Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Crime and Punishment

There are those who believe that carrots are better motivators than sticks, that we should only emphasize the rewards and not the punishments. This little report brings that into question:
Last year researchers from the University of Oregon found that crime rates are higher in countries where more people believe in heaven than in hell.

The findings emerged from a study into 26 years of data involving more than 140,000 people from almost 70 nations.

Academics discovered that offences such as murders, robberies and rapes were more common in societies where punishment forms an important part of people's religious beliefs.

This means a country where more people think there is a heaven than a hell, for example, is likely to see more offences than a nation where beliefs are more equally shared.
The situation is actually outlined in the Book of Mormon by Alma:
 17 Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?

18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

19 Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?

20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin. (Alma 42:17–21)

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