As the bitter and dirty race for the American presidency draws to a close, it’s time to highlight the only candidate who has put bioethics at the front and centre of his campaign.
Zoltan Istvan is the Transhumanist candidate. His program is pretty simple: to overcome death and ageing within 15 years. A Tranhshumanist Bill of Rights for “Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms” commits government to working for indefinite life spans, morphological freedom and an end to involuntary suffering and ageing.
Some people have questioned the practicality of eliminating death, because of the resulting population explosion. However, Zoltan’s response is that “mind-uploading will be here in 50 years, so people might actually remain alive but in machines, making population levels easy to deal with.”
He has a few other ideas as well, such as surrendering the job of being president to artificial intelligence. He told the BBC:
“I’ve advocated for an artificial intelligence to become president one day. If we had a truly altruistic entity that was after the best interests of society maybe giving up at least some freedoms would be beneficial if that was truly in our best interests. What’s happened in the past is we’ve had dictators who are selfish, and they’ve done an absolutely terrible job of running countries. But what if you actually had somebody who really was after your best interests, wouldn’t you want him on your team?”
If you are planning to cast your vote for Mr Istvan, you will have to write in his name, as it is not on the ballot in any of the states.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.