This past Shabbat the Hopkins eruv was down and students had to use the ''Hopkins Mekom Ptor'' to carry their keys. There was some concern as to generating mockery by some people who may not fully grasp the halachic concept. I was not on campus for Shabbat so I do not know of such responses, but I hope that generally this is a false concern. Nevertheless, I think this is a good opportunity to present my argument as far as how to relate to some halachic concepts that may seem - well, let's be honest - simply weird.
Think of a random medieval character travelling in time and landing in some present day western or westernized country. I'm sure that many of the technological advancements that we so closely rely upon during our day-to-day endeavors would seem to him like witchcraft. Who knows how long, if it would at all be possible, it would take to convince this person that all that he sees around him is simply a manipulation of scientific laws of the universe. There are too many prerequisite pieces of information and experiences, which we today view as being mundane, that this person is lacking in order to fully understand what his eyes are seeing.
I say that Jewish law has its own "scientific" dynamic and set of rules. Just as physics and chemistry are a description of laws pertaining to the material world, so too halacha is an expression of spiritual laws that have been revealed through the Torah. I believe this to be true in regards to both biblical and rabbinic laws, as through extensive Talmud study and deep analysis of rabbinic law it can be shown that the rabbis were committed to a consistent set of rules and methods.
It seems that this type of outlook can explain many perplexing rules that we may come across within Jewish law. Among these I would include concepts such as leniencies that may be used only in case of great need or situations that allow what may seem as an attempt to totally bypass halacha. If you understand that these are all part of a systematic structure you may come to accept the notion that just as certain physical reactions may have very different outcomes depending on the surrounding conditions (e.g. underwater explosions compared with those in open air), so too certain halachic actions are permissible in specific circumstance but not in others.
There is much room to elaborate upon this issue and to discuss it at greater length, but I think this is a good start. I can almost hear the words of the great sage Hillel echoing: ''this is the entire Torah, the rest is its interpretation - go and learn!" (Talmud, Shabbat 31a).