When in Rome…Cheat on Your Wife

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Talk to My Dad About His Affair.” The New York Times Magazine,  13 Dec, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/magazine/can-i-talk-to-my-dad-about-his-affair.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Dear Anthony Kwame Appiah,

What vapid advice. Do not encourage this young person to seek justice when the rest of the human world is unjust. Do not seek controversy. Settle! Settle for the truth and the comfort of adultery. In fact, this is what I would tell your anonymous submitter: While your concern for your parents is sweet, and the strain on your relationship with your father is troubling, there is truly nothing for you to worry about. Your parents will grow old and die, and someday so will you. Keep your mother’s word, keep the affair a secret, and live happily! There is no end to seeking the truth and ignorance is, in my experience, the most rewarding path. Your father was bound to cheat on your mother. What is the use of stability in marriage? What is the use of fidelity. Do not be faithful- explore the world for surely your husband will to. Humans were not created for monogamy- enjoy the world. Why even that bastar- I mean wizened ruler Julius Caesar kept five to six concubines at once. Life is full of the little pleasures we can salvage. Fidelity is for the weak minded, and monogamy is futile. Drink your fill, reap your bread, indulge in he circuses of life. After all, a sound body is a sound mind and no mind can be sad with the weight of an adulterating father upon it. In peacetime and in war, people ask for things that will do them damage. So ignore your human qualms and choose to remain a bystander instead! It’s what we all do. If you want my advice, you’ll let the gods themselves estimate what will suit us and benefit our circumstances: you see, the gods will bestow gifts that are the most appropriate rather than nice. They care more about people than people do themselves. While we are led by our blind emotional impulses and by empty desire to seek marriage and children from a wife, it is the gods who know who our boys will be and what kind of wife she’ll be.

very serious response from Yours Truly,

Panagiotis Savas.


Clas9, DearRomans, Juvenal, Marcus Aurelius,

Sister Sister

 ” My sister and I (both in our 20s) have a tense relationship. She often misinterprets things I say as criticisms of her. My “Ready to go?” will be taken as a negative comment on the clothing or accessories she’s wearing. And frankly, her nonstop advice to me gets under my skin, too. I know there will come a day when we will get along peacefully as sisters. Until then, any ideas for keeping the meanness at bay?”

Dear Anonymous,

I know that you needed some advice and I’m here for you! You know I just wanted to start off by saying that I completely understand what the other anonymous person told you to do. But you know who’s not anonymous? ME. Juvenal himself, and I don’t want to hide my identity from you like that other person that attempted to give you advice before because I am real. I don’t want to come across as pompous but my advice is better because I am wiser. I know that the other person is telling you to go reconnect with your sister but honestly she should be trying to reconnect with you.  “There is no doubt that the only path to a peaceful life lies through goodness ” (Juvenal, 366). It seems like her constantly trying to give you advice is her attempt of being condescending and that’s not okay. You deserve an apology and you shouldn’t be worrying too much about her if she doesn’t seem to be worrying about you. You need a “sound mind in a sound body” (Juvenal, 358). And you can’t have a sound mind and body if you’re obsessing over your sister that doesn’t care for you.


-Mckensivius Pascallius (Mckensi Pascall) Team Aphrodite


Dear Reader,

After reading your letter and Prudence’s response to the situation, it pains me to say that you are both in the wrong. The problem is not your pretentious and arrogant attitude toward people of lesser incomes. Or the fact that poor Mary can’t afford an appetizer at one of your fancy restaurants. No. The problem is you. Or more so, your wealth. Did it ever occur to you that if you hadn’t acquired so much money over time, that this issue would never have arisen, to begin with? If you were poor like Mary, you wouldn’t be able to afford so many pointless house parties. You’d be eating pizza out of the box and sipping Pepsi out of a can like the rest of us. If you were dirt broke like Mary, I’m sure you’d be the best of friends.

However, because this is not the case, I’m entirely sure that the gods have something particularly unpleasant in store for you. Your wealth will be your undoing. Mary’s poverty and your disinviting her to your get-togethers may lead her to do unexpected things. One night she may break into your house and steal your pearls. She might hold you up at an ATM. Juvenal writes, “But you won’t drink poison from earthenware. That you only need fear when you are handed a goblet studded with jewels,
and when Setian wine glows in your golden bowl.” You are a constant target because you are wealthy.

But of course, the solution is simple. Throw your finest jewels into the nearest river. Board your helicopter and jettison bags of your hard earned money to the ground. Parachute out of said helicopter and let that fine chopper crash in a fiery explosion. “A traveler who is empty-handed can sing in the mugger’s face.”

In other words, no one will bother to hurt you if you’re broke.

Ortberg, Mallory. “Different Strokes.” slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2017/12/dear_prudence_my_friend_wants_to_bring_a_poor_person_to_my_dinner_party.html

-Cassia, (a.k.a. Carrissa, Team Hestia)

I ain’t calling you a truther!

