Safety with respect to?

. . .[Lucretius] imagines observing, from the safety of the shore, other people who are at peril on the storm-tossed sea. . .

Hans Blumenberg (1997). Shipwreck with Spectator: Paradigm of a metaphor for existence. Translated by Steven Rendall, The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA

Is safety on the ship (say, before the shipwreck) the same kind of safety as on the shore (say, before the earthquake)? Are we unsafe in the same way when tossed across the ship or across the road by the respective events?

No, this is not a matter of comparing risks. Reducing risks need have nothing to do with increasing safety.

That informed people continue to stay in earthquake zones and sail in stormy seas even if they can move away from both tells you something about their preferences for safety. But it is safety with respect to the known unknowns of where they live and work versus safety with respect to unknown-unknowns of “getting away.” Unknowns, not risks.

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