Vrillon, trans-human candidate
With the election of the US President only 14 months away, the US Transhumanist Party is in the process of selecting its candidate. The telegenic 2016 candidate Zoltan Istvan is still a advisor, but does not plan to run.
There are nine candidates. The Party is holding an on-line debate before a ballot this month.
It is a varied line-up. Rachel Haywire wants to use a pirate spaceship to promote her candidacy. Kimberly Forsythe promises “to dismantle the government and start over from scratch with an ultra-efficient moneyless society”. Charles Holsopple is a former “commodity lumber trader, licensed massage therapist, artist, yogi, inventor and real estate investor/developer”.
Perhaps the most colourful is Vrillon. If elected he would be “the first actual trans-human (extra-terrestrial who identifies as human) to hold the office” of President”. If he is successful, he believes that other extraterrestrial-human hybrids will come out of the closet.
Most of the candidates agree with Vrillon that “Death is an outrage that your species can overcome”. However, they disagree on a number of other issues. Some are committed libertarians; others emphasise a basic universal income; others alleviating poverty.
The Party’s platform includes a number of issues related to bioethics, apart from unlimited life extension. It has a strong libertarian streak and backs “efforts to increase opportunities for entry into the medical profession”, to break the monopoly held by medical associations on the nation’s healthcare. It also declares that the FDA should not be able to block supply of drugs which it has not approved.
It also rejects any movement or belief which is irrational, including “Stalinism, Maoism, Neo-Malthusianism or eco-primitivism, the death-acceptance movement, and” political correctness. Unsurprisingly, it supports “gender reassignment, hysterectomies, vasectomies, technological augmentation, cosmetic alterations, genetic enhancements, and physical supplementation at or after the age of 18 years”.
However, its attitude towards assisted suicide and euthanasia is surprisingly old-fashioned. It opposes them, partly because it supports “life-prolonging choices and activities”, not death. “The United States Transhumanist Party,” it says, “is interested in persuading as many people as possible to decide to preserve their irreplaceable lives instead of hastening their end.”
Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge
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