Dear Reader, PRAY NOT FOR WEALTH!

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)

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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.

Sincerely,

Juvenal

 

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.

 

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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.

Sherique.Artemis

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)

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.

Romulus

Oliver Khoury, Team Hestia

 

 

Stand UP!

Dear Anonymous:

For sure you have witness the unfair judgement from a child, the silence action of yours will not be tolerant with the Roman spirit. You should stand out with your bravery and be able to teach the boy of wrong and right, beauties and ugliness of human nature. Keeping silence is the way that push a child into fire, because he was born pure, not the blood that contaminate him, but is the environment that pollute his soul and his awareness. What the child said is racist, and put yourself in that condition, you will not have been so calm, the way you stand up to that boy is a way you stand up to yourself, to fight your own weakness and be strong to your surrounding. That is what called the Roman spirit, to live everyday like it was the end of the world. Like Marcus Aurelius wrote “Firmly, as a Roman and a man should, think at all times how you can perform the task at hand with precise and genuine dignity, sympathy, independence, and justice, making your·· self free from all other preoccupations. ” and “Say to yourself in the morning: I shall meet people who are interfering, ungracious, insolent, full of guile, deceitful and antisocial; they have all become like that because they have no understanding of good and evil.” But you, you are the one who can determine what are the right and what are the wrong, and it’s your’s responsibility to educated the other and rescue them from the evils.

Galanes, Philip. “Should I Stay Silent During One Child’s Populist Taunt of Another?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 Dec. 2016,

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/fashion/social-qs-advice-parenting-children-trump-holiday-parties-travel.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fsocial-qs&action=click&contentCollection=style®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=46&pgtype=collection.

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

 

Dear ANTHONY B,

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

 

When Advice Transcends Time

Image result for roman family
    Dear Philip Galanes, as the wise and selfless Marcus Aurelius of the great Roman Republic, I want to praise you on the good advice you gave to the woman who reached out to you. Like in Roman society, humans in the twenty-first century will bully and discriminate each other for many things- including weight. As I have stated in Book 1 of my teachings, “…do one’s own work and…don’t welcome slanderous gossip”. Therefor, it was not right for the woman’s friend, Mark, to support his fat friend but no want to date fat women at the same time. He must not conform to today’s ridiculous beauty standards and instead learn “…generosity , to avoid not only evil deeds but evil thoughts.” As you have said, Mark can not continue his unjust behavior and say it was based on a preference or that he was simply doing what everyone else was doing. He cares to much about the physical and not enough about the spiritual. Nothing  in this world is absolute, including beauty. Mark must look inside himself to see the humanity there. He must become kind and unaffected by other’s view of beauty; then he can find a true soul partner. And as for the woman who wrote to you asking for help: why is she so bothered by her friend’s behavior? Nothing can come of being upset or angry. Instead, people should remain calm and let others do as thy wish. There is no point in becoming concerned with something you might not be able to change.
   T. Egnatius Maior (Elene T., Team Mars)

💕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,

GAIA MARCELLINUS

(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

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!

 

Regards,

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.

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.