I have what is called "the tragic view of life." Thomas Sowell wrote a book about it, called A Conflict of Visions. The "conflict" is with the liberal view of life (which he mocked as "the vision of the Anointed"), which considers people perfectible. If often means slaughtering them by the millions to get rid of the "imperfectables."
I don't consider the tragic view especially "tragic," just realistic (which is how Sowell and, for that matter, the ancient Greeks, saw it). It's the belief people are imperfect, flawed and limited and in many ways not too smart (especially in groups, when they're downright idiots). They're envious and ungrateful and blame their problems on other people. They're prone to theft and war and murder and disease - the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
More than anything else, it's the belief there are rarely solutions, but instead are trade-offs. Liberals want solutions and believe they exist, which is why they delude themselves with absurd nonsense such as "microaggressions."
Take vaccinations. There will always be a very small number of kids who have adverse reactions, including death. But you have to compare to the number of kids who'd otherwise die from tetanus or diphtheria.
A former girlfriend told me she never met her father's sister, since she died at age two from tetanus - running around barefoot, apparently. How many kids die from tetanus now? In the West, none.
I've mentioned the "Little House on the Prairie" books. Laura Ingalls Wilder had both diphtheria and malaria as a little girl. Her first child, Rose Wilder Lane, survived. All her other children died. The first boy, the one born after Rose, died in infancy from some sort of seizure. He probably wasn't even a month old.
Diphtheria? Malaria? Rabies? All gone, at least in the West.
When I was five years old the little boy upstairs died from leukemia. He, too, was five. Today, I've known kids who were cured of it.
I once took a girlfriend to a graveyard to find my grandparents' grave. One section of the graveyard was set aside for children. All of them died in the polio epidemic of the '50s. Some of the boys' markers (concrete) had marbles embedded in them, along with a picture of them. Polio? Not anymore.
I know an older woman who told me she had polio in the '50s and lay on her back "for seven years." She always had to use crutches to walk for the rest of her life, until she couldn't walk anymore and ended up in a wheelchair. That problem doesn't exist anymore.
Yet, I'm still optimistic. Not in the sense of people becoming more moral (everything we need to know about morality was written down thousands of years ago).
But materially, in terms of science and technology - then yes, I'm optimistic.
Materially, we are incredibly rich - and getting richer.
Science is advancing by leaps and bounds. "Peak oil?" I'm not worried. Sickness and disease? There's less and less every day. And gene editing is coming very soon. People will be smarter and "bad genes" will be culled.
I have a cousin who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Stage 3. One treatment of a new experimental drug wiped it out. Someday, cancer will gone, too.
Will all of this make us happier? No, it won't. But it'll mean a lot less pain and early death.
Being out of pain and not dying early is a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately no matter what material advances we make, for the mass or people it will never be enough. They'll want more and more. No matter what they get, they'll whine and whine and whine.
If one disease is cured, they'll want the cure for free (which means other people will have to pay for it, since There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch). That's the trade-off - the Law of Unintended Consequences. The problem is trying to figure what those trade-off are.
It'd be great if we could get rid of the Four Horsemen. That's going to be the really hard one, since it may not be possible
Personally I hope for the best and expect the worst. Optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, you could say.