This chapter contrasts two domains of human activity: LOGOS, the principle of enlightenment rationality and MYTHOS, the search for meaning through religion. LOGOS has created our modern world, and we have many successes as a result: the general equilibrium result for economics, general relativity, and quantum mechanics (but as yet no combined theory of the two). Even Newtonian mechanics has led to the notion of chaos. The Hilbert program to show the consistency and completeness of Mathematics has been invalidated by Godel’s Theorem, while the attempt to extend the economics general equilibrium theorem fails because of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. Darwinian evolutionary theory is another success of Logos, but even here, there are many difficulties, particularly how genes work Logos has allowed us to create our industrial society, but has also led us to climate change, without indicating how we can avoid the collapse of civilization. Here we suggest that we may be able to use Mythos, our collective beliefs in what we should do, to help us make a wise choice about the future. The greatest failure of Logos is that we have no understanding of the nature of consciousness. If we can develop such a theory, then perhaps we can construct a theoretical political economy. Without this, it appears likely that climate change could induce a Malthusian trap for us unless we pay heed to Pope Francis’s call for us to “Care for Our Common Home.” Since this presents us with a common goal, it is possible that we can make a wise choice over our future.
Part of the book: Spatial Analysis, Modelling and Planning