11-13] Essentially a guide to making a moral judgment when conflicting strong arguments coexisted, probabilism describes a continuum of moral reasoning--from laxism
at one extreme to tutiorism at the other.
On May 1, 1913, editor in chief de Grandmaison wrote in his annual report to the "Patronage Committee of Etudes," among others, about a letter he had recently received from his superior general, Franz-Xavier Wernz: "[He] wished to assure me that no one had called attention to anything in [our] journals that might have given rise to suspicions of laxism
To be graceful and merciful like Jesus, both rigourism and laxism
are to be avoided; so too "hostile rigidity" of conservatives and "destructive good-will" of liberals.
39) In theory, the state's enlightened reforms that focused on economic prosperity and progress would have been better accommodated by the Jesuitical side of Catholic Enlightenment with its optimism regarding human nature and disposition towards moral laxism
Most famously, Blaise Pascal, in his 1660 Provincial Letters, viciously assaulted what he saw as Jesuit laxism
in faith and morals by ridiculing casuistry.
Pascal's sometimes-unfair attack on the Jesuits' morality is fueled by his conviction that their wicked and scandalous logic must be rebutted by an equally scandalous disclosure of their laxism
and accommodation to worldly corruption.
While industrialized nations blame developing governments for their laxism
and failure to act against the sexual use of children, developing countries blame industrialized governments for letting their nationals create a large demand.
constructs a narrative of the polemic and its various stages up to the condemnation of laxism
in 1700 by the General Assembly of the French Clergy.
First, he traces the diversity of moral thought from laxism
to rigorism (tutiorism), and especially the "moderate probabalist" position of Alphonsus Liguori.
11) Julia Fleming is less bothered by contemporary debates and offers wise counsel: "Anyone nonplussed by the recent 'method wars' can take comfort in the fact that moral dispute was not a twentieth-century invention, as the exchanges concerning Jansenism, laxism
, probabilism, and probabiliorism copiously demonstrate.
106) In this way, the casuist's art steers the often narrow middle course between the minimalist tendencies of laxism
and the legalistic tendencies of rigorism.