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Talk to My Dad About His Affair?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Dec. 2017

Dear Kwame Anthony Appiah,

The advice you have given in your last column seems reasonable and understandable but is it really the best advice for the person asking for it? Let’s be honest, it’s not the best. If she wants to ask her father about the affair, she should. She wants to know the truth and she has the right to ask because it’s about her family. Yes her mom doesn’t want it brought up but how can you live on with your life with secrets? If people keep secrets then it will tear them up inside and make them miserable. You need a “sound mind in a sound body” (line 358).  Who knows, her father might find peace from telling his daughter about his adultery. It do some good to come clean about everything and might bring peace to the whole family even if it makes the mother uncomfortable. “There is no doubt that the only path to a peaceful life lies through goodness ” (line 366). Once again my friend your advice was ehhhh but mine is much better. I know what people really need.




Luisa, Team Hermes

My Dear Old Pooch

Dear Anonymous,

It is I, Juvenal here to give you some good advice on what to do with your aging pooch, you see life is a sweet thing, I believe it was meant to be enjoyed, not living it in pain. You must ask yourself this, why are you really prolonging your pooch’s life, is it because you want her to enjoy the rest of her days, or is it because you can’t stand to be parted from her? From the sound of it, I think you and I both know that prolonging her life wouldn’t be doing her any favor. You said it yourself, “her health has declined a bit: less energy, hearing loss, brief moments of apparent confusion and an as-yet-unexplained brief seizure.” Now what kind of fourteen year old Terrier would be happy experiencing this. If you read my book, Satire, lines 188-288, where I said that “what pleasure is there in music, even though the singer is superlative, or in Seleucus the lyre-player, or the pipers in the glittering golden cloaks? What difference does it make where he sits in the huge theatre if he can hardly hear the hornplayers or the fanfare of trumpets?” She is already experiencing hearing loss, and what of her brief seizure. This is exactly what I was talking about when “all types of disease dance around him in a troop.””But worse than any physical decline is the dementia.” Take my advice, you’re not doing her any good prolonging her life, it’s better to end it now.



MLA citation: Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Put Down My Aging Pooch?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Aug. 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/magazine/can-i-put-down-my-aging-pooch.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=58&pgtype=collection.


Fraternity In Rome

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Turn In a Bad Fraternity at My Son’s College?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Nov. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/magazine/can-i-turn-in-a-bad-fraternity-at-my-sons-college.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection.

Dear Anonymous,

I recently heard of the situation that is concerning you and your friend regarding what happened after the accident involving your son and his friend.  It is most unfortunate that this had to happen not to long after he injured himself.  I can see why this is of the utmost concerning to you as this can lead to dangerous consequences later on in life.  I noticed that the first person responding to you said that they think you should first tell your son of the actions that you are about to take, but I personally feel that that is not a good idea.  What you should do is try to make it so that he tells you his plan first, as you have a better understanding as to what can make your son feel the most comfortable in this situation.

Another factor that I would consider that you do is in how you can try to convince him of the wonders that education can provide without fraternity.  I also feel that you need to consider some advice I learned from two great people long ago.  Juvenal once said in his poem “But what prestige and prosperity is worth having, if success is
matched by an equal measure of disasters?” (Juvenal).   Marcus also once said “From my great-grandfather: not to have attended popular
schools, but to have good teachers at home, and to know that
one should spend freely on such things.
5. From my tutor: 4 not to be a Green or a Blue partisan at
the races, or a supporter of the lightly armed or heavily armed
gladiators at the Circus; endurance and frugality; to do one’s
own work and not be a busybody; not to welcome slanderous
gossip.” (Marcus, 3).  Say these things to your son and then ask him what he will want to do with his life later on.  Make sure that you convince him of all the good that will come if he tackles this problem vehemently well.  Other wise, he may never fully succeed in life.

  • Scot Anani Vincent (Scott Vincent, Team Cronos)

Bad Kitty !

Works Cited
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can My Cat Go Out If He Bullies Other Cats?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/magazine/can-my-cat-go-out-if-he-bullies-other-cats.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection.

Dear No name,

I think the columnist advice given to you was useless. In all fairness it wasn’t entirely useless, however, he seemed to have beat around the bush a bit. He didn’t fully address the question and wrote a very wordy response.  My opinion on this matter, is simple-  kitty timeout .  Although, I think your cat deserves a life free of boundaries, I’m sure the other neighborhood cats deserve a life free of harassment. I would limit the amount of time  Jasper was allowed outside .  Jasper, also needs to see a therapist to work on his anger issues. The walls of animosity he has build up, needs to be broken down.  Like Juvenal said , “There is no doubt that the only path to a peaceful life lies through goodness. ” I think  Japser also needs to do some good for those in his community.  Have him volunteer at the animal shelter at least once a week.   In closing Marius Aurelis said, ” Nothing is more wretched than the man who runs around in circles busying himself with all kinds of things -·in·· vestigating things below the earth, as the saying goes-always looking for signs of what his neighbors are feeling and thinking.” Jasper is a wretched cat, in need of happiness, follow my advice and your cat will enjoy all of his nine lives.

