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Money ritualism is a phenomenon common in Africa especially West Africa and Nigeria in particular. It is an occult practice in which human beings and their organs are sacrificed to the gods or daemons in return for riches, usually monetary, purported
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  A NATURALISTIC HYPOTHESIS TO MONEY RITUALISM Oje, Ayanbode Oluwaseun. 2015.  Abstract  Money ritualism is a phenomenon common in Africa especially West  Africa and Nigeria in particular. It is an occult practice in which human beingsand their organs are sacrificed to the gods or daemons in return for riches,usually monetary, purported to rain from nowhere but fill the room where the sacrifice is being made. This paper attempts a naturalistic hypothesis on thesrcin of the belief in money ritualism. It posits that the belief possibly arose out of an African secret but scientifically provable practice. Specifically, it proposesthat cowry ritual! was what later metamorphosed into money ritual! and that many ritual "illings nowadays are cultural and belief flavoured psychopathicmanifestations. Introduction To anyone with religious or spiritual bend o mind, money ritualism is a act that cannot be doubted. There must be an e!planation to these ritual "illings and recently the news media isull o reports on the busted dens o ritualists# 1  the horror o human "illing reported by thesur$i$ors o these horrible acts cannot be mere imagination o a psychologically stressed capti$e.The gory sights that are relayed on tele$ision during news also stand as proo. To thetraditionalists and the religionists, money ritualism is real% people o greedy nature and impatient 1  temperament who want riches at all cost do cut up human beings, young or old, male or emale,inants, adults, aged, physically challenged or normal human beings, in sacriice to blood&suc"ing misanthrope demons o the underworld who are in charge o riches. There are sur$i$ors,$ictims and witch&doctors, who testiy to the truthulness and eicacy o money ritualism. Thereare cases where policemen were called to clamp down on suspected sites, usually isolated buildings, depth o a orest or underground chambers. Anybody that tries to deny these musteither be a lunatic, a ool or deliberately insincere or cynical. 'uch is the position o almoste$erybody in (igeria, and part o Arica where cases o money ritualism are rampant presently.) there are ew who still doubt the phenomenon, they hold such belie based on intellectualarrogance. They probably ha$e no e!planation or the horriic acts o these men contrary to whatthe belie$ers in money ritualism present as the reason. *owe$er, the process by which legal tender is made through money ritualism isincompatible with a naturalistic outloo" on the cosmos and the way things operate the physicalistorientation. 'ince naturalism, a metaphysical doctrine comprising materialism, physicalism andempiricism, is the bac"bone doctrine or science, any thorough going scientist may reject theidea o money ritualism. The same with any philosopher who alls within the cubicle o any o the aorementioned metaphysical and epistemological doctrines, he may see the idea as notcompatible with his metaphysical deault belie and as such doubt whether the idea is true. +et, itis amaing to disco$er that no such eort to repudiate the claim o money ritualism or to bust itas a myth ound to help this research wor". -ould it be that Arica lac"s such thorough bredscientists and philosophers Or is it the case that belie in money ritualism has not donesigniicant harm to our society to warrant such attempt to debun" it This paper is an attempt tolay the premise upon which money ritualism could later be debun"ed. 2  An important concession ) will ma"e at the beginning o this paper is that this wor" isand ought to be categorised as speculati$e philosophy. Although the lure o analytic philosophyin the contemporary period has o$ershadowed the speculati$e method, speculation ) will say isstill a legitimate way o doing philosophy so ar it is done within the ambit o rationality andempirically $eriiable or alsiiable acts o history. /$en the orebears o analyticity in theritish tradition such as Thomas *obbes, ohn oc"e and 3a$id *ume had once used this $erytool in their theories about the de$elopment o ci$il society and go$ernment. arry *allen madethis point more succinctly that in philosophy% 4 novel speculation , cogent argumentation and conceptual analysisare the centres o our interest. The most we can reuire is thatspeculation be empirically rele$ant 6 that it oers a new perspecti$e on the human situation and the reality it conronts.7 2  The point we are trying to ma"e here is that where an e$ent did not all within thoserescued into written history, philosophy allows or a stretch o imagination guided by reason andlogic to recapture it. This is coupled with the act that 8no$el speculation9 as it eatures in theuote abo$e :italicied or emphasis by me; is the starting point o any ruitul philosophicaldiscussion. 