From—Bek—To—Mansbridge—Proposal for Public Debate—14 Feb 2003
Mr. Peter Mansbridge
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
PO Box 500, Station A
Toronto, ON M5W 1E6
Dear Mr. Mansbridge,
Subject—Proposal for Public Debate
King Christopher Bek
1004 First Street NW
Office of the King
14 February 2003
Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
In pursuant to The Theory of One which I sent you in early 2001, as well as letters relating to this matter that I sent to politicians, judges, doctors, physicists, business leaders and others—I would like to propose a public debate on Friday 28 March 2003 at two pm at the CBC in Calgary in which you would serve as moderator. I have sent letters requesting the presence of the following ten individuals for participation in the proposed debate—Mr Weingarten, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary—Chief Justice McLaughlin, Supreme Court of Canada—Prime Minister Jean Chrétien—Alberta Premier Ralph Klein—Governor General Clarkson—Dr Naylor, Psychiatrist, Peter Lougheed Hospital—Dr Hicks, Physics Department Chair, University of Calgary—Mr Kelly, Principal of Crescent Heights High School—Bishop Zemp, Crescent Heights Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints—Mr Beaton, Calgary Police Chief. I would ask that you mail or email me a schedule, an outline of the format and a list of the participants along with their profiles at least two weeks in advance.
I propose that the debate be recorded for television, and that it be ten twenty-minute rounds, with a ten-minute recess between rounds—bringing the total duration of the session to five hours. I would debate each of the ten participants, and prior to debating me, each participant would not be allowed to view the prior rounds. Should the CBC or any other network decide to broadcast the debate, I would ask that it be done so uncensored and unedited. I would ask you to let me know at your earliest convenience by mail or email whether both you and the CBC agree to this important project.
Philosophers up until now have only described the world. The point is to change it.
Without the possibility of immortality, I shall throw myself into the sea.
—Lord Byron Tennyson
A just society will only be possible once philosophers become kings and kings become philosophers.
It is important that the different levels of government are not accountable to each other.
—Alberta Minister of Health and Wellness Gary Mar
Not ignorance but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.
The acquiesce of many voices is not a valid proof of truth.
Average goodness is no longer enough.
History is the biography of great men.
My mind. My rules.
Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
If the mental illness of the United States is megalomania—that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia.
Never trust human reason at face value for it seeks to mask what it fears to confront—the most unpleasant truth of all.
Something profoundly convulsive and disturbing suddenly becomes both visible and audible with indescribable definiteness and exactness—bringing on the overwhelming feeling that one is utterly out of hand. Everything occurs without volition—as if by eruption of freedom, independence, power and divinity—thus giving rise to the most immediate, exact and intense form of expression.
The maps produced by modern materialistic scientism leave all the questions that really matter unanswered; more than that—they deny the validity of the questions. The situation was desperate enough in my youth half a century ago; it is even worse now because the ever more rigorous application of the scientific method to all subjects and disciplines has destroyed even the last remnants of ancient wisdom—at least in the Western world. It is being loudly proclaimed in the name of scientific objectivity that values and meanings are nothing but defense mechanisms and reaction formations; that man is nothing but a complex biochemical mechanism powered by a combustion system which energizes computers with prodigious storage facilities for retaining encoded information.
No simple, agreed-upon definition of consciousness exists. Attempts to define consciousness have tended to be merely tautological or descriptive—such as awareness, sensations, thoughts or feelings. In spite of this, the subject of consciousness has had a remarkable history and at one time was the primary subject matter of psychology, although has since suffered an almost complete and total downfall.
Consciousness? Can you see it? Measure it? Pass it around? Then how is it different than something that does not exist at all?
There can be no other truth to take off from this—I think, therefore I exist—ie. the Cartesian cogito. There we have the absolute truth of consciousness becoming aware of itself. Every theory which takes man out of the moment in which he becomes aware of himself is, at its very beginning, a theory which confounds the truth, for outside the Cartesian cogito, all views are only probable, and a doctrine of probability which is not bound to a truth dissolves into thin air. In order to describe the probable, you must have a firm hold on the true. Therefore, before there can be any truth whatsoever, there must be an absolute truth; and this one is easily arrived at; it is on everyone’s doorstep; it is a matter of grasping it directly.
Man has the power of life like the plants, the power of consciousness like the animals, and something more—the power of consciousness recoiling upon itself—which is the power of self-awareness. Man is not merely a conscious being, but a being capable of consciousness of his own consciousness—not merely a thinker, but a thinker able to watch and study his own thinking. This power of self-awareness opens up unlimited possibilities for purposeful learning, investigating, exploring and of formulating and accumulating knowledge.
People ask for bread and are given stones. They beg for advice on how to be saved and are told that salvation is an infantile neurosis. They long for guidance on how to live responsibly and are told they are machines, like computers, without freewill and therefore without responsibility.
If the government violates the rights of individuals, then the people have the right to get rid of the government.
The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth—and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man but to have only the law of nature for his rule.
Whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by law, and makes use of the force he has under his command to compass that upon the subject which the law does not allow—may be opposed as any other man, who by force invades the right of another.—John Locke
Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence—whether much that is glorious—whether all that is profound—does not spring from disease of thought—from moods of minds exalted at the expense of general intellect.
—Edgar Allan Poe
Everything that can possibly be painted has been painted, every brush-stroke that can possibly be laid on canvas has been laid on. Then suddenly at the age of forty, I began painting myself and became fascinated.
Our beliefs are based much more on custom and example than on any certain knowledge. People take age, number and location as criteria of justice. A law is reputed to be ancient, a religious creed is seen to be popular—such brute facts are reason enough to render them legitimate. And professions exploit the multitude’s susceptibility to costume for all it is worth—including our magistrates, who have shown themselves well aware of this secret. Their red robes, the ermine in which they swaddle themselves like furry cats, the law-courts where they sit in judgment, the fleurs de lys, all this august panoply is very necessary. If physicians did not have long gowns and mules, if learned doctors did not wear square caps and robes four times too large, they would never have deceived the world, which finds such an authentic display irresistible. And it is not only judges and doctors who are judged worthy of respect by the common people because of the way they appear—nobility and royalty do the same. The queen leaves her palace surrounded by guards, drums, officers and all the things which prompt automatic responses of respect.
|Senate Leader Sharon Carstairs||Senate of Canada||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin||Supreme Court of Canada||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Prime Minister Jean Chrétien||Government of Canada||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Premier Ralph Klein||Government of Alberta||Edmonton, Alberta|
|Queen Elizabeth II||Queen of Great Britain & Northern Ireland||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Honourable Adrienne Clarkson||Governor General of Canada||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Honourable Paul Martin||Federal Liberal Party||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Honourable Stephen Harper||Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Federal Canadian Alliance Party||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Right Honourable Joe Clark||Leader of the Federal Conservative Party||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Right Honourable William J Clinton||Former President of the United States||New York, New York|
|Ms Brigitte Vanherzeele||Canadiana Acquitions Division and Legal Deposit Office, National Library of Canada||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Mr Peter Mansbridge||Chief Correspondent of CBC News and Host of Mansbridge One on One||Toronto, Ontario|
|Mr Peter Jennings||Broadcaster, ABC Inc||New York, New York|
|Mr Gord Nixon||President, Royal Bank of Canada||Toronto, Ontario|
|Mr Israel H Asper||Executive Chairman of the Board, Canwest Global Communications Corp||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Mr Harvey Weingarten||President and Vice-Chancellor||University of Calgary|
|Dr RB Hicks||Department Chair, Department of Physics||University of Calgary|
|Dr Helmy Sherif||Department Chair, Department of Physics||University of Alberta|
|Dr Ivan L’Heureux||Department Chair, Department of Physics||University of Ottawa|
|Dr Christopher McKee||Department Chair, Department of Physics||University of California, Berkeley|
|Dr Claudio Pellegrini||Department Chair, Department of Physics||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Dr Doug Osheroff||Department Chair, Department of Physics||Stanford University|
|Dr G Peter Lepage||Department Chair, Department of Physics||Cornell University|
|Dr Allen Mincer||Department Chair, Department of Physics||New York University|
|Dr Daniel Marlow||Department Chair, Department of Physics||Princeton University|
|Dr Gerald Gabrielse||Department Chair, Department of Physics||Harvard University|
|Ms Jodie Foster||Actress, International Creative Management||Beverly Hills, California|
|Ms Sonya Savage||Lawyer, Randal Jarvis Law Office||Strathmore, Alberta|
|Dr John Naylor||Peter Lougheed Hospital||Calgary, Alberta|
|Minister Gary Mar||Alberta Health and Wellness||Edmonton, Alberta|
|Mr John Beaton||Chief of Police, Calgary Police||Calgary, Alberta|
|Mr Jim Kelly||Principal, Crescent Heights High School||Calgary, Alberta|
|Bishop Kevin Zemp||Crescent Heights Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints||Calgary, Alberta|
|Mr François Jubinville||Privy Council Office||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Mr Nigel Lloyd||Executive VP, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Investing in people, discovery & innovation||Ottawa, Ontario|
Christopher Bek is a mathematician, actuary, philosopher, scientist and writer—and is a superior spreadsheet, database and riskmodeling craftsman. He has consulted to the top executives of one of the largest companies in Canada—and has made presentations relating to the philosophy and science of risk management in Houston and New York. Chris founded Risk Management Services in 1995 dedicated to helping executives develop scientific management practices that will allow organizations to properly serve the shareholders, the stakeholders and society in the community. Socrates (470-399 BC) set the table for Plato (427-347) by radically insisting that we must first answer the question of what X is before we can say anything else about X. Plato then founded philosophy by daring to ask what existence would be like outside the cave. Chris founded Philosophymagazine on 1 January 2001 in support of those who have taken a less traveled road in the struggle towards daylight.