Complaining about Platonic Solids

  [warning]This post is totally just going to be me being cranky.[/warning]

(via theshoutinglegendoflife on tumblr)

I was checking my Tumblr when I came across this very pretty picture of some "Rose Quartz Sacred Geometry Healing Gemstone[s]."

I won't deny that these are very pretty.  But, sacred geometry?  Really?  According to the Etsy page:

Sacred Geometry is the blueprint of Creation and the birth of all form. There are five perfect 3-dimensional forms; the tetrahedron, the hexahedron, the octahedron, the dodecahedron, and the icosahedron. These pure shapes, known as The Platonic Solids are the building blocks of our Universe. Being and meditating with crystals in these shapes, allows us to access the energy vibrations and wisdom of our core-selves.

Nope.  Piles and piles of nope.

I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I'm pretty sure that Platonism is one of the major causes of everything that's wrong with society, and looking for a moment at these pictures makes it easy to see why.

The picture is beautiful.  But check out the Platonic Solids on their Wikipedia page:

Tetrahedron (four faces) Cube or hexahedron (six faces) Octahedron (eight faces) Dodecahedron (twelve faces) Icosahedron (twenty faces)
Tetrahedron.svg (Animation) Hexahedron.svg (Animation) Octahedron.svg (Animation) POV-Ray-Dodecahedron.svg (Animation) Icosahedron.svg (Animation)

They're kind of gross looking.  They look pretty unnatural -- what do you ever see in real life that looks anything like those?  To my mind, the reason the objects in the above picture are pretty is that you can see the patterns in the crystal -- the complex, irregular streaks and swirls of pink.  It doesn't hurt that they're on the even more irregular background of the ground and nearby plants.

Plato argued that everything in the universe, all the stuff we interact with, are imperfect manifestations of what he called "forms," which are sort of ethereal objects that totally literally exist, but not really in any sort of physical location, and which you could comprehend if you just spent enough time thinking about them.

I think this is bull████.  Worse, I think it's particularly toxic bull████, because Plato encourages people to believe that if they experience a sense of absolute truth, a sense of insight into the intuitive, obvious nature of the universe, they're probably right.

He encourages people to simplify, rather than looking for answers in complexity.  He encourages people to take unwavering faith in the belief that their intuitive understanding of the world is best, and that people who disagree with them are not just seeing things from a different angle, but have been corrupted by a veil of deception.  Platonic thinking is the kind of thinking that leads people to believe that just because their views are unpopular means they're probably right.

If you read a list of cognitive biases, you're getting a pretty clear breakdown of the basic assumptions of the Platonic worldview.  And that's the kind of worldview that gets you to believe that if you carve rocks up into special shapes, they'll work like magic to heal your core-self with vibrations from the universe.