Subject—Proposal for Public Debate (14 February 2003)

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.
—Marshall McLuhan

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 CalgaryChief Justice McLaughlin, Supreme Court of CanadaPrime Minister Jean ChrétienAlberta Premier Ralph KleinGovernor General ClarksonDr Naylor, Psychiatrist, Peter Lougheed HospitalDr Hicks, Physics Department Chair, University of CalgaryMr Kelly, Principal of Crescent Heights High SchoolBishop Zemp, Crescent Heights Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day SaintsMr 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.
King Christopher

Philosophers up until now have only described the world.  The point is to change it.
—Karl Marx

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.
—Alfred Whitehead

The acquiesce of many voices is not a valid proof of truth.
—René Descartes

Average goodness is no longer enough.
—Nicholas Berdyaev

History is the biography of great men.
—Thomas Carlyle

My mind. My rules.
—Jennifer Lopez

Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
—Marshall McLuhan

If the mental illness of the United States is megalomania—that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia.
—Margaret Atwood

Never trust human reason at face value for it seeks to mask what it fears to confront—the most unpleasant truth of all.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

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.
—Fredrick Nietzsche

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.
—E.F. Schumacher

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.
—Microsoft Encarta

Consciousness? Can you see it? Measure it? Pass it around? Then how is it different than something that does not exist at all?
—B.F. Skinner

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.
—Jean-Paul Sartre

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.
—E.F. Schumacher

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.
—E.F. Schumacher

If the government violates the rights of individuals, then the people have the right to get rid of the government.
—John Locke

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.
—John Locke

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.
—D.H. Lawrence

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.
—Blaise Pascal


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.