Just like a diktat, which comes to effect, when pronounced by an authoritarian, we came into effect because 2 adults made love to each other with or without the consent and/or intention of bringing us into this chaotic world. Even if they had intentions, they didn’t specifically want to have YOU. They wanted to have a being which just turned out to be you. But are you – the real you? So, there you go – you’re not born free. You didn’t come into existence out of your free will. There is no freedom right from the first chapter.
Upon arriving : the elders, the society, the government, and million others who came before you play an active role in shaping you. After a certain age, if you choose to (again it is conditional upon myriad factors) to shape yourself, you shape yourself into someone who follows a particular path, which is more often than not an existing one in this world. I heard someone say something along the lines of “You don’t get the ideas, but the ideas get you”, which we can modify to, “You don’t choose the path, but the path chooses you”. Now the 2nd chapter of our life too is not designed by us. (note : neither us nor an “Intelligent Designer” can design such a chaotic world(lives) in first place)
The ending for our story was determined the day we turned out to be a sentient being. We all know about the ending, yet most of us don’t think about it until we face it. Again we didn’t choose this out of our own free will, yet there it is waiting for us. (one might ask about people ending their own lives, but more often than not, they are driven to it by external circumstances). Just like 3 acts of a play, our lives in all these acts were determined for us not by us. (note: unlike the text book definition of democracy – for the people, by the people, of the people, the real definition of our lives could be “for the others, by the others, of the others”). In case, If I am forced to prove that I choose something out of my own free will, I can cite only one instance : I choose in a restaurant whether to have a beer or wine? (stealing it from the master George Carlin & modifying it badly). That’s the amount of freedom you and I have got in our lives. We can delude ourselves into thinking we’re free, if that somehow takes us gently to the closing chapter of our lives.