Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Homosexuality and Cultural Change: Mill and Whitehead

The entire history of social improvement has been a series of transitions, by which one custom or institution after another, from being a supposed primary necessity of social existence, has passed into the ranks of a universally stigmatized injustice and tyranny.                                                                                                                                                                      John Stuart Mill
Happened with slavery, denial of vote to women, and segregation, and now with gay rights.
It is the first step in sociological wisdom, to recognize that the major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur: -- like unto an arrow in the hand of a child. The art of free society consists first in the maintenance of the symbolic code; and secondly in fearlessness of revision, to secure that the code serves those purposes which satisfy an enlightened reason. Those societies which cannot combine reverence to their symbols with freedom of revision, must ultimately decay either from anarchy, or from the slow atrophy of a life stifled by useless shadows.
                                                           Alfred North Whitehead        

 Sorry, Tony Perkins, you are on the wrong side of history fighting a lost cause.  The moral code is being revised to serve the purposes of enlightened reason.

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