Sharia. Hestio  ( Sharifa, Team Hestia)

Pay the Gay Away

Dear Anonymous,

As Juvenal once said, “If you want my advice, you’ll let the gods themselves estimate what will suit us and benefit our circumstances; you see, the gods will bestow gifts that are the most appropriate rather than nice” (Juvenal, 347-350). First, let me just say that your father is an asshole. But now to the advice part, don’t even think about having to pay him back. You should get all the money you need from your father, because he is your father and is responsible for caring for you no matter your sexuality! If you are uncomfortable with telling him, then don’t. Your sexuality is nobody’s business except your own and if you feel more empowered by leaving him in the dark then do it. One day, after you have become super successful with a great paying job, bring your smoking hot husband home for thanksgiving and just say, “Oh by the way dad, I’m super gay!” and then eat some good food and leave. That’s all there is to it. Your dad was dealt the hand of having to pay for something he doesn’t believe in by the ancient gods. He most definitely wouldn’t see this as a nice gift, but in my opinion, is it very appropriate.

In conclusion, just listen to what Marcus Aurelius has to say, “Men are born for each other’s sake”(Aurelius, 8.59). We hold the ancient Romans in such a high regard, your father should take some of their advice and spend his life living for other men.

With Love,

Normal sized Imp. M. Sheilia Kellius

Appiah, Kwame Anthony, et al. “Can I Lie to My Father About Being Gay So He Will Pay for My College Education?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Sept. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/magazine/can-i-lie-to-my-father-about-being-gay-so-he-will-pay-for-my-college-education.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=collection.

-Sheila Kelly, Team Saturn (12)

Waiting For An Apology?

Dear Erin,

In a world filled with anger and hatred, there is no room for more. Being the parent of a special needs child is no easy task. I’m very sorry your friend had such a harsh reaction to your daughters behavior. It would seem like she requires a few lessons in empathy. She appears to be too self absorbed and needy of your attention. I can not help but disagree with the advice given by Philip Galanes. Rather I would focus on reaching out to your friend and explaining your daughter’s situation. At the same trying to forgive your friend and rekindle your friendship. As Marcus Aurelius said “To work against one another is therefore contrary to nature, and to be angry against a man or turn one’s back on him is to work against him.” With this in mind reach out to your friend and help her understand and hopefully she will.


Oliver Khoury, Team Hestia



Diagnosing out of concern?

Dear Amanda,

Your concern with your friend diagnosing people and her family is a huge concern indeed. With what the columnist suggested you do is a rather good starting point to solving or working out your concern. Asking her why she’s doing this allows you to understand her perspective as to why she keeps diagnosing others, even though she’s not a trained professional in the field. This can lead to a more open discussion on her viewpoint and maybe this can be your chance to add yours as well since you never brought up your perspective on her doing this. Maybe it’s herself that needs a diagnosis, and not her family members. Also, when it comes to her diagnosing those that you like, stand up for them instead of listening to her say false things about your friends and not doing anything about it.

What Marcus Aurelius would advise the writer to do is to let her friend understand to not overthink and worry about others and instead, think of herself. Let the professionals do the job, not her. ” The third part is the directing mind. Throw away your books, be no longer anxious: that was not your given role” (Marcus Aurelius 12). While for Juvenal, he might suggest doing the opposite, allow her to continue to “educating” or “entertaining” others of their diseases that they weren’t aware of. “Off you go, you maniac, zoom through the hostile Alps—to entertain schoolboys and to be put into their speeches” (Juvenal 6).

-Michaela (Michelle, Team Zeus)

Galanes, Philip. “The Friend Who Diagnoses Too Much.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Dec. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/style/the-friend-who-diagnoses-too-much.html?rref.

Vicious Cyclist and Delivery Dudes


Kaminer, Ariel. “The Ethicist – Vicious Cyclist.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Sept. 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/magazine/the-ethicist-vicious-cyclist.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection



The advice given to you by Ariel Kaminer is not very good advice. She endorses your juvenile behavior as the “justified” and “elegant” thing to do. This act of revenge should be condemned as a terrible use of resources and a mean thing to do to a man who is just trying to do his job quickly, to feed his family. Marcus Aurelius would tell you that you are not being a good member of society. This is shown through a quote from “Meditations”, saying “Beside this, to honor genuine philosophers, not reproaching
the other kind but not being influenced by them; to be sociable and agreeable”. This means that you should have tried to speak to the delivery man, instead of childishly locking up his property. Juvenal would’ve advised you to simply let the man do what he did to your bike without the need for revenge. In Juvenal’s satire 10, he ponders “After all, what is rational about our fears and desires?”. He would likely ask you why you desired revenge on the man who simply chained your bicycle to his own for only a matter of moments.

– johnius

john jacobs team diana


The Trivial Aspects of Life

Dear Creeped Out,

For the love of God, please don’t follow the advice that columnist gave. You would be harming your reputation and potentially ending the relationship between your daughter’s and her friend Emma’s. The columnist said that you should be persistent and stand up to the mother. But by doing this, you might be risking a whole lot. If the mother of Emma can prevent her from going out, don’t you think she’ll stop Emma from staying friends with your daughter. The best thing to do, if you ask me, is to not be persistent. That will only make you sound annoying. Instead, you should leave it be. If Emma’s mother won’t let her daughter come to your daughter’s birthday party, then so be it. I’m sure your daughter will live. These petty arguments are the trivial aspects of life. Learn from Juvenal. In Juvenal, it says, “—these are considered glories more than human” (133-187).  Thus, you trying to win your fight against Emma’s mother is not what a real human would do. You should try to be above Emma’s mother. Even the great Marcus Aurelius would disagree with what the columnist is saying you should do. He once said, ” It is possible to depart from life at this moment. Have this thought in mind whenever you act, speak, or think.” (page 14). If today, you speak ill towards the mother of Emma and she retaliates by preventing both your daughters from seeing each other AND you end up dying….your daughter would be very, very, very sad. What will she think of you? Instead of blindly listening to the columnist, you should think before you speak and not force anyone to do something. Perhaps with your gentle reassurances, Emma’s mother will change her mind.


