How Much Risk Is Enough?

I've been reading a blog called AdventureFaith, which is directed toward Christians who participate in extreme sports such as surfing, rock climbing, etc. There are some interesting discussions of how the thrill we get from doing these things relates to our faith.

A couple of weeks ago I read this post about the three climbers who were just lost on Mt Hood. This story had caught my interest since I've climbed that mountain myself. I was a fairly enthusiastic climber in the past but don't do it anymore. I left a comment at the AdventureFaith post explaining why I made that decision. Other readers left some rather passionate reactions.

To summarize my own position: we can't eliminate risk from our lives, but we should be prudent and reasonable in the risks we take. I greatly enjoyed my climbing days, and I've done other things like skydiving and motocross. I have never tried surfing because I'm afraid of sharks. Strange, I know - I can hang by my fingers hundreds of feet in the air and not think twice about it, but being in the same ocean with big hungry fish bothers me. Go figure.

Anyway, the point is that these activities carry above-average risk of death. That was fine when I was a single guy. Now I have a family that depends on me, and I have a responsibility to take care of myself and avoid unnecessary risks. So no more climbing for me; blogging is now my hobby.

The editor of AdventureFaith wants to renew the discussion in this post. I've left another comment and the discussion is now widening to questions of predestination, free will, and the definition of suicide. Check it out and leave your own thoughts.

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