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1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Ada Agada, Aribiah David Attoe

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2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Ada Agada

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The evidence of human wickedness in the world is so transparent that no rational person can dispute its reality. This paper approaches the question of the human person from an African philosophical perspective and explores the relation between the apparently free-acting human being and God conceived as the creator of the world and the ultimate cause of the human being. The paper will proffer answers to the following question: to what extent can the human being be absolved of blame for the evil they perpetrate in a world conceived in African traditional religion and thought as the creation of a high deity who could have foreseen the negative bent of human nature and should have made human nature inclined to goodness all of the time? The paper will make novel contributions to the debate about human nature in African philosophical discourse by recasting the human being as a homo melancholicus, or melancholy being, whose evil inclination in the world can best be understood in the context of a tragic vision of reality. Keywords: Human being, God, moral evil, freedom, omnipotence, omniscience, homo melancholicus, free will, determinism, destiny
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3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Joyline GWARA, Lucky Uchenna OGBONNAYA

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The reality and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic question God’s omnibenevolence and omnipotence. Two questions that stare us in the face are a) is God omnibenevolent given the current reality? b) is God omnipotent? This paper addresses these questions from the African place using the African theory of duality and its underlying logic, Ezumezu. We argue that the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse effects (such as death, hardship and social isolation) do not negate God’s benevolence and powerfulness. We assert that while the current reality cannot sustain a defence of the traditional theistic qualities of omnipotence and omnibenevolence, the notions of a powerful and benevolent God are not necessarily undermined by the reality of Covid-19. In the light of the African theory of duality and Ezumezu logic, we contend that the COVID-19 pandemic brings out the argument that inherent in God’s benevolence is wickedness and inherent in God’s powerfulness is weakness.
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4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Hasskei Majeed

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The age-old philosophical problem of evil, especially prominent in Western philosophy, as resulting from the intellectual irreconcilability of some appellations of God with the presence of evil – indeed, of myriads of evil – in the world, has been debated upon by many African religious scholars; particularly, philosophers. These include John Mbiti, Kwasi Wiredu, Kwame Gyekye, E. B. Idowu and E.O. Oduwole. While the debate has often been about the existence or not of the problem of evil in African theology, not much philosophical discussion has taken place regarding death and its implications for African conception(s) of God. This paper attempts to contribute to the discussion of those implications. It explores the evilness of death, as exemplified in the African notion of “evil death,” and argues that the phenomenon of death presents itself in complex but interesting ways that do not philosophically ground its characterization as evil. Therefore, the problem of evil would not arise in African thought on account of the phenomenon of death
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5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Workineh Kelbessa

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The Oromo of Ethiopia, the largest ethnic group, have their own indigenous religion known as Waaqeffanna. They believe in one Waaqa guraacha (black God) – the God who created the universe and the various forms of life. Waaqa has multiple attributes. Waaqa is He who is before everything else. Waaqa is Uumaa (a creator of everything in the world). Waaqa is hunda beekaa (omniscient). Waaqni gonkumaa kan hin Duune (God is immortal). Waaqa is hundaa tolaa (omnibenevolent). Waaqa is hunda danda’aa (omnipotent). Nothing is impossible with Waaqa. Waaqa is the source and lover of dhugaa (truth). Waaqa is Qulqulluu (pure). The Oromo people believe that in the olden days Waaqa was living on the Earth and only later that Waaqa left the Earth in anger because of personal sin and became invisible. Waaqa is one and at the same time manifests Himself in different ways. This paper teases out and highlights core Oromo views of God, his relationship with the world and the problem of evil.
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6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Aribiah David Attoe

