What is social justice?

Justice which tries to fairly distribute wealth, where the law is fair to all, and there are equal rights and opportunities for all.


What are key Buddhist beliefs related to social justice?

Right Action, Livelihood, Speech, Effort and intention should, if carried out properly, lead to social justice.


What are key Christian beliefs related to social justice?

The teachings of Jesus used in terms of liberation from unjust economic, political or social conditions.


Discuss the Human Rights Act

The U.N. declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the UK Human Rights Act (1998) include basic rights and freedoms.


What is freedom of religious expression?

The right of any person to follow the religion of their choice and to be open about what they believe. In the UK you cannot be told legally that you are not allowed to follow a particular religion.


What do Buddhists teach about freedom of religious expression?

Buddhism believe that all religions are just different ways to the same religious truths. People should decide for themselves after hearing/learning the teachings - no persecution and religious freedom is the right path.

However, there have been occasions of Buddhist violence against other religions, for example in Sri Lanka and Thailand.


What do Christians believe about freedom of religious expression?

Many believe the only way to eternal life is through Jesus, so this excludes all other religions. Hence, they try to convert others to the word of Jesus - discrimination should not be shown to peoples of other faiths and neither should persecution be perpetrated.
However, some say as long as the person lives a moral life, through any religious belief or none) then eternal life is still available. All religions basically have the same moral code anyway.


What is freedom from persecution because of religion?

The right to be legally protected if someone targets you because of the religion you follow. They would have committed a hate crime which is a criminal offence.


What are some different opinions about freedom of religious expression?

Some take offence at religion if they are non-religious, seeing any expression as unacceptable, even an attempt to proselytise.
It could make people targets of hate crimes as they make the selves known, hence some stay quiet out of fear.
Religion divides people rather than bringing them together, for example where two different religions differ in attitude to something.
Some religions include practices which are not legal in the UK, for example the clash between Shariah and UK law on how to deal with adultery, or the acceptance of polygamy. This often leads to negative publicity and discrimination of those perceived to be in that religion.


What is prejudice?

To pre-judge something or someone, usually without any real evidence for that judgement.


What are some causes for prejudice?

Bad experience


What are some types of prejudice people ,au experience?

Disability prejudice
Gender prejudice.


What is discrimination?

To put prejudiced idea into action.


What is positive discrimination?

To promote opportunities for minority groups so they are better represented.


What is the status women in Catholic Christianity?

Women cannot be priests or higher.


What is the status of women in the Church of England?

Woman can be vicarage and in 2016 the Church has its first woman bishop.


What is racism?

The belief that the colour of a persons skin, or their race, affects their ability; that some races are better than others.


What are Buddhist beliefs on racism?

Believes discrimination leads to Dukkha so it must be wrong and avoided.
The belief not to harm others or use harmful language and develop metta.
Everyone is equal because everyone is welcome in the sangha.
Prejudice creates bad karma and has a negative impact on rebirth.
The Dalai Lama stayed that the best way to live life was to ‘always think compassion’.


What are Christian beliefs on racism?

‘God created everyone equally’
‘We are all equal in Christ’
‘Love thy neighbour’ ‘treat others as we wish to be treated’
In the Good Samaritan story the man is helped because of his need, not because of who he was or wasn’t (the victim and the helper were actually from enemy nations).


How can people become wealthy?

Earn it
Win it
Inherit it
Achieve it undeservingly eg through crime.


What are Buddhist attitudes to wealth?

Nothing wrong with having wealth but rather how it is used.
“Riches ruins the foolish...through craving for riches, the foolish one ruins himself”
Greed for wealth is associated with the Three Poisons and is a form of craving.
Unskilful thoughts from greed keep us circling in samsara, in an endless round of repetitive habitual attachment.
Buddhism teaches Right action, right thought, right intention and livelihood - for the wealthy to see poverty and ignore it would be wrong.


What are Christian attitudes towards wealth?

Nothing wrong with wealth itself, instead it is how we use it. Wealth is seen as a gift from God so our money should come from lawful means. In the Bible there is the warning that wrong attitudes to money could lead people away from God.
“The love of money is the root of all evil”
“No one can serve two masters...You cannot serve both God and money”
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed: a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.


What are excessive loans?

Massive interest rates on loaned money that leaf to more debt.


What is fair pay?

To be paid a rate appropriate to the work done.


What is people trafficking?

The modern-day slave trade.


What are some possible reasons for poverty?

Family background, addiction, attitudes to education, idleness, high unemployment, unfair trade, lack of opportunities, poor family situations.


How can the govern,ent be responsible for the poor?

Provide health/educational/welfare services and links to business. They have money, expertise and access to coordinate help. Their policy decisions on saving and spending directly affect the wealth of individuals.


