19. If we measure the limits of pleasure by reason, infinite and finite time both provide the opportunity for complete pleasure.
Alternate Translations: Bailey: Infinite time contains no greater pleasure than limited time, if one measures by reason the limits of pleasure. Strodach: Infinite time contains no greater pleasure than does finite time, if one determines the limits of pleasure rationally.
Cicero’s Defense of Epicurus: Epicurus also taught that “No greater pleasure could be derived from a life of infinite duration, than is actually afforded by this existence, which we know to be finite.”
Vatican Saying 22: Unlimited time and limited time afford an equal amount of pleasure, if we measure the limits of that pleasure by reason.
NewEpicurean Commentary: The universe is eternal and infinite in space, but Nature provides that only certain things and events are possible. Nature provides a limited life span for a single human consciousness, and although time goes on without end, a human consciousness can experience only so much, even though time is infinite. The limit of the amount of pleasure that can be experienced by a single human is thus set by Nature, and if we recognize that limit we see that we need not be concerned about obtaining more time than Nature has provided.