When I was a child I was taught that if you did the wrong thing you got "In trouble" for it.My parents,although fair,wanted their children to know right from wrong and be able to follow through to become good members of society.
Back in those "Old days",as it were,You were not expected to know why what you did was wrong no one explained things to you,they just said you don't steal its wrong and if you do you will in some way be punished.
Now being a parent myself I must admit I used this same fear tactic on my son,though now that I'm older and more patient I would hope to be able to explain why something is wrong and why you should not do it.
I remember when my son was about 3 years old going to the drug store.While paying a bill,my son decided to take a piece of candy.When we got into the car I scolded him,told him what he did was stealing,brought him into the store and we returned what he had taken.
Now that I'm older I realize all he learned was stealing was wrong and he feared getting into trouble if he was caught doing so.What he did not learn was why it was wrong and how stealing hurts the person your taking from plus it also hurts your inner worth because God wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves and were not loving another person when were taking their things.
When I'm at work and I need people to follow through with what I've asked them to do I find it always works better to explain why I want something done not just because I said so.People become more empathetic and understanding when they know what they do is part of a common good.In most cases I don't even need to remind them the next day to repeat the task.
Religion is allot like this.When God gave Moses the 10 commandments he wanted them to be used to guide the Hebrew community in good ways.You should not just fear the laws because they were handed down by God you should also understand why God wants us to follow his laws.
These laws have a purpose behind them the first 2 deal with not offending or hurting God and the next 8 deal with your neighbor.God wants us to learn to respect and love not just him but our neighbor,who is in the his image, when we offend each other we also hurt and offend God.
Some religions have come to the point where they try to frighten their followers by saying follow these laws or you will go to hell,never mind why just do it and while your at it here are some sub categories to go along with these rules so don't mess up or its going to get mighty hot in the after life for you.
The Jews, during the time of Jesus, were dealing with this sort of issue.They were so over burdened with both God and man made rules that they could not live freely.
Jesus came to lift this burden.He said if you love God and you do good and you try daily to be a fair person these rules will come easily.You will not want to hurt or offend anyone so you will not only follow what you are asked to do but will understand why its wrong to do things like seal,commit adultery,not respect your parents and not keep Sunday holy.You will no longer fear the letter of the law you will understand the law is there for your benefit.
Rules are always a good thing it helps keep order in a society,but rules followed through fear and ignorance or in an attempt for a church to control people is never a good thing.These sorts of rules are like chains they bind you rather then set you free.