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In much of the literature concerning African theories of meaning, there are certain clues regarding what constitutes meaningfulness from an African traditional perspective. These are theories of meaning in life such as the African God’s purpose theory, which locates meaning in the obedience of divine law and/or the pursuit of one’s destiny; the vital force theory, which locates meaning in the continuous augmentation of one’s vital force through the expression and receipt of goodwill, rituals and the worship of God; and what I will call the transcendent communal normative theories, where meaning is located in the positive contributions one makes to his/her society, whether as a human being or as an ancestor. I contend that all these theories have one thing in common that unifies them – and that is the legitimization of God’s existence through the continued sustenance of the universe. This, I will show, constitutes the meaning of life (in cosmic terms) from an African traditional religious perspective. To argue for this thesis, I will first tease out the basic tenets of the previously described theories of meaning. I will then analyse the metaphysical underpinning of the African relational ontology and how it reflects on the subject of being. Finally, I will end by showing the role of the universe in legitimizing the existence of God as a thing in the world, and how that constitutes the meaning of life.
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7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Anthony Chimankpam Ojimba, Victor Iwuoha Chidubem

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This paper examines the concept of God in traditional Igbo-African religious thought, prior to the advent of Western religion, with a view to showing that the idea of a God/Deity who is supreme in every area of life and sphere of influence and who “creates out of nothing,” like the God of the Christian or Western missionaries, is unrecognized in the Igbo-African traditional religious thought. Even though the Igbo conceive of strong and powerful deities that can only reign supreme within their respective sphere of influence where they are in charge, none of these deities is identical to the supreme God promoted by the Christian missionaries. The Igbo traditional religious worldview maintains a polytheistic religious view, unlike the monotheistic outlook of the Christian religion. To achieve its goal, the paper adopts the method of historical hermeneutics and textual analysis.
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8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Diana-Abasi Ibanga

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on the meaning of spirituality. On the one hand, traditional conceptions of spirituality are based on the dimensions of transcendence and supernaturalism. Common themes include ritualism, totemism, incantation, ancestorism, reincarnation, destiny, metempsychosis, witchcraft, death, soul, deities, etc. On the other hand, the evolving trend appeals to naturality and immanence. Common themes include sacrality, piety, respectability, relatability, existential gratitude, sacred feminine, etc. This work explores these recent and developing themes. It aims to show that the understanding of spirituality in African modernity is increasingly linked to psychological traits expressed in attitude and behaviour as against traditional understanding that focused on cultural/ religious practices such as ritualism, ancestorism, and deities. The analysis reveals that recent studies link the experience of spirituality with wholeness and interdependence, and a recognition of one’s place in the connective web of other existents in nature.
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9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Lerato Likopo Mokoena

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The essence of deities has captured our imaginations for as long as we can remember. Does a God exist, or is the divine entity just a figment of our dreams, a projection? Is God what Aribiah Attoe calls a “regressively eternal and material entity” or what Gericke calls “a character of fiction with no counterpart outside the worlds of text and imagination”? This paper aims to wrestle with those questions from a theological perspective and to look at the ontological status of Yahweh and how that worldview lends itself to African Traditional Religions in conversation with Attoe's method of inquiry from the perspective of African Metaphysics. This paper aims to be a part of the larger project undertaken by the author, showing that philosophy can and should be an auxiliary discipline in Old Testament Studies as it has been seen, both fields have ways of similar arguing and coming to the same conclusions. This paper is intended to be an interlocutory exercise or experiment and does not seek to validate any hypothesis about either view.
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10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Pius Mosima

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In this paper, I make a case for an intercultural philosophy of religion from an African perspective. I focus on the philosophical underpinnings of the various meaningful religious practices and beliefs that give rise to the concepts of God, death and the problem of evil. A philosophical study of African traditional religions, based on anthropological findings across African cultural orientations, gives us a good starting point in understanding African worldviews and religious experiences. It also reveals that the various world religions may all be seen as offering different perspectives on the same reality. Specifically, I argue that traditional African conceptions of God, death and the problem of evil could make significant contributions to global discourses in the philosophy of religion. First, I articulate points of convergence and divergence between African traditional religions with Saint Aquinas’ proofs for God’s existence; Second, I question the phenomenon of death and one’s life’s meaning. And third, I approach the problem of evil and attempt an African solution to the Epicurean dilemma.
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11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Pius Mosima

