Nihilists historically have made statements similar to Nietzsche’s comment that we live in a loveless universe. The universe does not care whether we live or die. The human race could disappear tomorrow without changing cosmic indifference – bearing in mind that it seems a rather strangely anthropomorphic conception of the universe; especially for a nihilist.
The mistaken contention of a loveless, indifferent universe is similar to the famous parable of the man who is told that “God will provide” and who, in order to escape a flood, consequently rejects the offer of a car ride, a boat ride and finally help from a helicopter, saying in his refusal in each case, “God will provide.” He subsequently drowns. When he quizzes God in heaven as to His failure to provide, God replies that He sent a car, then a boat and then a helicopter but was rejected in each case.
If God were to provide, He would need to do so using some specific method; making use of the means available.
Likewise, if the universe were to care, the best method would be to provide some agents of its benevolence and concern. These agents would tend, love and feed us as babies. Show care and concern for our upbringing and do their best to usher is into the world in such a manner that we have the best chances of flourishing. We may be waiting for the moon to wink at us, or wish that alien races on Alpha Centauri would send a text message, but some local source of benevolence would be best – where it could do us the most good. Actual human love would be best partly because this is what we long for most and partly because it is the most practical when we are helpless infants.
Babies who are not shown affection typically die. Olden day orphanages had horrendous mortality rates, particularly if they were understaffed. Merely being fed and kept warm was not enough to stop babies from dying. Even placing a hand on a baby and uttering the phrase “good baby” delivered in a robotic voice on a regular basis was enough to help babies retain the will to live.
The existence of babies who do not die and of parents is all the refutation needed of the nihilists’ pessimism.