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,

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)

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)

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.

A Hero in a Boys Eyes

Dear Philip G. ,

Any strong capable man worth his salt would be worthy of being a father figure to a young boy. The mere sight and observation of one such character will surely put your son into a learned state” From my father: … not to take an empty pride in what are considered honors; to love work and to persevere in it; to listen to those who have something to contribute to the common good”(Marcus Aurelius, Book 1)

If one is not to be found then make your son read the great works of great men doing great things in order to better gain an insight to the acting force behind any true man. Better yet make him study the gods so that he can be better grateful for what he has been given so that he may strive to keep it and gain more with the favor of the gods”From the gods: to have had good grandparents, good parents, a good sister, good teachers, a good household, good relations and friends, and almost everything”(Marcus Aurelius, Book 1)

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title Date Month Year Published: Page(s). Website Title. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.

Galanes, Philip .”Does a Son Need a Male Role Model?”The New York Times 28 April 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/fashion/son-needs-a-male-role-model.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fsocial-qs. Web. 11 January 2017

– M. Claudius Caesar ( Bedirhan Gonul- Team Aphrodite)




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

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.


A racist bigot

Dear friend,
 I believe that you need to do what must be done! There is a time and place where your bosses behavior is acceptable but not at work. If this man is putting you in an uncomfortable position, you must speak out and let him know. The man you surround yourself with is the man you might become. It is important you speak your grievances now before it is too late.
As I have said before,  “self-control, not to be easily influenced;to be of good cheer in illness and in all other misfortunes”. Do not let others take control of you and turn you into something you are not. Although I do believe that you must forgive and performs one task, this is not possible with a toxic relationship.
Once again, I have said,” to have had good grandparents, good parents, a good sister, good teachers, a good household, good relations and friends, and almost everything”. It is important that your relationship with your boss is strong. If he is a racist, than this issue will weaken and destroy your relationship.
It is extremely important that you move on and continue to work, but you must address this issue more seriously. Trust me, from my experience as Roman emperor, I would know.
Sincerely, Marcus Aurelius                                          Frank- Team Artemis

Ambitious Strife and Scrutiny

Dear Conflicted in the Midwest,

Life is a perilous trial of self indulgence and truth seeking. The worry you bear for your sister is commendable. However, that worry is just an indirect obstacle that inhibits your journey to figuring out the truth. Circumstance and stability go hand in hand as two seemingly luck filled aspects which define ones place in life. If your concern remains a metaphorically haunting angel with a demon’s guise, then ask your sister “Do external circumstances to some extent distract you?”(13, Marcus Aurelius) External quandaries are viable concerns as the issue she is facing might be work related. Internal divisiveness is not the only catalyst which can cause stagnation. Also, “Remember how long you have delayed,” (13, Marcus Aurelius) for the amount of time you squander on worry is time taken away from your pursuit towards the truth. The path of ambition for the care of another is an arduous one as it is riddled with strife and scrutiny. The truth however, is always muddled behind such walls.

Sincerely, Nero Cassius

MLA Citation: Hax, Carolyn. “Perspective Carolyn Hax: Listen to the little birdie that tells you to let people empty their own nests.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 14 Nov. 2017

Hyperlink: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-how-to-tell-your-sister-that-its-time-to-empty-your-parents-nest/2017/11/14/f8e7be72-c5a3-11e7-84bc-5e285c7f4512_story.html?utm_term=.3f0e12dd06b4.

Bailey Seemangal, Team 5, 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)