Some Rigor about Rigorism
April 28, 2005 § 76 Comments
Rigorism, as I understand it, is a form of moral relativism. The moral character of an act is objective (even though culpability for an act does depend upon our knowledge of its moral character). But rigorism asserts that an act is immoral unless it is known to be morally good. The morality of an act is not an objective quality to the rigorist, but is relative to the knowledge of the person carrying out the act.
Laxism is the same sort of moral relativism applied in the reverse direction. Laxism asserts that an act is moral unless it is known to be morally bad.
So the problem with rigorism and laxism is not that one is too strict and the other too indulgent. The problem with rigorism and laxism is that they are both brownshirts in the dictatorship of relativism.