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®ion=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.
A very serious response from Yours Truly,
Clas9, DearRomans, Juvenal, Marcus Aurelius,