Although man walks about the face of the earth unfettered,he is, however, not free.
In every part of the world, human beings, on a daily basis carry out different activities. Some of these activities, such as talking or breathing, have become so routinal that they are assumed to be man's second nature. They are common to all mankind, irrespective of station, race, culture or language and are, therefore, taken for granted. Not many people, if at all, bother to ask whether man is a free agent or that he's being controlled by some 'forces' beyond him to do what he does or omit to do or to find himself under certain circumstances he didn't willingly put himself.I want to argue that though man's feet may not be manacled and though a physical handcuff may not be dangling from his hands, yet man is not free for the following reasons:
1.Choice of parents: A child finds itself on earth and discovers that Mr MAN and Mrs or Miss WOMAN are the vehicle through which it got here. It is absolutely an imposition. No one consulted the child to find out whether it preferred the couple or another, whether it wanted a red-skinned father and not a black-complexined one or whether it would have come into the world by itself or through some agent.By that imposition whether it likes the condition or not the child must share the genetic history of its parents.
2.Origin: It doesn't matter the number of men who have sexual liaisons with the woman only one sperm cell out of the contending millions will eventually fertilize the woman's ovum( that too, the lucky one) Who knows how free and fair the race was? Who knows whether Boy 'A' or Girl 'B' would have been the result of that union and not 'X' or 'Y' as the case may be?
3.Environmental 'Irascibility": We know that environmental factors such as the taking of noxious drugs by the pregnant woman can predispose her unborn child to danger . In other words, chromosomal structure, architecture, number and wellbeing are affected by what I call environmental 'irascibility'.' Thus, we may have such pre-birth abmormalities as (i)deletion, eg in Turner's syndrome(ii)pericentric inversiion(a structural change reversing the order of the genes (iii)repetition of chromosomes as in the XYY of the Klinefelter's syndrome (iv)reciprocal translation or structural alteration of chromosomes as in Down's syndrome, all of which are kinds of mutation. So the child is born monstrous or abnormal without his consent.
4.Gender: Whether a child is to be born a male, female or a hermaphrodite is entirely out of its conrol.
5.The Will: One can only act according to the impact of an object or the motive that acts upon his senses and reproduced by his brain. If he doesn't act according to a particular impulse it's because a more compelling one places the original impulse in abeyance, eg a man running across a busy highway. Whether he runs across the road or refrains from doing so, the two actions are equally necessary. Each is the effct of the most powerful motive. Is man in control of his desires? Can he resist them? It depends on the strength of the desires. It is easy to tell a man to resist or conquer his passion or habit. But if we consider his background, orientation,education,environment, culture and biological make-up, we'll realize that man is a slave to his passions. That is the reason why violence, imprisonment, corporal punishment, banishment and other forms of societal sanctions have not been able to tame man's restless spirit.Otherwise, our prisons will be empty and earth will be a paradigm of heaven.
6.Man's 'trinity':Almost all religions teach that man is a three-in-one personality and the spirit, flesh and soul war against one another.
7.The complexity of man:The human body, we are told, comprises of as many as 100 million million individual living cells, each of which is a multiple mass of loosely-held molecules.Yet each of these lifeless bodies cohere together to form a cell in such a wonderful symbiotic arrangement. Magnificent as all this is the human being is not party to any of it and may be ignorant of of his make-up.
CONCLUSION: How do you convince a pathological criminal to become repentant? How do you go about telling a fanatic to be temperate? What argument will make a glutton to give up greed? In summary, the actions of man are the necessary consequence of his biological make-up,his environment,education,orientation and practical experience. Man is not and can never be free. Man deludes himself to be free because he is compelled by circumstances and forces stronger than him to struggle against destruction and annihilation.