Philosophy: Africa and Europe

Published on 8th December 2009

By Charles M. Six
President, Ending Stereotypes for America


It's astounding that people can believe that Africans, because of their so called witch-doctors--who were basically physicians and herbalists-- are and were more primitive philosophically and religiously than other ethnic groups, especially considering that Europeans and Americans sacrificed thousands of people because of their fear of witchcraft and the supernatural. It’s also ironic that the Western world sometimes believes it is more advanced spiritually than pagan Africa because they are monotheistic, yet Christianity has its roots in the dark skinned Mid-East, and the type of Christianity practiced in the Western world stems from the philosophy of Augustine of Hippo, a North African. Yet because of the classic Orwellian Doublethink, that type of hypocrisy is possible--especially concerning ethnicity and religion.


As I have shown in other chapters, human sacrifice and cannibalism was commonplace among Europeans.1 Below are a few quotes that from men who witnessed these sacrifices first hand:


"I was reluctant to pry into the details of this sacrifice…Let them be as they are and were from the beginning."


Greek traveler-writer Pausanias describing the tribal ritual of the Arkadians, a people to the North of Rome, who would kill, dismember and devour their children.2


"Concerning this island, I have nothing further to tell…except that its inhabitants are more savage than the Britons, since they are man-eaters….they count it an honorable thing, when their fathers die, to devour them, and openly to have intercourse with their mothers and sisters." 


Greek geographer, Strabo, in 7BC on the Celts in Ireland.3


"They believe that the execution of those who have been caught in the act of theft or robbery or some crime is more pleasing to the immortal gods, but when the supply of such fails they resort to the execution of the innocent."


Caesar on the Gauls located in France, Caesar, VI, 164


Some common practices among the white Europeans are hard to imagine. A clan in Ireland inaugurated their kings by having sex with a horse. Geraldus Cambrenis, at the end of the 12th century, recorded that this tradition was still practiced.5 The Scythians in Russia used human skulls as drinking cups, and sowed human scalps together as cloaks. "The Scyth is proud of these scalps and hangs them from his bridle-rein," recorded Herodotus. "The greater the number of such napkins that a man can show, the more highly is he esteemed among them."6


It wasn't until Christianity spread throughout dark Europe that these horrifying practices were quelled and finally ended. Despite the change witchcraft, pagan rituals, and sorcery still remained very much a part of European society. Basil Davidson gives the following summary of witchcraft in medieval Europe:


"Africa, long thought of by Europeans as a breeding ground for the occult, was more than matched by Europe, with its own manias for alchemy, astrology and witch burning. In the 15th Century, superstitious parishioners often danced among the graves in churchyards in hopes of protecting themselves from the plague--while the skulls of plague victims peered quizzically at them. During the same period, Germany was burning an average of two witches a day.”


Europeans, moreover, were constantly duped by promises of miraculous transformations and cures. Elixirs of life, magnets to attract diseases from the body, magic potions and healing fragments of the, 'true Cross," were common. Even such prominent intellectuals as Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon searched relentlessly for the philosopher's stone, the mystical charm of alchemy supposed to transform dross into gold. Yet despite all their delusions, Europeans thought of themselves as paragons of dignity and sensibility--while regarding faraway Africans as frightened primitives and painted witch doctors."7


Christian Ethiopia, on the other hand, was much more in tune with modern day western religious thought than their European counterparts.8 "Eschatology and mysticism," Cambridge historian Iliffe affirmed, "were less prominent than in European Christianity." 9 Even among the pagan societies, Iliffe recorded that a, "Demand for constant validation by success made many African skeptical of religious claims."10


I can just hear people watching the movie, Shaka Zulu, when a chunk of a traitors arm was cut off in a witchcraft like ceremony, muttering, "savages," or "those people are sick,"-referring to the innate nature of blacks, but when watching, "The Crucible," about the Salem Witch Trials, proclaiming in astonishment, "I can't believe those people (referring just to those individuals committing the acts) are doing that." It reminds me of a comment Bill Cosby made, which goes something like this: If an old white drunk falls off a chair, it's just an old drunk falling off the chair, but if it's a old black drunk falling off the chair, it's the whole damn race. Massive genocide, inhumane cruelties, and silly mysticism has gone on in every region, including America, yet when it occurs in a black nation people often attribute it to the innate nature of black people, which is of course ridiculous.




1Poe, 14

2Poe, 14

3Poe, 14

4Poe, 7

5Cahill, 135

6Poe, 7

7Davidson, Basil. African Kingdoms. New York: Time, Inc., 1966, 105

8Iliffe, 61

9Iliffe, 61

10Iliffe, 87



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