"I think it's best not to have been born. If you had not been born in the first place, there would have been no pain." The phrase reminds you of the cry of Job in despair from the Old Testament. It is from the book "Farewell Message" by Korean novelist Kim Young-ha. The narrator of the book replies: "Isn't there also joy that you feel while you're living?" The question is met with the answer, "Could that joy cancel out the pain?"
That interesting conversation is exchanged among humanoids, robots resembling the human body in shape. One says that not being born is the best while the other says joy must be out there somewhere. Then, a clone born from gene cloning cuts in, saying, "All creatures with cognition and ample level of knowledge are obligated to reduce excessive pain in this world." Now that you are born anyway, you can at least try to relieve the pain of other beings. The world through the eye of the clone is beautiful. It says while looking at the lake in the winter: "Why is the lake so heartachingly beautiful when they are just made of ice and water? They are just frozen water, a combination of hydrogen and oxygen molecules. And still, we look at them and can't help but feeling they are painfully beautiful." In the world full of agony, it thinks that looking at the beauty and enjoying it even briefly is enough to make one feel completely happy.
Though differing on various issues, humanoids all agree that "humans are the ones who produce an overwhelmingly large part of excessive pain on Earth." The conclusion of not being born the best option, once again. It is a saddening inductive reasoning. As revealed by the author himself, the thoughts and reasonings in the book are repetitions and variations of the book "The Case for Not Being Born" by South African philosopher David Benatar. Kim's book unfolds apocalyptic reasonings circling around that anti-natalism. Stories can be dark, bleak and nihilistic in his book. The only silver lining that offsets such darkness is the view of the author who guides the thoughts and reasoning. The novelist views all beings in pain, including the humans, with compassion while never missing heartbreaking beauties of the world.