First Scholastic Approach: Weakening the Reach of Ori
One attempt at making sense of the Yoruba worldview is to vitiate what the creation account appears to say Orí is, often by redefining it. In fairness to the scholars who take this approach, Yoruba literary corpus has instances that appear to weaken Ori as an unalterable, all-pervading force that governs humans’ lives. For instance, consider the following Yoruba saying:
At face value, the Yoruba creation narrative seems to embrace pre-determinism, the view that all events that occur in an individual’s life have already been pre-ordained. Determinism is another view that will come up often in the following discussion. Determinism is the view that all events are inevitable consequences of antecedent sufficient causes. Rephrased, this view asserts that every event results from some prior causes, and if we were to know these causes, we can know the future with certainty. Determinism is best championed in the physical sciences, especially physics where everything is explained by causal relations. A philosophical problem resulting from these doctrines, pre-determinism and determinism, is the denial of free-will. If all events are rigidly pre-ordained, this implies that there is nothing individuals can do to change any detail of an event. If people cannot do something about life pre-ordained events, it would seem like they cannot be justly praised or blamed for anything. But the Yoruba worldview affirms, on the one hand, that people can be praised or blamed for what they do; it also seems to teach predestination. These two views are quite contradictory.