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The Human Being, God, and Moral Evil

Ada Agada


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.