“Let even this be admitted, that people are deprived of the good things in life by death: does it then follow that the dead feel the want of life’s conveniences, and is this therefore a bad thing? Certainly, they must say so. But can he, who is not, feel the want of anything? Certainly, the word “want” is a sad one, since it carries this force: “He had something, which he does not have. He desires, seeks, lacks.” These, I think, are the distresses of someone in want. If he lacks eyes, it is hateful blindness. If he loses his children, it is miserable deprivation. This is all true of the living, but the dead feel no want of the conveniences of life, nor even of life itself! I am talking about the dead, who are not; we, who are, do we feel the want of horns or feathers? Would anyone say that? Certainly not! What follows, then? When you don’t have that which is neither useful to you nor naturally suitable, you cannot feel the want of it, even if you are aware of the fact that you don’t have it.”
Sed hoc ipsum concedatur, bonis rebus homines morte privari: ergo etiam carere mortuos vitae commodis idque esse miserum? certe ita dicant necesse est. an potest is, qui non est, re ulla carere? triste enim est nomen ipsum carendi, quia subicitur haec vis: habuit, non habet; desiderat requirit indiget. haec, opinor, incommoda sunt carentis: caret oculis, odiosa caecitas; liberis, orbitas. valet hoc in vivis, mortuorum autem non modo vitae commodis, sed ne vita quidem ipsa quisquam caret. de mortuis loquor, qui nulli sunt: nos, qui sumus, num aut cornibus caremus aut pinnis? ecquis id dixerit? certe nemo. quid ita? quia, cum id non habeas quod tibi nec usu nec natura sit aptum, non careas, etiamsi sentias te non habere.