The first season of the HBO program “True Detective” featured a strongly pessimistic character who many thought had ideas based on the horror author Thomas Ligotti. A homicide detective who had suffered the death of his young child, this man concluded horror was an inescapable element of life, and probably its primary element.
One might conclude it’s better never to be born in the first place, and some do. The philosophy of anti-natalism is most commonly associated these days with author and blogger Sarah Perry.
One does not choose to be born; your parents make the choice for you. Is it ethical to make this choice for another person knowing at a minimum they may suffer a lifetime of pain? And that depending on your beliefs, they could suffer many lifetimes of pain or an eternity of pain?
Life wants to live. That’s what life is. Things that do not want to live do not continue living long. Every living thing must die, but it can extend its life in some way by reproducing. Life isn’t something you possess, it is something temporarily entrusted to you, to be passed along in turn.
If something is worthless, you may keep it but not pass it along, or you may not even keep it. If something has some value you keep it, maintain it and pass it along.
Life is substantially horror but it is not only horror. Just surviving is an accomplishment to be proud of. Hope that things will be better for you, and your descendants, springs eternal.
Horror is a basic fact of life, maybe the basic fact of existence for corporeal creatures, but we can and do overcome it. As somebody once said- we are the fight.
The cyberpunk novel Hardwired has a lot of horror. Most of the characters want to live for a long time, but some of them just want to die in a pleasant way. (One Ethical Nihilist, in particular, wants to be killed by a sexually alluring person.)
A big theme of the story is that people who sacrifice their humanity for power are monsters. But the heroes are only effective if they are somewhat monstrous. The heroes are very much characterized by several struggles – first, the struggle against external threats, and second, the struggle against their own will-to-power, and third, the struggle against their own self-destructive impulses.
One could conceivably ask whether EVERY character in Hardwired is really an Ethical Nihilist. They all see themselves as doomed.