How can charities be responsible for the poor?

They are set up on religious or humanitarian principles ie compassion or wanting to reduce suffering. They find I raise through orangish events, national charity shops, donation collection. Through experience they then decide how the money is best spent.


How can the worship of god help the poor?

Religions organise community events, donate to religious charities, work with the poor here and abroad, pray for them and simply be thee for people in their times of need.


How can the poor help themselves?

The poor shouldn’t want to remain poor, and should want to improve their situation. Some people are poor due to their own action eg drugs or inaction eg or gaining qualifications so they do have a responsibility to themselves to change this. However, society must encourage them, eg by not rejecting or ignoring job applications.


What is an example of a Buddhist charity?

The International Buddhist Relief Organisation


What is an example of a Christmas an charity?

Christian CAFOD.


What are some Buddhist attitudes towards helping the poor?

Marina - compassion - wishing others freedom from suffering.
“Today everyone is looking for personal happiness. So, I always say, if you wish to be happy and aim for self interest, then care for others. This brings lasting happiness”. The Dalai Lama.


What are some Christian attitudes towards helping the poor?

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, how can he love God? - New Testament
If a brother has no clothes or food, what good is it to wish him well without caring for his physical needs? - James.


What is crime?

An offence which is punishable by law, for example stealing or murder.


What is community service or a fine an example of?

Non-custodial sentence.


What is civil law?

Concerns disputes between private individuals or groups. This includes matters such as the settlement of divorce, disputes between landlords and tenants and disputed wills.


What is envy in Christianity?

One of the seven deadly sins.


Contrasting attitudes to the punishment of criminals?

Some believe the punishment should be a severe as the crime.
Some believe the criminal should be helped in order that they don’t reoffend.


What is a hate crime?

Crimes, often including violence, that are usually targeted at a person because of their race, religion, sexuality, disability or gender.


What is the Golden Rule?

‘Do to others what you want them to do to you’


What is retribution?

To get your own back “an eye for an eye”


What is deterrence?

To put people off committing crimes.


What is reformation?

To change someone’s behaviour for the better.


What is a Christian teaching about revenge?

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends”


A Christian quote about helping enemies?

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him”.


Why did Jesus talk about not retaliating?

Because of the further suffering retaliation may cause.


What is corporal punishment?

To punish an offender by causing them physical pain - now illegal in the UK.


A quite about discipline children?

“The one who loves their children is careful to discipline them?
-in the law or God’s law.


What did Jesus say as he was being crucified?

“Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.


A Christian quote about revenge?

“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed”
“Eye for eye”


A Christian quote about reformation?

“I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live.


How do Buddhists vie good and evil?

In terms of skilful and unskillful actions.


How does karma link to actions?

Buddhists believe the intention that drives the action is what’s important.
They might identify this as to whether harm is caused to themselves or others. The five moral precepts can also be used to help identify unskillful and skilful actions.


What do Buddhists believe about punishment?

Everyone can change, and no one should ever be beyond hope or redemption. Buddhists aim to avoid feeling hatred towards criminals. Instead, they should show compassion towards victims of crime. They should develop a constructive response to criminals.


Why is there no justification for hate crimes in Buddhism?

Hate is one of the three poisons. Hatred causes suffering for both others and themselves, consequently meaning no one wins.


What are the two main causes of theft?

Greed and poverty.


The story in Buddhism about when murder may be accepted?

In one of the Buddha’s last lives, he was the captain of a ship carrying 500 merchants. One of those passengers was a bandit who was planning to kill all the other passengers. The Buddha concluded that the most skilful thing to do in this circumstance was to kill the bandit to prevent all of the other people from being harmed.


What did a Buddhist thinker David Loy say?

“We are not punished for our sins but by them”.
Eg through our kamma a person’s unskillful dress will cause them to suffer. Consequently, there is no need to inflict further suffering on those who have acted badly.


Arguments against deterrence?

The US still has a high crime rate, despite its huge prison population.


What is the point of reformation?

Encourages the transformation of the criminal. The criminal should act in a more sensitive and responsible way. This will rehabilitate the criminal in their own eyes, in the eyes of society and in the eyes of the victim.


Why might some Buddhists support prison?

To protect society. However, the motive would not be to punish or even deter, but to ensure the welfare of society.


What is the philosophical principle of utility?

The best action is the one that creates the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.


What is forgiveness?

Showing compassion, and pardoning someone for what they have done wrong.


Why do Buddhist believe in forgiveness?

If people do not forgive then they will suffer, because they will continue to be angry and resentful.
Anyone should be forgiven if they are genuinely sorry for what they have done.
Understanding and compassion can help lead to forgiveness.
In serious instances eg mass murder - Buddhists say it is best to learn to forgive, but this does not mean to excuse or forget what has happened.