Auleria Flavilla


Hax, Carolyn. “Carolyn Hax: Mother of daughter’s friend wants to commandeer party planning” Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2017.


-Aisha, Team Ares

💕My Abusive Best Friend💕

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Stay Friends With an Abusive Husband?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 July 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/magazine/can-i-stay-friends-with-an-abusive-husband.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=58&pgtype=collection.

Dear Name Witheld,

Why even bother with ethics in the first place? You shouldn’t have to break up a perfectly fine friendship over a mere setback like domestic abuse. Friends forever, right! In that sense, I have to completely disagree with what Mr. Appiah is saying. He wants you to attempt to reach out to Jane and Jack, in order to confront and remedy their abusive relationship, despite risking friendship.To have friendship threatened just because of abuse is unthinkable. Rather than having to confront both Jane and Jack about the abuse in such a grim way, it’s far more appealing to just laugh it off. Any good friendships, as we all know, overcomes their quarrels or problems with some hearty laughter over a good beer (considering that you’re legal, of course!) And really, this shouln’t be any different.

Juvenal says that ” Democritus in his time, too, found things to laugh at in every encounter with people. His shrewdness demonstrates that men of excellence, who will make great role models, can be born in a dense climate in a country of morons.” He also states that “He would laugh at the anxieties of the mob and at their delights, too, and sometimes at their tears, while to Fortune’s threats he himself would say, “Go throttle yourself!” and show his middle finger at her.” Both quote being taken from Lines 28-53: The Philosophic Power of Laughter in Juvenal, Satire 10. While Democritus was surrounded by people he perceived to be idiots, he still found fun and humor in being around them. Likewise you too should find the humor in your situation too. They’re your friends of course, Jane and Jack, but they’re also insufferable idiots who can’t help but lock themselves into that dastardly situation of domestic/verbal abuse. You shouldn’t get yourself down about it though. Just find the joy and fun in it and keep moving, keep that friendship going between you three!

Anyways, I want to close by reminding you that we people get through a lot of things with the power of humor. Humor can solve everything, humor can remedy everything. So, call up that good ol’ humor and use it now!

S. Cooperius (Skaie Cooper, Team Ares)

Mind your Business, Worry Only of Your Own Affairs

Dear Name Withheld,

Your internal conflict between being loyal to your friend and the issue of public safety is a valid one. The advice you were given to “[tell] X that she should inform Y about the situation and also tell the school the truth” is perhaps not the best advice. Let me ask you this; why are you so concerned with the affairs of others? If X has decided to keep her decisions of not vaccinating her son private, then allow her the courtesy to do so. In his writings, Marcus Aurelius writes to those in similar situations as you; ” Do external circumstances to some extent distract you? Give yourself leisure to acquire some further good knowledge and cease to wander aimlessly. Then one must guard against another kind of wandering, for those who are exhausted by life, and have no aim at which to direct every impulse and generally every impression, are foolish in their deeds as well as in their words”. Do not worry yourself with the personal decisions of X. Rather, focus on yourself. “[One must] do one’s own work and not be a busybody; not to welcome slanderous gossip.” Rather than spreading the secrets of your friend, you should focus on your own issues. Maybe on the health of your child in ways that don’t correlate to vaccinations?  Perhaps the focus on the betterment of one’s self will do them more good than one’ focus on the betterment of another.

Best of luck to you,


(Gabriella, Team Hestia)

Can I Spread the Word About an Unvaccinated Child?

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Spread the Word About an Unvaccinated Child?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Sept. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/magazine/can-i-spread-the-word-about-an-unvaccinated-child.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=10&pgtype=collection

Please Ponder This Promotion Puzzle Properly

Galanes, Philip. “She Didn’t Get a Promotion. Should She Stay or Quit?” Social Q’s, The New York Times. 1 Sept 2016.

Dear Erly,

The premise of your letter contains a fundamental flaw in reasoning. The response you received would have you believe that gaining the promotion is indeed a goal worth striving for, and on these grounds the author coaches you through a strategy to reach this goal. Yet, if one considers Juvenal’s work, it becomes clear that no good would come of such a thing.

Why would you want a promotion at work? There are several reasons you could offer. The first is the promise of better pay. But look at what Juvenal has to say about wealth:

Prayer no. 1, so very familiar in all the temples, is usually for money: “Let my wealth grow!” “Let my treasure chest be the biggest in the whole forum!” But you won’t drink poison from earthenware. That you only need fear when you are handed a goblet studded with jewels… (Juvenal, Satire 10, lines 23-27)

There is no reason to hope and pray for money; with wealth comes danger and envy, from which only poverty can protect you. Why would you want a better salary when it could lead to enemies who would wish you harm?

