The existence of witches is a socio-cultural given, an concept that has been taken with no consideration throughout societies and communities in Nigeria. Any try and query the existence of witches is basically seen as a foolhardy train that hardly yields any ‘useful’ outcome or alters the truth of witchcraft within the minds of believing of us. And that’s the place the issue lies. Witchcraft is a taboo matter, typically positioned off the record of points for dialogue. This behavior of culturally shielding the existence of witches from essential examination and inquiry has predisposed the Nigerian society to so many ills and troubles together with exploitation, extortion, and abuse by witch hunters. This piece is an try to interrupt that cultural taboo and broach a forbidden and feared matter. It unpacks the assumed actuality of witchcraft and throws open the query and debate on the existence/non-existence of witches. Without mincing phrases, I state clearly that witches, as believed within the Nigerian society, don’t exist. Witches should not able to being as supposed, and as postulated.
What do I imply? To reply the query, allow us to make clear the which means of the time period, exist.
From the French phrase exister and the Latin phrase, exsistere, to exist means to face out. Thus, to exist, a being should stand out by itself; it should stand out from others. Its standing or being doesn’t rely on a specific particular person’s perception or disbelief, acceptance or rejection, approval or disapproval. A being that exists stands with out and never inside a topic. A being that exists is there for anybody to come across and expertise. Existence will not be predicated on a subjective situation or circumstance. Existence is intersubjective, trans-subjective and goal. Existence is intramental, which depends on the processes of the thoughts and extramental, which is impartial of the psychological processes. Even although intramentality and extramentality of beings are debatable propositions, suffice it to say that to exist a being will not be solely intramental however attracts its intramentality from its extramentality.
Now the issue with the existence of witches as understood within the Nigerian society is ontological. It is unclear what sort of being a witch is. Or higher it’s tough to determine which class of being witches belong. Are witches human pure beings? Or are they non secular supernatural entities? To witch believers, witches are each human and superhuman, pure and supernatural, embodied and disembodied entities. But are beings with such markers doable, tenable and existable? No, in no way. A being can’t be materials and immaterial on the similar time. Natural and supernatural essences can’t coexist in an entity besides as an train in fantasy, absurdity, and self-contradiction. A essential take a look at supposed witches’ operations and actions reveals a few of these absurdities and stark contradictions. For occasion, believers declare witches fly out at evening to destroy different people and their estates. In some cultures, believers say that they use witch-planes or winnowing baskets to fly round. These are units that can’t even float on the air. Witches carry out non secular and mystical flights to their covens or to locations the place they perform occult actions together with inflicting accidents, ailments, miscarriage, infertility, and dying. Believers declare that witches are able to bodily mendacity or sleeping on their beds specifically areas and on the similar time spiritually transferring round within the communities and past sucking blood, and destroying different folks’s well being, lives, marriages and companies. Believers say that Nigerian/African witches are able to touring so far as Europe and America to perpetrate magical hurt.
I imply, that is utter nonsense. Witchcraft claims don’t make any scientific and commonsensical sense. In reality, individuals who make such claims should be taken to a hospital for some psychological well being evaluation. First of all, no human being has the ability to bilocate or to be in two locations on the similar time. As cost-saving and energy-efficient as this may very well be particularly for kids, aged folks and individuals who’re residing with disabilities, people haven’t any such capabilities. For a witch to be sleeping or mendacity bodily in a single location and destroying lives and property in one other location, the witch have to be able to bilocation. In Incidentally, there has not been any confirmed occasion of bilocation of any witch or any of the godmen and ladies who declare to have supernatural powers. Again, many hinge their perception within the existence of witches on the notion that witches flip into birds, cats, and canines to carry out their occult actions. They attribute turning into animals or bugs as an illustration of a supernatural feat. There have been cases the place a witch allegedly was a chook or a chook supposedly was an aged lady in Lagos. People immediately kill suspected birds or cats to neutralize the supposed occult powers of the witches. There isn’t any proof that people can flip into cats and canines as witch believers declare. There has not been a confirmed occasion the place an individual is discovered to be otherwise embodied at a specific time. Such claims are baseless superstitions and fabrications. I imply what occult sense or efficiency lies in turning oneself into an animal or an insect that may very well be killed, to hurt one other when the witch supposedly has the ability to hold out such actions with out assuming any materials or animal type? How does one distinguish pure from supernatural witch-animals? At greatest, witch-animals are fantasies, imaginary entities that aren’t rooted in organic science or actuality.
Furthermore, a declare that believers use to justify the existence of witches is that witches present explanations for tragic experiences comparable to sudden dying, accidents, terminal or incurable illnesses, and unhealthy luck. These tragic happenings are believed to be the handiwork, the craft, of witches. Thus for believers, witches exist as a result of they’re answerable for mysterious harms within the society. Witches are evil inflicting brokers. But does the existence of witches present a believable clarification for unlucky experiences? Do witches trigger misfortunes as many consider? I don’t assume so. Just check out this specific case. While researching for my doctoral thesis, a distinguished feminine politician in Ghana informed me that the daughter who was residing within the US branded her a witch. The daughter was married for a very long time and couldn’t conceive. She went to a church the place a pastor claimed that the mom was answerable for her lack of ability to conceive. The daughter confronted her with the allegation. However, shortly after the incident, the daughter took in and later gave beginning to a toddler. According the lady, the accusation disappeared. She ceased being a witch. So, witches should not have actual existence as believers declare. Witches are human creations and supply solutions the place human beings lack evidence-based data or causal explanations, or the place such solutions or explanations are deemed unsatisfactory. Witches don’t stand out as beings with distinct qualities and causal potentialities. They should not able to the powers which can be ascribed to them together with powers to inflict hurt on different people and their property.
Yes, witches are unattainable and inexistable beings.
Igwe wrote from Lagos.