Subjects Discussed: * "Black swans" of health and "The Dirty Dozen" * #1: Driving a car or motorcycle * #2: Riding an ATV * #3: Biking or jogging on public roads * #4: Flying a plane or helicopter yourself * #5: Getting into a fight * #6: Lighting a gas grill * #7: Diving into water * #8: Using ladders and chainsaws * #9: Retiring and building your dream house * #10: Allowing yourself to be forced into a car or trunk at gunpoint * #11: Staying in stressful relationships * #12: Winning the lottery * Dr. McGuff's history with risky sports * The risks of other sports * How to survive the ER.
Question: Is it a sacrifice for a soldier to fight for his country? Most people regard fighting for one's country to be a glorious sacrifice. The soldier risks life and limb, but gets little in return. Assuming a proper government and a justified war for self-defense, is serving in the military a sacrifice? And if so, is that sacrifice noble?
Question: Is it moral to smoke, drink, or eat unhealthy foods if one recognizes the costs of doing so? Suppose a friend makes a deliberate decision to eat foods he know to be unhealthy (such as frequent sugary desserts). He knows that it might harm his health, but he says that the personal enjoyment and satisfaction outweigh the risk of shortened lifespan and possible future harmful health effects. In other words, he claims he is making a rational choice to maximize his overall happiness. Is that moral?
Question: Should people give up their guns when they have kids? Many people think that having guns in the house with kids is terribly risky, if not child endangerment. They say that the kids might get to the guns, even if locked away, and injure or even kill themselves in an accidental discharge. Is that right? If parents choose to keep their guns in the house, what should they do to minimize the risk of injury?
Question: Are risky sports immoral? Some people engage in highly risky sports, such as freestyle skiing or snowboarding, mountain climbing in extreme conditions, surfing huge waves, skydiving, free (non-scuba) diving, super-technical mountain biking, and so on. Since life is the standard of value, is it wrong to risk your life (or limbs) in such pursuits? Should a person take pleasure in risks for its own sake? What is the value of such sports, if any?