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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Dilbert” Wants 49% of Us to Die in Agony



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The Dilbert cartoon brilliantly satirizes our dysfunctional work environments in which bosses are stupid and workers are demoralized or just plain nuts. The strip is one of my favorites. Imagine my dismay to learn that Scott Adams, Dilbert’s creator, says he literally “hates my [f-word] guts” and that he wishes me “to die a long and horrible death.”

Not only that, Adams wants 49 percent of our  fellow citizens to die horrible deaths. That includes members of the American Medical Association, disability-rights activists from Not Dead Yet, and Ted Kennedy’s widow, Victoria. Also Ralph Nader, Bill Clinton, Pope Francis. Oh, and add in my wife, the San Francisco Chronicle political columnist, Debra J. Saunders.

Considering his words, he must be happy that my last hospice patient, Robert Salamanca, died slowly of ALS. He must revel in the slow death of John Paul II, who went into a long period of pronounced decline before expiring. 

Adams doesn’t know me, nor I presume, any of the other people I mentioned.  But he hates us. Why? We are on record (or, in the case of the 49 percent, have been polled by Pew) as opposing doctor-assisted suicide, and that means nothing is too bad or painful to befall us. 

You see his father was extremely ill, and Adams wanted to kill him — but couldn’t under the law. So, he hates us for “​torturing”​ his father. From his blog, “I Hope My Father Dies Soon”:

Let me say this next part as clearly as I can. If you’re a politician who has ever voted against doctor-assisted suicide, or you would vote against it in the future, I hate your [f-word] guts and I would like you to die a long, horrible death. I would be happy to kill you personally and watch you bleed out. I won’t do that, because I fear the consequences. But I’d enjoy it, because you mother[f-word] are responsible for torturing my father…

I’m okay with any citizen who opposes doctor-assisted suicide on moral or practical grounds. But if you have acted on that thought, such as basing a vote on it, I would like you to die a slow, horrible death too. You and the government are accomplices in the torturing of my father, and there’s a good chance you’ll someday be accomplices in torturing me to death too.

Imagine, if a pro-life public figure ever said he hoped pro-choice politicians and activists died an agonizing death. Or if one opposed to same-sex marriage said something similar about marriage-equality proponents . . .

Adams slips in a matter, which I have noticed in much advocacy for euthanasia and assisted suicide, that rarely gets much attention:

I know that many of my fellow citizens have legitimate concerns about doctor-assisted suicide. One can certainly imagine greedy heirs speeding up the demise of grandma to get the inheritance. That would be a strong argument if doctor-assisted suicide wasn’t already working elsewhere with little problems, or if good things in general (such as hospitals and the police) never came with their own risks.

In other words, Adams wants what he wants for his father, and doesn’t care who else gets hurt. By the way, there is no indication from Adams’s piece that his father, who has since died, asked to be made dead. 

And anyone who has read my work over the last 20 years knows that euthanasia and assisted suicide laws are hardly “​working elsewhere with little problems.”​ Adams either doesnt care about the horrors that have been abundantly documented, or is utterly ignorant but feels free to hate those with whom he disagrees anyway. Take your pick. 

Adams concludes with this reaffirmation of his view:

I’m okay with any citizen who opposes doctor-assisted suicide on moral or practical grounds. But if you have acted on that thought, such as basing a vote on it, I would like you to die a slow, horrible death too. You and the government are accomplices in the torturing of my father, and there’s a good chance you’ll someday be accomplices in torturing me to death too.

My wife interviewed Adams for a piece she wrote about his diatribe. He kept his word, telling her he hoped she died painfully. So too Victoria Kennedy, as both women are “part of the bad guys.” Apparently, Adams believes that everything would be okay in the world if people who disagree with him would just die!

One final thought: Adams’s grief is no excuse for such vile and quasi-threatening advocacy. I have seen parents of murdered children with more grace than that. Our character expresses itself in extreme conditions. Good grief. 



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