EARTH DEITY (“ANI”) AND MORALITY IN IGBO WORLD-VIEW: A CASE STUDY OF IGBO ETHICS.
Could it be possible that there are people who have no sense of morality or of a ‘lower grade of moral consciousnesses?’ And to be specific, could there be anything like morality in Igbo traditionalism? If there is, in which sense could it be understood? In other words, what is the foundation of morality in traditional ethics? These questions indeed gave rise to this research and the Igbo indeed have a morality which is centred on their concept of truth and justice – “Ofo”. We have symbolic and living instruments of this justice and truth.
At times, this morality is moulded up, unsubstantiated, unsystematic, and uncritically rooted in customs and traditions (omenala). This work is geared towards unmasking the moral values inherent in the customs and traditions as raw materials (first-order-activity) for a purely and systematic philosophizing (second-order-activity) – ethics via Ofoism. With the concept of “Ofoism”, we shall see the Igbo communal expression of justice, its dimensions and perspectives. As freedom and responsibility are pre-suposition of ethics in general, we shall look into moral responsibility in Igbo communal justice. Thereafter comes our evaluation of the whole body of work, and immediate conclusion.