30-Day Exposure Period for the Transhumanist Bill of Rights – November 24 – December 24, 2016

30-Day Exposure Period for the Transhumanist Bill of Rights – November 24 – December 24, 2016

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Gennady Stolyarov II


Having rapidly reached over 136 members, the U.S. Transhumanist Party is poised to take its first steps toward more democratic decision-making. The first area of focus for membership involvement will be matters of policy advocacy, beginning with the basic rights that transhumanists would wish to be instantiated in a desirable future world.

In December 2015, Zoltan Istvan delivered his Transhumanist Bill of Rights to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. You can read his article about it here.

Now it is time to expose the Transhumanist Bill of Rights for consideration by and input from the membership of the Transhumanist Party.

During the next 30 days, until 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 25, 2016, members of the Transhumanist Party will be able to offer input regarding the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. Please offer your honest feedback regarding what you like about the original version, what you dislike, and any revisions or additions you would favor. Please feel free to advocate your individual viewpoint – as all reasonable (serious, non-egregious, benevolently motivated) suggestions will be considered in the voting process.

During the exposure period, please post your comments on this thread. If you post comments intended to be considered in voting and/or amending the Transhumanist Bill of Rights in any other electronic medium, please note that you thereby give your consent to have your comments reproduced with attribution or linked within this discussion thread, in order to direct members’ attention and consideration to them.

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 25, 2016, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on January 1, 2017. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter. You can still vote if you become a member during the exposure period, so please apply here if you are interested. During the 7-day electronic voting period, you will still be able to become a member – but you will only be able to vote in subsequent elections, since we seek for voting on any given issue to be done by those members who have had an opportunity to thoroughly consider that issue and be involved in deliberations regarding it.

Electronic voting will be conducted by a ranked-preference method. Members will be able to rank-order their preferred selections on each individual Article of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, including any new Articles that might be proposed during the exposure period. The original text of each Article will be available for selection, as well as any reasonable amendments proposed by any member. Leadership of the Transhumanist Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar only – but not with regard to the substance, unless the person proposing the amendment requests or consents to a substantive edit. “No Article of this sort” will also be a choice, and any Article where a majority of votes favors this option will be removed from the final adopted version of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. Members will also be able to abstain from voting on any given article.

The ranked-preference method has the advantage of eliminating a “winner-take-all” or “first-past-the-post” mentality and preventing people from being channeled into voting for sub-optimal choices (in their view) just because they fear an even less palatable alternative prevailing. Within the ranked-preference methodology, if no option obtains a clear majority as voters’ first choice, the option having the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated from consideration, and all those who voted for that option will have their votes assigned to their second-choice options. This process of elimination continues until one particular option has a clear majority of votes.

The Transhumanist Party encourages all members to participate in this process and for other transhumanists to sign up for membership during the exposure period. This is an opportunity to demonstrate collaborative and democratic decision-making within the transhumanist movement and to teach the rest of the American political system an important lesson about how technology and rational voting systems can be used to produce truly representative outcomes.


The Transhumanist Bill of Rights – Version 1

(Authored by Zoltan Istvan – December 21, 2015)

Preamble: Whereas science and technology are now radically changing human beings and may also create future forms of advanced sapient and sentient life, transhumanists establish this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS to help guide and enact sensible policies in the pursuit of life, liberty, security of person, and happiness.

Article 1. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology.

Article 2. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

Article 3. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

Article 4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms will take every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risk, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

Article 5. All nations and their governments will take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Article 6. Involuntary aging shall be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments will actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of its citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.


Help us develop a Version 2.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights that is broadly representative of perspectives and aspirations within the transhumanist movement! We welcome your feedback in the comments below.

102 thoughts on “30-Day Exposure Period for the Transhumanist Bill of Rights – November 24 – December 24, 2016

  1. I like the first article. I like the idea that life extension should be considered a universal right. In general, it has to be clear that Transhumanism won’t create a divide, be it genetic or economic. Especially now that automation is becoming a more visible threat to jobs it has to be understood that transhumanists advocate for equality. Maybe there could be a mention of equal access to wealth/resources.

