Trudy D Conway, and David Matzko McCarthy. Where Justice and Mercy Meet. Print. add another article/book with a different argument.
Here are the articles we looked up.
Include at least one of these that offers a different viewpoint from the ones you have included so far.
^ I attached those articles on the files.
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