The second reason to wish for a promotion is the allure of power. You think that if you have a better job, a higher placement in the company, then you will be more influential and respected. Your word will carry more weight and you will be more powerful than you are now. But again, Juvenal tells us to beware such a situation:

Some people are toppled by their power, object of great envy, some are sunk by their long and glorious roll of honours… [The people] are followers of Fortune, as always, and hate those who are condemned. (Juvenal, Satire 10, lines 56- 70)

If you were to gain power and fame, you would be subject to the whims of the mob, who are fickle and throw support to whoever seems to be their best bet at that moment. As you advance through the ranks of the company, you are not gaining in influence but losing it, because you become more ruled by the people’s will and less by your own.

In short, why bother trying to be promoted? Make good with the position you hold currently, and be content to hover somewhere in the middle range rather than trying to fly above your place only to crash down again later. Money and fame cannot bring you long-term pleasure in this world, so forget the promotion and concentrate on the real priority: “A sound mind in a sound body.”

-Claudia, team Venus

Artwork? More like Fartwork.

Dear Mr. Name Withheld…

It seems you’re quite in the predicament! I would usually say to NOT pray for anything, but, you have to pray for mercy! If you hate their artwork, please pray for it to get better! If you want them to get money, please pray for them to get money. But please, for the love of Julius Caesar, do not tell them that their artwork is terrible. You see, art is like aging, “But just think of the many, never-ending disadvantages an extended old age is full of! Take a look at its face, first of all—ugly and hideous and unrecognisable—and the ugly hide in place of skin and the drooping jowls and the wrinkles” (188-288). If their work is terrible, please assist them by being honest with them. It will save them the embarrassment of having friends who fake smile at them every time they show their artwork. Go up to your little friend and tell them, Roman to Roman, blood to blood, that “if you want my advice, you’ll let the gods themselves estimate what will suit us and benefit our circumstances: you see, the gods will bestow gifts that are the most appropriate rather than nice” (Juvenal, 346-end). May the gods help you in establishing a conclusive solution as to how you are aghast of your friend’s artwork, and may Zeus assist your soul when the fires of the Underworld appear from your friend’s denying rage. Best of luck! May you come back in one piece!



Fernandus Cronos.


Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Must I Pretend to Like My Artist Friend’s Work?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Dec. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/20/magazine/must-i-pretend-to-like-my-artist-friends-work.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=89&pgtype=collection.

Sex is Sex Right?

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “My Wife Is Done With Sex. Can I Turn Elsewhere?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/magazine/my-wife-is-done-with-sex-can-i-turn-elsewhere.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection.

Dear Kwame A.,

It is very unfortunate that you are no longer permitted to have sex with the women that you are married to and have dedicated so many years of your life to and with. Any reasonable person knows that sex is a healthy process and it is an important factor in a big commitment such as marriage. I dont exactly agree with your desire to want to go have sex with other women, but that is not why I am writing this. You mentioned that a lot of people referred to you as a “dirty old man.” Your want for sex does not make you a dirty in my eyes. It makes you assertive for knowing what you want. You also mentioned that people have said you are “cheating and should be punished.” Well, what I wanna say is how is it cheating if you have received permission from your wife. What I advise you do is discuss this with your wife. You’re married to your wife and your wife alone, so the only thing that should be relevant in this situation is what she has to say. Everyone is always going to want to put in their own thoughts, but you must look past that.This is the type of situation where it is of utmost importance to voice your concerns to your wife so you guys can discuss what comes next together.

-Izadorius, Team Aphrodite



Whose child?


Dear M.W.,

I understand your struggle with your daughter. After all, she is receiving a fairly good education, gets to do whatever she wants; going on many volunteering rampages, but fails to complete a simple task of required homework. Your daughter should fathom that she is privileged, not many kids receive an education. that parents are the key to her well being, you deserve more than her returning to the table after everyone is finished eating. It is unjust that she hides her grades from you because then you both are lost as to where you stand. I beg you to discipline your daughter before she can turn out to the same old pretentious woman out here. You must have supervision over her, but also learn to build a bond because you both are woman, after all. It is true that they may be following your husbands rules more than you, but it is household you control too. You are indeed one of the good women I presume. You know your priorities and care for you children ( I hope your husbands too).

What I do not understand at all is your husbands contempt with your daughter. Why thou he defend her? What impressive work has she done beside earning a wage. You must speak to him before her. It is true that he may be exerting his presence. He is the man of the house, he must control. But in this case I tell you and your husband this: this issue should have been figured out beforehand, so that your children learn to cherish you both. Now, all you can do is speak of this matter amongst yourselves, what is most important to you in your marriage? What do you want from your children?

“then women are fearful; their cowardly breasts are chilled with icy dread.”

“for women’s tears are but the sweat of eyes.”


Romulus Octavia


Hax, Carolyn. “Perspective | Carolyn Hax: A mother might need to discipline herself to pick her battles.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Dec. 2017, http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-a-mother-might-need-to-discipline-herself-to-pick-her-battles/2017/12/06/52276566-d94d-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.8333cb169a31.





Some Terrible Roman Advice

MLA Citation:

Galanes, Philip. “New Beau, New Bills.” The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/style/microaggressions-at-the-market.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fsocial-qs&action=click&contentCollection=style®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection.


