• Eaton, "Together, Yet Apart"
• Eaton, "Future Shock"
Charles Le Gai Eaton Remembering God “Together, Yet Apart” pp. 76-84
1. The democratic legislator, if he wishes to be re-elected, must go with the tide of public opinion, and public opinion is governed by personal, subjective feelings; in effect by likes and dislikes. This tide is, in itself, mysterious, and there are those who have suggested that there is a kind of "psychological virus" which spreads through a whole society. It certainly seems as though we "catch" opinions in the way that we catch influenza. How else can one account for the fact that one generation will completely reverse the opinions—that is to say the "feelings"— of the previous generation, approving what was formerly condemned and condemning what was previously approved? Homosexuality is a case in point. When I was young homosexuals were sent to prison, but the general opinion was that they ought to be shot or castrated. Today disapproval of sexual deviation—even if this disapproval is based on unalterable religious principles—is described as "homophobia". Can one really believe that millions of people, "thinking for themselves" as they are commanded to do in the modern age, have come independently to almost identical opinions in this matter? That would be an extraordinary coincidence. In whatever terms we define the wind which drives such changes in the Zeitgeist, there can be no stability in a legal system which responds from day to day only to passing fancies.
2. Since likes and dislikes are decisive in the framing this torrent of legislation, there is a question that has to be asked: do most people in the West like to be free? Certainly they do, provided there is no price tag attached to freedom. As soon as the cost becomes apparent, other considerations take precedence including, as I mentioned earlier, safety, but including also convenience, efficiency and, above all, the principle most passionately...