Should you pay for a night in the cells?

police cell

I was quite intrigued at the newly elected police comissioner David Lloyd’s idea to charge anyone who spends a night in the cells. Firstly, it was quite ammusing to hear that he’d asked his constituency for their opinions on the plans before even finding out if it would be legal! Somehow I feel that delightful piece of legislation called the human rights act would quickly put at stop to any such brainwaves after a quick once over by lawyers (not that I’m completely against it, but the current version needs improvement as it is prone to abuse, although why anyone really has a right to anything I do not know, but that’d best be argued in a seperate post methinks).

The second reason this story instantly grabbed my attention is that he said on radio station LBC that a charge of £400 would be sufficient. £400?! I’ve been looking at hotels in paris recently and that much money would get me 2 nights for 2 people in a double room plus breakfast in a 4 start hotel mere metres from the centre of the city! So why on earth one night in a 6 by 8 foot concrete box wiith only a thin matress for comfort would be equivlant to such a price tag beats me.

Then there’s the moral issues. What if the person was later found innocent of whatever crime they were arrested for? Should they still have to pay? Common sense would say no. What if the person cannont afford to pay or is on state benefits? Perhaps a suitable alternative would be a set number of hours of community service. Yet this leads to the question of whether a blanket charge should be used, or if a tiered charge would be more appropriate, because £400 to someone on £50,000+ a year is nothing compared to the same charge for someone who earns something close to the minimum wage, and how many hours of community service would this equate to? Should parents have to pay if their under 18 children spend a night there? Maybe you straight away think yes, but why should they be punished when they didn’t do anything? Although parents are responsible for their children, short of permanently locking them in their rooms, there is not a lot they can do about how their child behaves in their absence.

Furthermore, is it right to punish someone twice for the same thing, which is effectively what this charge is? Yes, it may be a deterrant from relatively minor crimes like being drunk and disorderly, but not only do those arrested have to suffer once by staying in uncomfortable conditions overnight, they then must pay for the privelege! Okay, they may deserve it, but I thought it the 21st century we are better than the times when we’d enjoy burning people at the stake.

Lastly, it could, sadly, be used by a few poice officers and council members (anyone who believes there are large organisations in the world without at least one corrupt member must be kidding themselves) as a money making scheme in these austere times. Admittedly the money would go straight back into the police budget, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. A better way to increase the budget would be to go directly to the government, even if the chances of success are slim, but if enough people signed a petition for it then it might stand a chance of being heard.

So, what do you think about this scheme? Are you glad someone has thought of it or do you have your doubts?

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Is there life after death? (part 1)

heaven

One of the most hottly debated topic within not only religious groups but society as whole is whether there is something for us after our lives on this world end. We often see stories in the news of people who claim to have briefly gone to heaven during near-death experiences, but was what they experienced real or just a figment of their imagination as their body began to shut down? In this first part I’ll outline both sides of the non-religious argument:

Non-religious For:

  • The supernatural is one of the reasons people believe in life after death.  Some people are very suppositious and believe in the After-life, and when you die, you can come back to life as a ghost and haunt people or finish certain tasks.  Many people claim to have seen ghosts. Some people believe you can talk to the dead at a séance. A few people believe Ouija boards create a spiritual gateway to another world where the dead can communicate. 

  • A few people have near death experiences where they have died and gone to heaven. Many claim they saw a bright flash and then saw and spoke with God. God then brought them back to life. Some may have out of body experiences where they are flying and sometimes can see their body lying down as they float up.

  • Thinking you can come back again gives many a nice feeling. It provides comfort and hope because you can have a chance at life and meet up with loved ones again.  It provides support for those have a general fear of dying and for those who want to live on.

  • After you die, you can still live on in the minds of others. Whenever someone thinks of you, it’s like you are alive inside them. As long as people keep remembering you, you can still be alive.

  • Science has proven energy can’t be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred. So when you die your energy has to go somewhere. When you are buried, you provide energy in the form of food for animals and nutrients for the soil. So you will become part of the earth again and give life to plants and animals.