Dear Kary,

It sounds like this situation is not your problem! If you don’t want to help your daughter’s new boyfriend – you don’t have to, nor should you. Simply tell your daughter to work extra shifts or figure out another way to pay her boyfriend’s debts, and move on with your life. The only thing you can do is pray for a sound body and a sound mind.

What if you had the money to help, but on the way over to the boyfriend’s house to give it to him, you got robbed? That wouldn’t be helpful at all! And say you lead a massive campaign to track these criminals down and possibly lay your own vengeance upon them – this will only end in more violence, and you’ll end up caring more about your own revenge than whatever the “right thing” to do was in the first place. What if you build up a political platform and run for office so you can lay down the law and be tough and crime? Well, that will only create jealousy amongst your peers, and you’ll probably become a target in some way. Don’t even think about doing your best to live a long and healthy life so you can help this boy when you’re in a better situation because long life is overrated. Your physical and mental state will decrease, everyone you love will die, and you still will have not helped this boy in any way. So truthfully, the only solution to this situation is to do absolutely nothing. Maybe something will happen, maybe something won’t happen, but regardless, you will have nothing to do with it.

Good Luck,

Juvenal Aurelius


-Harry, Team Vesta.

Beauty Does Not Last


Dear Anonymous,

I’ve heard of your friend’s situation, I do understand why she is doing Botox. Everyone has the right to pursue beauty, she is at her mid 40’s, no longer young, it’s normal that women don’t want others to see the traces of years on their faces. I just have few questions about you: What do you think about Botox? Does get rid of wrinkle and being slim a problem? Are you Jealous about her younger looking? Yet, I understand you, as a best friend of the Botox user, you don’t want your friend to be addicted to the Botox, if she’s really using too much, that’s a big problem. If you are her true friend, you should tell her your concerns, not your judgment. You think you and your friend talk freely about everything, but now she’s holding the injections, you might think in different perspective. She might not be confident enough or she does not want you to think that she changed. I think you should care about her more, and tell her that you notice her “unusual”, you may let her know that excessive pursuit of beauty. You can use the example “No ugly adolescent has ever been castrated by a tyrant in his barbaric castle. No teenager with a limp or scrofula or bulging belly and hump was ever raped by Nero.” and “Go on, then, take pride in your lad’s good looks—there are greater dangers that await him.” and “Good looks—that’s what the anxious mother prays for when
she sees the shrine of Venus…” (Juvenal, Lines 289-345 : And NEVER pray for Beauty!) Tell her that beauty might cause danger, it doesn’t not last forever. We are human, not god, we will die one day, why don’t we enjoy our life, be natural, don’t be anxious and do not over pursue.

I hope it helps and you can fix the problem between you and your friend.

-Shiyin Caesars ( Team Jupiter: shiyin zhao)

Galanes, Philip. “My Friend Uses Too Much Botox. May I Tell Her?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 July 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/style/too-much-botox.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fsocial-qs&action=click&contentCollection=style®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=10&pgtype=collection.

You Come First

Hax, Carolyn. “Perspective | Carolyn Hax: An email from an ex seeking to ‘make amends’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 Dec. 2017,


This is from a reader who is asking for help on what to do about an ex-boyfriend who after years of not speaking emailed her out of the blue. He is part of alcoholic anonymous and as a part of the program he’s asking her to ‘help him free himself of the pain’. She doesn’t know how to respond and feels an influx of emotions.

Dear Clueless in Chicago,

I will tell you this, listen to Carolyn’s advice. Simply tell him that you accept his apology and move on with your life. Contact him and accept his apology but don’t do anything else. Listen to Carolyn and don’t take responsibility or do anything to help him move past his own obstacles. That is not your job, you are not responsible for him getting his life together especially as you have your own family and the two of you haven’t spoken to each other in years. You should pray for a sound mind in a sound body. (Juvenal Lines 346- end). Tell him he should do the same. This is both for him and you. For the sake of your own mind so that you can focus on anything besides him and for him to get himself together. There is no doubt that the only path to a peaceful life lies through goodness. (Juvenal Lines 346- end). If he wants a good life he has to work for it. Once you tell him this ignore him if he contacts you again. Your job is done the rest is up to him.

Fabia Probo


Fatema Islam
Team Jupiter

Wobbly Morals


Eggplant shows erectile dysfunction

A reader worried about her bedroom skills asks Prudence about her former partner’s perception of their sex life. He had informed her that their sex life was “Okay, not great.” Yes, I too believe he could have presented that in a much less offensive and insensitive way. But I believe that Worried places far too much importance on this skill.

Dear Worried,

While I understand that what your former lover said must have been upsetting, I believe that you should move past this and focus on bigger things. You are part of an immense cosmos with infinite possibilities, and you choose to focus on how skillfully you can stimulate a man’s cock. And to Prudence: You enable this short-minded thinking. You breed in your readers a reverence for the temporary and carnal pleasures of this life. Imagine if you were to live indefinitely, as my counterpart Juvenal has. You, in all your aged wisdom, would be infinitely worse in bed. Your hip would shatter and your heart would burst after a few thrusts from your shriveled lover’s decaying body. As for the cock you so eagerly wish to please: it would be useless. Sex will be “just a distant memory” and his “little prick [will lie] limp” (Page 7). Even Aurelius believes this to be so: “Of what kind are all the objects of sense, especially those which entice us by
means of pleasure… how cheap they are, how contemptible.” (Book 2, column 12) Worried, I and my Roman brothers implore you to ascend past these earthly desires and more towards a more fitting roll. Perhaps child-rearing or housekeeping. You could even teach young girls in the community how to spin cloth and make their own clothing. Now that would be a more righteous application of your abilities as a woman.

