Title: Torn Between Two Worlds
Author: Shawn T. Murphy
Genre: Philosophy / Religious / New Thought
Torn Between Two Worlds is a series of books that critically examine the seemingly irreconcilable differences between science and those concepts that cannot be fully explained or understood, such as faith, religion, and philosophy. Shawn T. Murphy offers a unique perspective on two things that, when all is said and done, might be more interconnected than conventional thinking would lead us to believe.
Consisting of three volumes, each book can be read as a standalone, depending on the reader’s preference and/or purpose. However, the author has skillfully structured this body of work the way an experienced debater would line up evidence to support his arguments. Reading all three books in the order in which it is presented gives readers a deeper understanding of the point of view that the author is trying to convey.
Shawn T. Murphy cites historical facts and figures dating back to the Early Greeks to show when and where the divide between science and faith originated and the devastating consequences that followed. While this was interesting to a point, the author could have used a lighter touch when incorporating his research into the book so as not to alienate readers that may not be familiar with the works of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle.
For all that the subject matter explores in this series runs the risk of being too academic, the author’s conversational and sometimes humorous writing style turns what would have been a very dry discussion of science and philosophy into something that even non-readers of logic and philosophy would be able to follow. He’s able to deconstruct the beliefs and teachings of geniuses like Galileo into something that is applicable and relevant.
In addition, the author also uses his own experiences to underscore some of the points he’s trying to make, such as the difference between wisdom and rhetoric. In telling readers about his daughter’s difficulty with a school system that places too high a premium on math and science skills, and not enough on areas such as the arts, he’s able to bring something broad down to a personal level that will likely resonate with many readers.
This style works to draw readers in despite the series belonging to such a specific and distinct genre. However, the series lost some of its momentum toward the end of the series, where the author relies too heavily on past works by Socrates and the like to explain the concept of the ethereal world. Some readers may find this way of thinking too abstract. The book would have finished on a better note, and made more of an impact, if the author presented his ideas in a more relatable manner.
While this book does not claim to have all the answers, it effectively points readers toward a direction where they might be able to ask the right questions. Packed with facts, logic, and compelling anecdotes, this is a body of work that will start conversations and generate discussions among those who read it. Its unbiased exploration of the relationship between that which is known and unknown will ensure that it is appreciated by both scientists and philosophers alike, and even more so by those who share the author’s belief that one simply cannot exist without the other.
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