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Dans cet article, je plaide en faveur d'une philosophie interculturelle de la religion dans une perspective africaine. Je me concentre sur les fondements philosophiques des diverses pratiques et croyances religieuses significatives qui donnent lieu aux concepts de Dieu, de la mort et du problème du mal. Une étude philosophique des religions traditionnelles africaines, basée sur des découvertes anthropologiques à travers les orientations culturelles africaines, nous donne un bon point de départ pour comprendre les visions du monde et les expériences religieuses africaines. Elle révèle également que les diverses religions du monde peuvent toutes être considérées comme offrant des perspectives différentes sur la même réalité. Plus précisément, je soutiens que les conceptions africaines traditionnelles de Dieu, de la mort et du problème du mal pourraient apporter des contributions significatives aux discours mondiaux sur la philosophie de la religion. Premièrement, j'articule les points de convergence et de divergence entre les religions traditionnelles africaines et les preuves de l'existence de Dieu apportées par Saint Aquin; deuxièmement, je m'interroge sur le phénomène de la mort et le sens de la vie. Et troisièmement, j'aborde le problème du mal et tente de trouver une solution africaine au dilemme épicurien.
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12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
Christana Idika, Maduka Enyimba

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How does one understand the relationship between a person and their objects of belief in the philosophy of Religion? How does the object of belief impact individuals’ lives, choices, decisions, and what they become in the future? The character of religion is binding, and the object of belief in a being – transcendent or immanent as the sole determinant of the fate and destiny of individuals leaves room for many questions that border on freedom and responsibility. By introducing Onyenachiya to the discussion of the phenomenon of religion from an African philosophical approach to religion, the authors argue that there is a certain threshold of self-evaluation and relationship between a person and their object of belief which is significantly cooperative and collaborative. Although onyenachiya, a concept that stems from an African epistemic context (Igbo), has no corresponding English translation, it is a contraction of two independent words, onye (person, giver, who) and chi (personal god, doppelgänger). The two are joined together by conjunction, ‘na’ with the suffix ‘ya’ at the end, emphasizing the chi’s personal and unique nature. The authors argue that if chi is connected to a person's destiny, onyenachiya demonstrates an agent-centered destiny, which gives room for agency, accountability, and responsibility and gives a new account of religious tolerance.
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book review

13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 4
J Chidozie Chukwuokolo

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14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Isaiah A. Negedu Orcid-ID

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15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Isaiah A. Negedu, Orcid-ID Peter Echewija Sule Orcid-ID

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Onboard international flights, you may have witnessed the pre-takeoff information/in-flight safety speech by the cabin crew. It is not out of place that they tend to be European in their mode of speaking. However, when on a local flight, the Europeanness of speech still comes out loud. We want to understand why such Europeanised intonation should be and the audience it is meant to serve. Our research leads us to the conclusion that this insensitivity of local airline operators stems from the desire to enjoy some patronage even if their actions inferiorise the community who are the major patronisers of their services. We will also explain why the Europeanisation of speech could lead to safety hazards. This work is inspired by the personal experiences of the researchers and of a few others.
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16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
SimonMary A. Aihiokhai Orcid-ID

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The question that faces communities today has to do with who belongs and who has the right to claim certain identity markers. In contemporary United States of America, whiteness stands as an idol unto itself for it seeks to delegitimise all other identity markers except those it has given legitimacy, and which serve its own interests. One cannot deconstruct whiteness as a racial construct unless one sheds light on its origins and how it continues to validate itself in society. A valid response to the idol of whiteness is to embrace a eucharistic identity; one that speaks of the human as a being radically defined by ethical solidarity with others.
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17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Kizito Michael George Orcid-ID