Sincerely, D. Luisa Schykyerynus

Ortberg, Mallory. “Help! My Otherwise Lovely Husband Loses His Temper With Strangers. Did I Marry a Jerk?” Slate Magazine, 31 Oct. 2017,

Juvenal and Aurelius on the homeless

Dear Kwame,
I believe that based on your prior experience with the homeless man, I believe that he should not have looked at your offering for help as “a contract”. Based on the works of Juvenal and Marcus Aurelius, these men have shown the likes of inhabiting traits of wisdom for the populace to possess; in this dilemma, you were correct in not giving the man currency. In the likes of what you claimed, the man demanded you escort him to the nearby convenience outlet to procure cigarettes because of the previous passerby’s gift of a half-used cigarette pack. When you offered the man sandwiches instead of the escort, the man denied and claimed that you were “dishonoring” your agreement, to which you profess there was none. In the words of Aurelius, “From Maximus: self-control, not to be easily influenced; to be of good cheer in illness and in all other misfortunes: a well-balanced disposition, sweet temper, dignified bearing; to perform one’s appointed task without resentment; the fact that all men trusted him to mean what he said and to do whatever he did without malice (Aurelius 15).” Based on the mind of Aurelius, I believe that he would not have offered to accompany the man, as he would have given him advice on self-control and the likes of his situation, most likely scolding him for not taking the offer of a sandwich. From the words of Juvenal, he once says “Yet, to actually give you something to ask for and some reason to offer the guts and little sacred sausages of a shining white piglet at the little shrines, you should pray for a sound mind in a sound body. (Juvenal 355-58)”. To delve into his mind, I believe that Juvenal would have accompanied the man to the store. Through this quote, Juvenal demonstrates that the man should pray for a “sound mind in a sound body”; he would have given the man the additional cigarettes but would have also given him advice on how to control himself and his situation. Both wise men would have given them advice on self-control and how to better their lives, but they would have gone through these trials in different manners. I sincerely hope that my message comes as clear as they come.
-Regards, Aidanous Carter (A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn)


Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Is It O.K. to Give Cigarettes to a Homeless Person?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Oct. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/magazine/is-it-ok-to-give-cigarettes-to-a-homeless-person.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection.


Act Your Age, Old Guy


Dear Anonymous,

I sincerely send my condolences for your tragic situation. Life is short, and it really is commendable that you are greatly trying to make the best of it, even when knowing you’ll face great adversity. Unfortunately, I disagree with your intention, which is to engage in an open relationship due to your wife’s lack of interest in sexual endeavors presently. This signifies a sort of lack of respect for your wife. Mr. Appiah provided you with some advice, which seemed appalling, as he not only supported your actions, but offered alternatives, like to “find a site that caters to those in open relationships” after you stressed about the feedback you received after being honest on the dating site. He even cautioned you like a typical “bro” would do when looking out for his buddy and indicated that this sort of affair can “addle the brain” and cause some form of disruption between the connection between you and your wife. ABSURD!

As a man, I do understand where you are coming from. You’re a man and you have wishes when the time comes by, hopefully whenever it comes by. But! You should honor and respect your wife, Sir. You two recited vows at a probably beautiful ceremony in front of friends, family, and God. When vowing, you have no choice but to keep the promises stated in them, regardless of the situation. In a time like this, you should ask yourself, “What prestige and prosperity is worth having, if success is matched by an equal measure of disaster?” [Lines 54-113 Why not to pray for political power]. What good is sex, if you are breaking the moral codes for which you set at the beginning of the bond? In breaking these codes, you are not only putting your wife at a disservice, but you are also putting yourself at one, and showing your lack of honor and respect for both of you. SHAME!

Why be like the youth from Pella, Alexander the Great? You should not seethe “at the narrow limits of the universe as if confined on the rocks of Gyara or tiny Seriphus,” [Lines 133-187: Don’t pray to win war!]. You do not have to act as if you have a few days or few hours to live. Don’t be discontented with the provisions of the universe, or in this case, your wife. Make use of your possessions, and enjoy yourself, by yourself (think about that!), or reminisce on past encounters with your wife.

Despite your wife agreeing to this level of promiscuity, you must be aware of the powers of women. Even if you think that this consent was “full-hearted and free-given,” as stated by Appiah in his what seems to be “bro talk,” you should know that “Woman is most savage when her hatred is goaded by a sense of shame,” [Lines 289-345: and NEVER pray for Beauty!]. The attention you may get from the public might and probably will draw her into this situation, and cause her to obtain backlash from the public as well, which would cause her to have an outburst on you. Be prudent, Mr. Anonymous. It is all about keeping your wife happy.

I hope my advice helped more than the standard brotherly talk from Mr. Appiah.


Best regards,



Advice Column: Appiah, Kwame Anthony. My Wife is done With Sex. Can I Turn Elsewhere?  The New York Times. Nov. 15th, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/magazine/my-wife-is-done-with-sex-can-i-turn-elsewhere.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection


-Imp. Daniel H. (Daniel, Team Diana).

