chapter  13
Can BASEjumping be morally defended?
Pages 18

Modern society puts more and more weight on security and safety. In some ways life has become much safer and more secure, at least in Western societies. At the same time there are new dangers imposed by our industrialized society (Giddens, 1990). There are new sources of risk like nuclear weapons, chemical pollution and radioactivity. The increased perception and awareness of risk has lead Beck (1992) to call modern society ‘the risk society’. These authors talk about imposed risks that threaten our lives and therefore should be considered as negative factors in modern society. This line of argument is in keeping with most of the literature on risk related to risk management in business, technology and economy. Risk is normally considered as something negative and unacceptable that should be avoided (Yates and Stone, 1992). On the other hand risks also come as freely chosen risks in risk sports or extreme sports (Cashmore, 2000; Rinehart, 2000). Innovation and modern technology open up possibilities for new types of sports and activities. This type of risk often has a positive flavour for those who are involved in the activities (O’Connell, 1993).