(First of all, I posted much of what I post here on another thread, though, on that one, I take a slightly different angle on the matter than I do here.)
Depending on risk to property, livelihood, or, most importantly, life due to the possibility ofnatural disasters ofvarious kinds, can it be sinful to live in certain locations? Can it be sinful to live in some locations with more risk to them but not sinful to live in otehrs with less risk?
Here are some scenarios I thought of:
Especially today, when we don’t all need to live close to the water to sustain our lives, is living close to the water’s edge, say, for the beauty of the area, a sin because doing so leads to increased risk to life and loss of property due to the possibility of flooding that would not otherwise exist if one lived further inland and/or on higher ground?
Is living in an area of volcanic activity such as the Big Island in Hawai’i or on Sicily near Mt. Aetna or under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius simply because of the beauty of these places to be considered sinful because of the increased risk of volcanic eruptions that could result in loss of life and/or property/livelihood? What about living on land even formed by previous volcanic activity because there is some risk of such areas at some point coming out of their dormancy? (I’m thinking again of Hawai’i and, specifically, those who live in the crater of Diamond Head on O’ahu. …Yes, there are people who liver there. I’ve seen it myself. Granted, the volcano has been dormant for some time. Still, there is always some risk, is there not, that it could become active again at any time?)
Is living in an area more prone to earthquakes sinful because of risk (albeit low) of loss of life and the higher risk of loosing property? What if you really enjoy the climate such as that which we find in various areas of California? Is that sufficient reason to stay there instead of moving to another location?
What about tornadic activity? Should we try to avoid certain areas of the country/world because of that increased risk, especially if our motivation for living there is based merely on liking the scenery?
What about living by the seaside and the risk of hurricanes?
In any of these scenarios, are the beauty of a place, the desire to not have to relocate or the love of the community built in these places good enough reasons to risk one’s life in the eyes of the Church?
Obviously, I know that, if we were to avoid all these places, mankind (or, at least, Christians) would likely have to do mass re-location and the world could get a lot more crowded. Indeed, whole nations would have to be uprooted? So, is living in one place listed above acceptable while living in another is not? Should we, for instance, take the earthquake option over the volcanic option because of the lesser risk to life in the first case? Are we even at all permitted to live inc certain locations, say, such as in immediately volcanic surroundings such as in Diamond Head crater or below Vesuvius, because the risk to life/property is too high? Or, would God consider any such thing too impractical and, thus, not necessary?
Or, rather, is it acceptable to live in any of these places? If so, why, as it seems we are putting unnecessary risk on our lives and property? Are the “risk to life” statements of the Church grounded in any way on the “amount” of risk versus “any risk at all”? Or, rather, if there is “any” unnecessary risk to life, is any such risk to be avoided? What about loss of property/livelihood? What rules govern how much risk we are to take in those matters, particularly when it comes to deciding where to live?
Some would argue that, in Genesis, God wanted (or allowed) us to “fill the earth” and that this should mean “all” the earth, but, isn’t living in some places simply imprudent, especially if it is for reasons of personal pleasure such as the scenery? Indeed, these first few chapters in Genesis often come under question to begin with. Furthermore, we all know that, in Sacred Scripture, “all” does not necessarily always mean “all”, as in 100%, no more, no less, of the time. If “all” meant “all” in this case, perhaps we should be desiring to more fully populate Antarctica…
BTW, I would definitely appreciate it if you all could, if possible, address each of the above scenarios in light of the questions I’ve raised.