Due to a recent message of a statement by David Sedley as to "The primary goal should be the absence of pain" I am wondering if we can come up with some imagery that would help crystallize this issue. Since for me as a boomer all things resolve to scenes from Star Trek the Original Series, one of the first images that comes to mind is the constant tension between Captain Kirk demanding "more power" from the engines while Engineer Scott would say "it's going to blow" unless you let off.
That example would lead me to compare Kirk's demand for "power" (pleasure) to Scot's warning of impending disaster (pain). BOTH are required for proper operation of the starship, but I would contend that never in a million years would a deep-thinking person reverse the roles and place Scott in charge of the operation of the starship, except in extreme circumstances. The original nature and goal of the starship entails using the engines and the power that is available to them to further the mission, which inherently involves danger and difficulties, which the ship is constructed and improved to overcome to the best of its ability.
I am sure that others ( Nate ? ) have better ideas for illustrating this, but it seems to me that there can never be too many ways of arguing and showing that the undisturbed pursuit of pleasure is ultimately why we seek to avoid pain, not the other way around.
And yet one of the primary living authorities on Epicurus can read all the texts available and still conclude that in the end and as his ultimate conclusion, Epicurus held "the primary goal should be the absence of pain."
Here's one clip illustrating how we subordinate risk and danger and sometimes choose pain in the pursuit of pleasure/avoidance of worst pain, but i want one where Scot says that the engines are going to blow: