RELIGION, HUMAN LIFE AND MORALITY: A CASE OF THE PERENNIAL RITUAL KILLINGS IN GHANA
One of the plethora of challenges facing Africa is recurrent ritual killings/murders. Although Africans crave for a philosophical worldview that protects human life and advocate for good moral values in society, they are now caught up in the quagmire of perennial ritual killings which is an affront to their moral disposition. The case in Ghana, a sub-Saharan African country is not different. Ritual killing in this sense refers to the situation whereby human beings are killed for money making or other overt purposes such as getting vital human organs for sale. For some time now, Ghanaians have experienced cases of ritual murders which calls for critical attention. Three cases in point have been examined in this study and the Akan philosophical view on human life and morality has been used as the basis for discussion. This is a qualitative study which employ sphenomenological method through in-depth interviews to solicit views from participants in Kasoa in the Central Region of Ghana to find out if there is a convergence between religion, morality, and ritual killings in Ghana. It was contended that religion in itself is not a causative agent of ritual killings. Thus, religion does not promote or contribute to ritual killing or social malaise in the general sense. Instead, it is the abuse of religion that has the potential to contribute to social deviant behaviours such as ritual killings in Ghana. This assertion was premised on the basis that most of the perpetrators of manslaughter crimes attached ritualistic propensities to their ill-fated acts which were orchestrated by religious charlatans. The study conclusively recommended that Ghanaians in particular should go back to their roots and engage with their former sense of community that brought them together as one people. Through this, they shall see the grave difficulty in harming members of the same community through ritual killings.
Key words: Human life, morality, religion, ritual killings, sense of community.