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[2] If so, why are the pains opposed to them evil? since the opposite of evil is good. Perhaps the true view is, that the necessary pleasures are good in the sense that what is not evil is good; or that they are good up to a point: for though you cannot have excessive pleasure from states and movements which cannot themselves be in excess of what is good, you can have excessive pleasure from those which themselves admit of excess. Now you can have an excess of the bodily goods; and it is pursuing this excess that makes a bad man, not pursuing the necessary pleasures, for everybody enjoys savory food, wine, and sexual pleasure in some degree, though not everybody to the right degree. With pain it is the other way about1: one avoids not merely excessive pain, but all pain; for the opposite of excessive pleasure is not pain at all, except to the man who pursues excessive pleasure.

1 Whereas bodily pleasure is good in moderation and bad only in excess, all pain is bad; but this does not mean that the absence of excessive pleasure is bad, for it is not painful to the good man.

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