The moment people stop weighing values within a curtain regard and start thinking things within that regard are unquestionably moral, immoral good or bad, I believe they are thinking religiously. I’m not saying that as an insult, but rather as a mode of thinking. Several examples are leftists with environmentalism, the right with the military, and our whole culture in regards to safety.
Safety matters within a value spectrum. However, our culture’s view of safety is well outlined by the phrase we grew up with: “safety first.” When safety is first, risk taking must be further down the line. When safety is first, we are bad or irresponsible for merely thinking of it as one of many values … especially with our kids.
Safety often encourages neurotic fear within children and adults, and our constant focus on it makes people constantly afraid of life. Risk taking behavior is looked down upon and everyone starts losing focus of all other values.
Safety also encourages relief from government, often in the form of regulation. Since government can provide the auspice of certainty in an uncertain world, people will run to it for safety. What does it cost? No one cares with safety. The cost isn’t considered and other values go out the window.
Most concerns with safety are bullshit. One of the big problems is that our society speaks of all safety measures with the same dire expression, that most people are unable to properly weigh what safety measures really are a good idea and which is irrational safety policing from neurotic busybodies.
Sure, wear a seat belt on a two hour drive. Don’t wash your fruit before eating it. Let your kids go outside and talk to strangers.