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One of the fundamental fallacies of racism is the confusion between biological accidents such as: body, colour, environment, size, shape, and melanin with metaphysical essences like; soul, mind, and intellect. Personness for instance is an essential category that does not depend on the above accidental attributes. Since time immemorial, racism has been reinforced by deeply entrenched social structures. These structures are the offspring of both overt and covert racism. Structural racism is epitomised by ideologies that have been well disguised under facades of science. These ideologies include: Eugenics, Social Darwinism, Modernisation theory and Neo-liberalism. This paper critically analyses the religious, political, psychoanalytic, historical and economic construction of structural and institutional racism that reinforces honorary whiteness in the African social milieu. The paper argues that the purpose of racism is constructing Black and Brown people as entities in dire need of White Saviourism and White Paternalism. This consequently culminates into imperialism, neo-colonialism, subjugation and exploitation. The paper further contends that racism is crystalised through mental colonialism which rides on socially constructed racial binaries, dichotomies and hierarchies such as: White (righteous) and Black (evil), North (top) and South (bottom), West (Sun-rise) and (Sun-set), Aryan and Honorary Aryan, White and Honorary White.
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18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Babalwa Sibango Orcid-ID

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As a country with a history of settler-colonialism, the land question in South Africa remains one of the critical issues of redress that is highly contested. Furthermore, opinions on the land question tend to be divided along racial lines. This paper uses white ignorance as a theoretical framework to explain these polarised views on the land question in South Africa post-1994. The paper also uses the concept of honorary whiteness/brownness to explain how differences among ‘people of colour’ serve to sustain a hierarchical racial order in which whites remain the ultimate beneficiaries. While research on white ignorance mainly focuses on the socio-psychological and material benefits of white ignorance for whites, this paper argues that those classified as honorary white or ‘brown’ also benefit, albeit minimally, from endorsing willful white ignorance of past and present racial atrocities.
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19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Aloysius Uchechukwu Onah Orcid-ID

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Experiences whether personal or collective, sometimes evoke a psychological satisfaction of being superior to others. This could be due to inappropriate perception or some prejudice. When misperception takes a systematic and permanent form, it becomes an illusion. Several scientific works imply possible racial cognitive illusions. In this work, I treat honorary whiteness as a diminutive way of referring to some categories of human beings. Honorary whiteness is an ideology based on the belief of being superior to others on the basis of colour. It is the practice of acting white or like European in order to gain some benefits or for some interests. This attitude pervades the political, economic, legal and social life of human beings. Hence, this research initiates the urgency to revisit the discourse on racial superiority and how it informs some cognitive misrepresentations of human biological givens. I examine the above theme with the aim of explaining honorary whiteness, racial cognitive illusion and finally, explore the psychological perspectives in view of proffering innovative solutions on racial cognitive illusion.
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20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Olawunmi C. Macaulay-Adeyelur Orcid-ID

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The aim of this essay is to show that instances of valorising blackness have turned out to be harmful to African peoples. Whereas there have been several movements such as Black Power Movement, Black Consciousness Movement as well as individuals such as Steve Biko, Aime Cesaire, Leopold Sedar Senghor, William DuBois, Edward Blyden, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, it is the case that none of these minds made the conscious effort to interrogate the literal and symbolic use of black for Africans. Consequently, this research limits its scope to Fela’s valorisation of blackness as enshrined in his blackism. Using the method of critical analysis, it argues that Fela’s “Blackism” takes the categorical and symbolic implications of blackness to an uncritical assimilation. The present study submits that until the ideological underpinning of the categorical and symbolic uses of blackness for Africans is engaged, all valorisation attempts will continue to yield meagre outputs. The first task is therefore to disclose the Eurocentric campaigns that mitigated the worth of the original or traditional people of Africa, south of the Sahara as well as the arrays of rejoinders which led to the valorisation of blackness. Afterward, Fela’s version of valorisation as encapsulated within the fold of his blackism will be disinterred. The rest of the paper shows not only that the valorisation agenda was a failed project but also that Fela’s “Blackism” is one of these failed projects.
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