President Barack Obama today weighed in on the long-running Abbot-Royce dispute, which has festered for over 120 years.
Dr. Francis Ellingwood Abbot claimed in 1891 that Dr. Royce's review of his book "The Way out of Agnosticism" falsely accused Abbot of plagiarizing the works of Hegel. Obama today sided with Abbot, issuing a Presidential Proclamation affirming the originality of Abbot's work and condemning the false accusation of Royce.
In "The Way out of Agnosticism", Abbot advanced his original concept of religious belief based on observable fact, rather than on intellectual and conceptual ideas, as a way to resolve the conflict between religious faith and the scientific method.
Royce's harsh review accused Abbot of "borrowing" his ideas from Hegel, and "sinning against the demands of literary property rights". However, his supports for these accusations of plagiarism were always thin. He cited only that both Hegel and Abbot used the common terminology "concrete". Abbot responded that Hegel used the term in an entirely different sense than he used it.
Obama's proclamation noted that Hegel used the term "concrete" in the sense that the previous administration might say, "We have concrete evidence of WMD's in Iraq."
Hegel, like Bush, Cheney, Powell and Rice, has to put upon the word "concrete" a very unusual, strained, and artificial sense, in order to cover up the weakest point of their idealistic system. In his works, Hegel explained the strange interpretation of "concrete" unambiguously: "A concept or notion must be always called 'abstract', if the term 'concrete' must be limited to the mere concrete of sensation and immediate perception; a notion, as such, cannot be grasped by the hands, and, when we deal with it, eyes and ears are out of the question. Yet…the notion is the only true concrete."
Obama, on the contrary, prefers Abbot's use of the word, about which Abbot said, "To me, nothing which cannot be seen, heard or touched is 'concrete' at all."
Dr. Royce, then an assistant professor of Harvard University, also asserted that the ideas advanced in Abbot's book were "basically idealistic", while Abbot maintains on the contrary that they are based in realism, and are "entirely contradictory to idealism".
Gay activists urging the president to promptly end the "don't ask-don't tell" policy were livid that the president was expending his clout on such an obscure historical issue while his spokesmen claim that he has too much on his plate to take up their concerns.
The administration responded that gays simply aren't very popular, but promised to renew their efforts as the next election cycle heats up. "Addressing such a divisive issue now would be idealistic, but I am a realist," said Obama."
The Abbot-Royce issue has finally been resolved after over 120 years, so gays should have no doubt that their concerns will eventually be addressed.