Formulation and Opposed Views
Probabilism is one way of approaching difficult matters of conscience. In such cases, according to probabilism, one may safely follow a doctrine approved by a recognized Doctor of the Church, even if the opposite opinion is more probable as judged by other considerations, such as scientific considerations or many other recognized authoritative opinions.
A more radical view, "minus probabilissimus", holds that an action is permissible if a single opinion allowing that action is available, even if the overwhelming weight of opinion proscribes it. This view was advanced by the Spanish theologian Bartolomé de Medina (1527–1581) and defended by many Jesuits such as Luis Molina (1528–1581). It was heavily criticised by Blaise Pascal in his Provincial Letters as leading to moral laxity.
Opposed to probabilism are:
- probabiliorism (Latin probabilior, "more likely"), which holds that when there is a preponderance of evidence on one side of a controversy one is obliged to follow that side
- tutiorism (Latin tutior, "safer"), which holds that in case of doubt one must take the morally safer side
Read more about this topic: Catholic Probabilism
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