|It seems to me that both "survival" and "flourishing" require the actor to take some risks, for life is inherently risky. The question of what risks are worth taking, or what level of risk one should accept in his endeavors, depends partly on one's circumstances and personality. But in every case, my understanding is that one can identify an approproiate balance of risk to reward. So hang gliding, saddle bronc riding,driving race cars, or jockeying thoroughbreds through a steeple chase might be appropriate for someone who is young, single, childless, athletic, experienced, and carefully and skillfully attentive to all the details that mitigate risk if dealt with properly, or amplify risk if dealt with carelessly. For some, achieving various skills that involve risk might enhance their happiness and personal development. For others, those endevours might well involve foolhardy and lethal risks. |
I doubt that a good case can be made for taking up smoking, because there are lots of other ways to enjoy pleasure without the health risk. As to whether or not coal mining involves unacceptable risks, that probably depends on the availability of alternative work opportunities. In the US, work opportunities abound, so coal mining might be a poor choice. In China or Tibet, coal mining might present the only work, as contrasted with extreme financial deprivation.