But, again, I never said there was "nothing" out there, just that whatever may be
out there is rare enough that, after decades of scanning the skies, we've found... nothing
. The universe may even be teeming with life, with virtually none of it more advanced than fungi. It's even possible for a world to have numerous highly intelligent species that are nevertheless not capable of developing spacefaring technology. Do you see dolphins or elephants or pigs building rockets? They are at least as smart as us, but evolved in a manner that precludes the creation and use of complex tools.
I don't think it's unreasonable to be skeptical of claims that the universe is full of intelligent, spacefaring life forms, especially when you come up against comments suggesting that Von Neumann probes are almost within reach. Given that they are a fairly straightforward idea, the universe should be positively crawling with them if
anyone had ever built them.
I also think it's essentially irrelevant if intelligent, spacefaring life exists but it is much too far away for us to ever encounter or even discover it. It might as well not exist, as a practical matter.