'cience has inherited this speculati$e trait rom philosophy in the name o hypothesisand the dierence is just on the degree o sophistication base on "een obser$ation and logic.<een obser$ation and logic thereore are the major propellers o the conclusions drawn in thiswor".Also, naturalistic e!planation to a phenomenon ad$ocates logical coherence in the lowo the e!planatory analysis, a physicalist causal account o e$ent and a commitment to scientiice!planation. )n act,   =illiam ane >raig and .? ooreland put it more succinctly in the preaceto their  Naturalism# A $ritical Analysis  that 4any entities :in this case e$ent; that are ta"en to 3  e!ist should bear a rele$ant similarity to entities that characterie our best physical theories, their coming to be should be intelligible in the light o naturalist causal story and they should be"nowable by scientiic means.7   Our naturalistic approach in this paper ta"es cognisance o these points.ac" to the issue, it seems the mo$ie industry and the news media are not so silenced bythe phenomenon o money ritualism unli"e the academia. any o the home $ideos made in (ollywood B  today e!plain in details how the rituals o money are made. Though we can regardthem as wor"s o iction and imagination o men, many o the scenes correlates with the reportso the sur$i$ors o this dastardly act. *owe$er, the dearth o scholarly wor" ) mentioned abo$e isnot total, and in airness to the erudition o some thoughtul minds in our citadel o learning,some ha$e actually tried to e!plain the srcin howbeit tangential. Cor e!ample, +emi /lebuibonin one o his boo"s claims the idea o money ritualism might not ha$e srcinated rom  Ifa religion, neither is it rom +oruba belie system. *e belie$es that the practice might ha$e beenintroduced rom (upe or *ausa mullahs who prepare prosperity charm popularly called tira # 5  atalisman that can induce proitable sale. A paper with written Arabic language old into a smallsuare and tied with string is belie$ed to bring customers, sales and conseuently huge proitsthat can transorm a petty trader into an established capitalist. This orm o 4trade catalyst7 called tira , /lebuibon belie$es to be the oundation o the practise which metamorphosed into moneyritualism called o%l  s  e  . Other mild $ariants include  aa&'  or (w)re . *owe$er, we are not told o how this simple 4sale enhancement7 talisman transormed into this bloody human sacriice in thehistory o the people e$er since the ad$ent o )slam in west Arica, a period which cannot bemore than 500 years ago. 4  eo )gwe, a humanist o repute worried by the prolieration o this horrendous act was sohonest to declare that% 4) do not "now how (igerians came about this erroneous ideaD ) also belie$e the idea is erroneous too but how do we proo to this teeming unemployed youths thatthe idea is actually erroneous7 E  ore problematic is, how do we demonstrate that the idea behind money ritualism could ha$e a naturalistic or scientiic e!planation )n (igeria, especiallythe southern parts, it is neither uncommon nor surprising to hear o the handiwor" o body partsraiders who ma"e corpses to disappear rom mortuaries, cemeteries and hospital beds. There isalways ear in the air o marauding  gbmgbm o    o     that is, "idnapers who prey on school childrenespecially. )t is also important to note that while trade in human parts is a uni$ersal phenomenonor religious or scientiic purposes, trading in li$e human, cada$ers or body parts or magical purposes such as magical money seem peculiar to Arica. )n another o his articles online howe$er, eo )gwe lists a number o actors responsibleor this phenomenon which include% Feligion, 'uperstition and ?o$erty. G  (o doubt (igerians aredeeply religious. A deeply religious society will maniest supernaturalism, perhaps as a result o the act that Aricans tend to apply the principle o parsimony too uic"ly on mysterious e$ents. H Thus, eo9s obser$ation that 4(igeria is a society where most belies are still inormed byunreason dogmas, myth ma"ing, and magical thin"ing7 may not be ar rom the truth. /!treme po$erty is also a culprit in this case as well. 3aniel ordan 'mith also identiy ineualities as oneo the actors precipitating the practice. I  ut it is not only because our brain is hard wired toigure out solution to the pangs o hunger that leads people to throw away compassion, thegloriication o crass materialism as a sign o >od9s blessedness# remnant o -al$inistic ideology,could also precipitate the madness. 5
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