  • An interesting reason why people decide to believe it is Pascal’s wager. It says why we might as well believe in God and life after death.  If you believe in God and you are wrong, when you die, it doesn’t make a difference, but if you were right, you will probably be able to go to heaven.  If you decide to not believe in it and are right, it doesn’t make a difference, but if you are wrong, you will spend eternity in hell. 

  • I think near death experiences are difficult to believe especially if you trust science, unless you have had one. When you die, your brain shuts down and the flash you see could be from all the reactions going on in your brain, and as your brain isn’t working properly, you remember it as God. 

Non-religious Against:

  • Many people choose not to believe in life after death. One reason is that they have no experience. If you haven’t seen or done something, you are probably not going to believe it. You can’t experience everything that exists, and only a few people have near death experiences, which make it hard to believe.

  • Some people just don’t want to believe it. They want death to be the end. You need dead people to be dead so you can move on, not thinking of them as a ghost or another person, especially if a relative has just had a baby. People are afraid of someone coming back to haunt them or be with them.  Some people don’t enjoy life and dread the thought o facing it again. If they are bad, they might not want to go to hell, or feel so guilty that they can’t face life and want it to end.

  • Many of your beliefs come from your parents. Even the most independent people share some beliefs with their parents.  It all depends on your upbringing. If your parents don’t believe in something, it’s likely you’ll agree. If you parents are Christian, you are probably Christian too. If you are a child, you may not trust what they say. But you may have found out people like the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny don’t exist when your parents said they do. Would you trust what they told you as a child?

  • Some people are not religious and don’t believe in God, or heaven, or hell, or re-birth. They think death is death and that is that.

  • If you are Agnostic, you just don’t know. You are not sure what is right or wrong. You don’t know what you should or shouldn’t believe. You just choose to not totally believe in anything.

  • There isn’t really any definitive proof for and against. Science can’t prove there is definitely life after death, yet it can’t prove there isn’t. It is up to you to choose what you believe in because as far as we are aware, there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. Many choose not to believe for this reason.  

Science Vs Religion

These are the thoughts of my 12-year-old self on the debate of science vs religion – I thought it’d be handy for lower school students who may be covering this topic.

Science says it was the big bang that created the Universe.

Christianity says it was god.

However, are Genesis and the big bang theory saying the same thing?

Can science and Christianity sit hand in hand?

Or are they saying completely different things?

Can you be a scientist and still believe in God?

Or is science going to find the answer alone?

This is a conversation between two scientists. The first scientist is an atheist, so he does not believe in God. The second scientist is a theist so she believes in God. You will here their views on whether science and religion can be as one.

As a scientist, I cannot understand why you believe in God. Science has proven it was the big bang and not god. There is no evidence for god to exist, so therefore one must assume there is not a greater power outside our universe.

Although there is no proof for God, God is the answer to the problem of how the big bang started. Science has proven how it happened but not why. How can there be nothing and all of a sudden, everything needed to create our universe existed! It is impossible, unless there was an input of information.

How do you know the Bible is telling the truth though? The person who wrote it had no clue about science and could have written down an imaginative story that people decided to believe because there was no other evidence. Remember, they thought the earth was a dome, with a fire pit underneath and then below that a huge volume of water with pillars to support the Earth.

You do not know if it is the definitely the truth, but science cannot prove why everything happened and this is the only other answer. Although it is a story, it holds the answer. Science did not exist then, so they would not have written down a complicated, scientific theory, a story would have been the only way for them to communicate their knowledge.

The Bible does not mention things we have proof of, like dinosaurs. We have hundreds of fossils and skeletons to prove they exist, yet there is no hint of them in the Bible, so therefore it is just a story.

Actually, if you look, the Bible dose not mention any specific animals whatsoever, except humans. If you look carefully, all it says about animals is sea creatures, birds and mammals were created before humans, so it does not matter that dinosaurs are not mentioned.

The big bang has lots of evidence. Genesis has not been proven. How can you believe in something with no proof, when there is a greater explanation with all the evidence you need.

