- Punishment is the inﬂiction of something bad (frequently, but not necessarily, pain or a loss of freedom) on a wrongdoer because of a wrong committed. Philosophical debate centres on the question of how, if at all, punishment can be justified. There are two principal schools of thought here: the retribution view, that crimes intrinsically deserve punishment, whatever effects the punishment may have, and the rehabilitation view, that the purpose of punishment is to teach the offender the error of his or her ways and to ensure that he or she does not reoffend. There is also the deterrence view: that punishment exists to deter not just the offender but everyone. One issue that brings out the disagreement among the views is that of capital punishment: supporters of the retribution view tend to allow for capital punishment (at least in theory), whereas supporters of the rehabilitation view regard capital punishment as impermissible, and supporters of the deterrence view are divided. Most Christian philosophers have tended to the retribution view for two reasons: (1) the law of the Old Testament, especially the lex talionis ('an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'), seems to be based on the retribution view, and (2) the existence of Hell is difficult to reconcile with the deterrence view or the rehabilitation view.See HellFurther reading: Duff 1986; Hoekema 1986; Honderich 1984; Walker 1991
Christian Philosophy . Daniel J. Hill and Randal D. Rauser. 2015.