A religio-philosophical analysis of freewill and determinism in relation to the Yoruba perception of Ori
Keywords:Ori, Religio-philosophical Thought, Freewill, Determinism
There is much debate regarding the seeming contradictions and ambivalence in the metaphysical concepts of freewill and determinism. Several interpretations have been given by various African philosophers on what freewill or determinism connote. In this regard, the traditional Yoruba conception of freewill and determinism is replete with contradictions by virtue of their perception of human destiny which is variously chosen by the people. This paper argues that the Yoruba have a two-sided conception of destiny, as something given and unalterable and yet alterable under certain circumstances and conditions. The conception of destiny appears problematic. On the other hand, the Yoruba are regarded as determinist but not fatalist. Thus, it could be argued that the Yoruba could be seen as both freewillers and determinists. It is in this perspective that this paper does a critique of freewill and determinism in relation to Yoruba perception of Ori using a philosophical methodology. Therefore, the paper offers and defends soft determinism as a better alternative to the causal explanatory paradigm among the Yoruba.