Scott Adams, of Dilbert Fame, Wishes Agony and Torture Upon Us
The suspicion grows in me from time to time that materialism has a corrosive effect not only on our culture, in a general way, but in a much more specific manner on individual minds. The default of speaking and writing decently in public goes by the boards with an alarming frequency among those who give up on the idea that some kind of "overruling intelligence" (in Alfred Russel Wallace's phrase) guides life.
Our Discovery Institute colleague Wesley J. Smith, writing at National Review Online, brings forward the shocking case of Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams. Mr. Adams recently absorbed a grievous loss. His father suffered a long and grueling illness. Hours before the elder Mr. Adams passed away, the younger Adams wrote a horribly vindictive blog post wishing torture upon those -- some 49 percent of the adult population in the U.S. -- who oppose physician-assisted suicide.
In a moment of mercy, Adams grants that he would be willing to give a pass to those citizens who may be against laws like the one we have here in Washington State (the "Death with Dignity Act") but haven't actually voted in opposition to such legislation. For the rest of us, we should be cursed with agony and torment:
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.
This is hair-raising stuff. As Wesley points out, grief is no excuse for the kind of horrible hate-talk in which Scott Adams indulges himself. There's no justification
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.
I would add that, while Adams spares us the details of his father's illness, I know well what seeing such a thing entails for a son. I wrote in the Human Life Review about my own father's passing, about how the fact that his physician opposed hastening his death resulted in my dad, after being in what was regarded as a hopeless coma for months, waking up for some time. He was able to say a good many things (or anyway, write them) that would have been denied to him and to his family had others, including his own nurses, succeeded in their own preference to kill him, "with dignity."
Life is a fact that many people regard with awe. That is a feeling that comes more naturally if you entertain the idea that our existence reflects some purpose and design at work in the cosmos, rather than its resulting from mere chance and necessity. Ideas have consequences, as Scott Adams's public performance reminds us.
Image: Scott Adams/Wikpedia.