There is a big difference in asking “Are we free?” and “Are we really free?” Our unconscious mind determines our actions and decisions more than we realize and at times causes of our personal and professional choices. It can happen that most of our decisions are not our free choices but obedience to past conditioning or social pressure.
What is freedom anyway? Is it doing whatever one wants? In other words, any restriction or rule is seen as anti-freedom. But suppose there is a person who is not insane but quite convinced that he must make the human sacrifice to please God.Would you allow this person “to do what he want ”the answer will be certainly “no”.
For famous Philosopher Jean Paul Sartre human freedom is something which is absolute.Human being should never surrender even the slightest shred of personal autonomy to any norm or rule, however, noble or spiritual it may sound.
According to Victor Frankl man’s last and greatest freedom, that freedom which nobody can take away from him was “the freedom to make meaning”. A person can be unjustly imprisoned, deprived of freedom of speech and basic fundamental rights but still, he/she is free to make whatever meaning they can make out of their condition.
To understand freedom in a more positive sense , freedom is nothing but mastery over one’s actions.Its gaining self-autonomy, I am free if I have control over my emotions, harmful urges, and ignorant drives.Mastery over self can only bring permanent peace and joy to human life.