Cause and Solution

Dear Anonymous,

According to your situation, you basically are the king of the family since you are a manipulative person. It seems to be like your children now is very unsatisfied with the situation he had now. You should know that “Some people are toppled by their power, an object of great envy, some are sunk by their long and glorious roll of honours.” (Line 54-113: Why not pray for power) Your child wants to be a person like you now, he wants to be the person who manipulates others like you. So, His disrespect manner is envy, he wants your power. And you, now become the victim of being the power holder. Think about it in this way, “The delights of food and wine are no longer the same as his palate grows numb, and as for sex—it’s now just a distant memory, or if you try to rouse him, his stringy little prick lies limp with its enlarged vein and will stay limp though you coax it all night long.” (Line 188-288: You don’t want to live as long as you think!) This does not only apply to men, women are the same. When you are getting older and older you will not enjoy the life anymore. So, why do you not just enjoy whatever you like now, and give up your life after all you enjoy all your happiness? After you’re dead there is nothing to worry about, the relationship will not exist, then you are just fine!



Advice Column: Hax, Carolyn. A family kept whole can still be unhealthy The Washington Post. October 3, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/a-family-kept-whole-can-still-be-unhealthy/2017/10/03/56bf8c8a-a567-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14_story.html?utm_term=.550e22a619db

-Caesar. Haolin C. (Haolin, Team Hephaestus)

Get Your Children Vaccinated!

  • “Can I Spread the Word About an Unvaccinated Child?”

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Can I Spread the Word About an Unvaccinated Child?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/magazine/can-i-spread-the-word-about-an-unvaccinated-child.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=10&pgtype=collection.

Dear Kwame Anthony Appiah,

Greetings, I am Aulus Gordianus Longius (Jiahui Gong) and I am writing to you today to provide you some tips on what you should do in your situation. to sum up what you said in your advice column, your’e in a sticky situation where you have to decide whether if you should inform others of a child that’s not vaccinated or should you keep it to yourself because the parent of the unvaccinated child wants you to keep it to yourself. The decision should be obvious, and that is to inform other parents and school staffs about this problem. As you said in your advice column by choosing not to vaccinate the child, the parent is putting her child in a greater risk of catching a infection or virus. Therefore just because the child may not catch infections or virus during his or her early life, it doesn’t mean he or her wouldn’t encounter these problems in the future. Vaccines shouldn’t be seen as a threat because the chances of a child being “harmed” by vaccines is extremely slim. For example, Marcus Aurelius he said “They wintered at
Aquileia, where the plague broke out; the praetorian prefect was a victim,
and Galen, the imperial physician, refused to stay. At Verus’ insistence, he
and Marcus also left in January 169, but Verus died of a stroke.” (Aurelius) Although, studies doesn’t show that vaccines is able to completely prevent strokes and heart attacks, it has shown that it is able to decrease the chances of it. Therefore, Verus could’ve survived if vaccines were presented at the time. But, since he wasn’t able to receive vaccinations it resulted to his death from a stroke. Another example is Junvenal, he states “But worse than any physical decline is the dementia. It doesn’t remember the names of slaves or recognise the face of a friend who dined with him the previous evening or the children he fathered and raised himself. You see, in a cruel will, he keeps his own children from becoming his heirs and leaves everything to Phiale.” (Juvenal) Once again by receiving vaccinations, illnesses like dementia could be prevented. Similar to Aurelius case, by receiving vaccinations at a early age it helps decreases the chances of getting the illness. Now I am not saying by receiving vaccinations can fully prevent these illnesses but I rather have a lower chance of preventing it than nothing. Moving on, because vaccinations was present at the time all these negative events happened. All in all, I highly suggest you to spread the word about this situation to other parents in the neighborhood. Just because the other children playing with the unvaccincated child isn’t getting infected at the moment doesn’t indicate that they wont be infected in the future. Thus, it is better to address this problem before it becomes something more serious.

Sincerely, Aulus Gordianus Longius (Jiahui Gong)

How to Confront Your Brother

Advice Column: Galanes, Philip. Trump won. Still Moving to Canada?. The New York Times. Nov. 24th, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/fashion/social-qs-donald-trump-moving-to-canada-thanksgiving-dinner-clashes.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2f Social-qs action=click&contentCollection=style&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=50&pgtype=collection

Dear Diana,

Your brother seems to think your absurd and in your threats of moving to Canada, especially since you didn’t follow through. Contrary to what Galanes has said, I believe you have every right to confront your brother in any means necessary to make him understand your point in the need for moving to another country. Although you haven’t followed through, it’s still important to make it clear to him you had every good intention. Let him know that “there is no doubt that the only path to a peaceful life lies through goodness” (Juvenal, 114-132), which includes ridding yourself of living a life in a country run by someone who thinks only a select few should inhabit it. Also, don’t be afraid to be shameful of not being able to physically move to Canada, as it is not an easy thing to do. Lastly, keep your deep hatred for the new president fueling every conversation you have with your brother about your plans, because, after all, “women is most savage when her hatred is goaded by a sense of shame” (Juvenal, 114-132).

M. Camilla Diano (Camille, Team Diana)