Simplicity Of Life: Why Does Being Human Complicate Everything, by Steve Leasock
[Note: I received this book free of charge by BooksGoSocial. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
This book is a textbook example of an author going beyond his depth and speaking about what he does not know about. It is hard to know whether the author is self-aware about the immense gulf and tension between his rhetoric and his ideals, because as is common in this case, he ends up making a strong criticism of biblical faith and setting grounds for the meaning of life as well as epistemology and then manages to continually fall short of them. At some level, the author appears to understand that his writing is abstract, but he does not appear to grasp the full level of his error, and although he claims to speak out against religion as well as science as authorities and place himself in its stead as an authority, he relies on particularly bad science (in a misguided evolutionist perspective) and manages to be just one of many recent examples of apologists for Eastern religion contrary to biblical thought . Perhaps most ironically, there is a simple reason why being human complicates everything, because we have fallen into sin and rebellion against God, and this book strenuously and consistently rebels against this simple conclusion, showing the author himself to be human and complicated as a result of his own unacknowledged fallen and corrupt nature.
In terms of the structure of the book, the book consists of lengthy rambling essays of uneven length. While this book at least coherent enough on the sentence level to keep it from being a strong contender for the worst book I have ever read–I was able to understand what the author was about, perhaps far better than the author himself–the book suffered from a strong degree of incoherence above the sentence level of writing. This book is an example of the difficulties our contemporary self-publishing culture creates for readers in that this book would likely have never passed through the quality checks demanded by any mainstream publisher. Mind you, had this book been edited so that it had no fortune cookie-level sentences serving as whole paragraphs, it would not have been any better in terms of its meaning, but it would have been better worded and better structured garbage than it was. Instead, the book is rambling, highly repetitive, and immensely libelous. The author seems unable to recognize how foolish he looks by writing in the fashion that he does, and appears to be most interested in convincing himself and those who are already convinced as to his beliefs. Lacking any kind of citations or any sort of enjoyment or any sort of informative value, it seems puzzling that the author would expect to find any audience of people who is not similarly rebellious towards God to enjoy this book.
In the end, perhaps the simplest aspect of this book is to recognize that the author is simply out of his depth in talking about matters of meaning and purpose and experience. The author consistently misrepresents scripture and considers himself, for some unknown reason, to be the sort of authority that the reader should respect and agree with. The author takes a matter of great importance and considerable complexity and somehow manages to get it exactly wrong. Even worse, the author consistently violates his own principles in his terrible execution, writing what he wishes to be true rather than what is actually true, protesting too strongly against what he views as an imaginary God so that he ends up, like the New Atheists, in sounding like a child throwing a temper tantrum who acts as if a strenuous enough denial of reality can make that unpleasant reality go away. One does not know whether to eviscerate the writer for his terrible writing in nearly every aspect of rhetoric, to laugh at him for being so ridiculous, or to pity the author for thinking himself to be an intelligent and articulate writer when he simply cannot deliver the goods that he claims. Either way, the only way to enjoy this book is to treat it as a comedy sketch from someone who ought to know better, but who cannot resist polluting the world with ignorance and folly.
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