Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Water Slides and Plato

Written by: on March 23, 2014

Ever since my days in youth ministry I have always enjoyed a good slip and slide.  A little soap, a good long sheet of plastic, a steep hill and a whole lot of water is all you need to have a whole lot of fun.  So when I heard of the “Crazy Insane Water Slide” video posted on YouTube a few years back, I had to check it out.  That night as I pulled up the video, a group of friends who were enjoying a meal at our home began to watch with me.  As we began watching  the supposed class experiment by a few college physic majors we couldn’t believe our eyes.  Upon watching the video, half the crowd was shocked, amazed at the risk and the shear audacity that these college students had pulled off what seemed near impossible.  The other half of our guests that evening immediately called foul, stating succinctly that the video had to be a hoax.  Watch and decide for yourself.

This past week while reading A Brief Guide To Ideas by William Raeper and Linda Edwards I was struck by Plato’s understanding that the world is divided into “reality” and “appearance” (the one and the many).  More specifically, Plato’s theory on knowledge being what we seek, but opinion is usually what we have.  The following are two key insights which emerged while processing through Plato’s divided reality.

Keys to Reality

The visible world… The visible world can quite often be deceiving.  A few days ago my daughter Grace and I went to a large Fish store located in our area.  Inside the store there are many exotic fish and tanks.  One of the most unique out of all the tanks is their Sting Ray tank.  While standing beside the tank the other day, a sting ray piercing through the water caught my attention and made me jump back from the wall of the tank.  Now, I know it wasn’t close, but all the same, it looked real.  Grace immediately began to laugh, while stating, “Dad, from my vantage point, you weren’t even within 10 ft. of the stingray.”  Sometimes what we think we are seeing isn’t fully reality.

The intelligible world…  A world beyond.  The intelligible world is one that moves beyond the senses.  This is a world in which all is fact, provable knowledge.  Not just a hunch, or I believe I saw!  Those who live by an intelligible world mindset have the need to confirm, question and pursue alternative solutions.  Once questions have been formed and answered a more concise understanding can be arrived at for the cognitive questioner.  Within this reality one is not just comfortable with seeing, but rather validation through concrete rational processing.

The next day I began a quest to unearth whether the “Crazy Insane Water Slide” was real or a hoax.  After researching for a period of time, what I came to find was the video was truly a fake.  And not only that, it was produced by Microsoft as a promotional piece.  Yet, many still watch and believe all the same.  Are you a believer?  How quickly do you assume all is reality?

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Richard Rhoads

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