Although no one has tried to prove Genesis, in many ways it is saying the same thing as science. Science says first there was a big bang, then planets, then water, then simple life forms in the water, then reptiles and amphibians, then mammals, and finally humans. The Bible says first, there was light, which would have been caused by the explosion, then heaven and earth, then land and sea, then the sun and moon, then sea creatures and birds, then mammals and finally humans. Although there are a few differences, there are also many similarities.     

There is lots of evidence to back up Darwin’s theory of evolution. God could not have made humans separately. Humans evolved from apes. Science has proven it.

Science has not proven it. There is still the missing link in the chain. Science thinks it has found the answer, but there is still a skeleton missing, and without it, the stage of evolution the missing link came from and the stage it went into, are too far apart to use as evidence. Until you find that skeleton, you cannot prove it.

Well, science has proven the Earth was created in around 6 billion years. Genesis claims it was six days, or only 144 hours to create something like the Earth. It is impossible, so Genesis is not true.

Look at it this way, Genesis is a simple version of creation. I do not take it literally. Six days could stand for six periods of time; it does not necessarily mean six lots of 24 hours. If you think back to the similarities between Genesis and Science, the order of creation is the same; just Genesis is not a highly complicated theory with tons of evidence to support it.

Genesis says creatures that did not exist existed. It says there was once a walking talking snake. That is impossible, snakes cannot and could not walk or talk, they only hiss, so Genesis cannot be a true story.

The story is not literal, it may say one thing but it really stands for another. If you look back through evolution, ancestors of the snake did have legs to walk around with, which they have now lost. Many scientists also believe they had some sort of voice box, so although it would not have talked like a human, it would use some noises, like talking.

Genesis also says there was light before the sun. That could not happen so once again, Genesis is not telling the truth.

If you think about it, the big bang theory also says there was light before the sun. The explosion from the big bang would have created lots of light and hest before the sun formed.

I still do not think there was an input of information. You do not need to believe in God when you have science. Science may still be working on a few of the harder problems, but one day, whether it is soon or in hundreds or thousands of years, the explanation will be found, we just have not found all the pieces of the puzzle yet. 

You do need God. There must have been some input of information to kick-start everything. Look at DNA for example.

To unravel and stable DNA to find the code you need three proteins. Now, inside the code it tells you how to make the proteins to unravel and stable it. You cannot have the DNA without the proteins yet you cannot have the proteins without the DNA.

All you are doing is giving another example of what came first, the chicken or the egg. DNA could have developed through evolution and some of the chemicals on the earth could have come together and made the proteins.  

I see your point but you can logically explain the answer to whether the chicken or the egg came first, but unless you went back in time, you would not be able to prove it. How can you explain logically how to find the answer to the problem of DNA? You cannot solve it. Without God that is.

Although I now see the Bible and science have some similarities, I still strongly believe that one-day science will come up with the answer, and religion will fall.

Well, I am not going to stop believing in God until you find the answer, and I seriously doubt you will find it out. God is the answer sitting right next to you but you are choosing to ignore it. Religion holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of creation.    

Who created God then?

God has no creator. God does not need a creator. God’s existence is eternal, never ending. 

Everything has a beginning and end. Nothing is eternal.

Prove it then.

 

In my opinion, you can be a Christian, or a member of any other religion, as well as a scientist because science and religion say very similar things. The orders of creation have few differences and both agree about the order of evolution.

Although science automatically decides everything is a consequence of something else, and everything has an answer, religion has a stronger argument.  God makes more sense than nothing existing then suddenly everything exists.

Science has not found out why, but only how and its evidence is not sufficient. There are huge gaps in its evidence and might never solve the problem.

Religion has stronger evidence because not only can it say how, it also says why.

There are three ways of reading the bible. The first way is taking it literally. The second way is thinking that it is not literal but stands for something similar. The third way is to not believe a word of it.

The people who only agree with one side of the argument do not have enough evidence to be certain. Yet the group in the middle take both sides and come up with a more logical explanation that makes more sense.

So if you think parts of the Bible can be taken metaphorically you can be a scientist and believe in God.