    1. +1 On a mention for supporting economic equality insofar as people are given equal access to resources.

      Perhaps the “equal access to wealth” part should go alongside a newly created Article, whereby we emphasize the right to a Universal Basic Income welfare system.

      1. Yes, i thought of UBI too but maybe we shouldn’t make it that specific. Maybe the Bill Of Rights should be more general because we don’t know if UBI will actually work. That’s why i said equal access to wealth/resources. Not to mention money might not exist in the future. Talking about UBI would be a very specific policy which i support but maybe it shouldn’t be mentioned yet. We should talk about it as a policy a transhumanist president would try to implement but it doesn’t have to be in the Bill Of Rights.

        1. +1 on no UBI specific language. It makes more sense to incorporate language calling for the goal of creating a more egalitarian society for all sapient beings. That being said, the best solution here might be a call for a legal guarantee to equal access to life extension therapies. Hell, the US currently offers a free lawyer to anyone who needs it, why not a free doctor too?

          1. Am I the only one who would rather see life expansion versus life extension? Simply extending life seems one dimensional. Not only that, but the majority of people look at life extension and write it off as science fiction. Life expansion covers extension but also other things like sensory improvements. I think it’s a better term that can cover the near and far future

      2. Instead of viewing religion, government, social and medical views as impeding the science of life extension, consider God and Gods, angels, conquerors, and what people believe in spiritually as surely assets in putting forward a transhumanist bill of rights….also consider only putting the word, “cyborgs” in once – you would surely and clearly prefer putting in Gods and Archangels, viewing these as having been compromised by human wars and conflicts and more wisely “reboot” these data structures. After all, data structure, protocol, feedback – plus a lack of these – from a good view of all that exists, what else is there…the anti-abortion laws, made much more universal, extend life more wisely, surely and even intelligent for most practically than human science….

        1. Sorry, but I don’t see how religion should play a role in any science based operation. Religion HAS impeded scientific progress. Furthermore, religion has no place in government in the first place.

          1. I am going to begin to formulate alternatives for the ballot based on the various proposals that have been made regarding individual articles. I will also propose several alternatives of my own, which will be of equal standing with the other options. Because the voting will be done via a ranked-preference system, which does not have any incentives for strategic voting, we can entertain as many alternatives as people will suggest so as to give each member the opportunity to express support for the wording that most closely matches his/her view and rank-order the other proposals accordingly as well.

            I will give provisional letter titles to potential new articles, with options expressed as numbers after the letters. The provisional nomenclature will not have any necessary relation to the placement of the article, if adopted, in the final document. (The final nomenclature will depend on how many articles are adopted by the vote of the members and what they are.) For each article, there will also be an option for “No Article of this sort” – which the voter could rank-order along with the others.

            Also, some specific wording may be affected by what we choose to do with the preface. For instance, if “human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms” are encompassed within the preface by some singular term, then this would affect the wording of all articles.

            So, in this thread, members proposed an article pertaining to access to resources and/or universal basic income. We can provisionally call the article on access to resources Article A. If you originally proposed an idea and would like to refine the wording I attempted to formulate on its behalf, please let me know. Each article is still open for proposals for as long as the exposure period lasts.

            Option A-1 [Based on Proposal by Stavros]. Societies of the future should achieve equal access to wealth and resources for human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms.

            Option A-2 [Variant of Option A-1]. Societies of the future should achieve equitable access to wealth and resources for human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms.

            [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: I put forth this variant – replacing “equal” with “equitable” to allow for a broader conception of justice or fairness than strict equality. “Equitable” means just or fair, but not necessarily the same amount of everything for everyone. This can be seen as a more of a centrist-egalitarian position.]

            Option A-3. Societies of the future should afford all human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms sufficient basic access to wealth and resources to sustain the basic requirements of existence in a civilized society and function as the foundation for pursuits of self-improvement.

            [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: This would be a more limited formulation – access to a minimum standard of living rather than equality of everything for everyone. This is more along the lines of what a guaranteed basic income would achieve, at least at the onset.]

            Option A-4 [Proposed by Gennady Stolyarov II]. Societies of the future should strive toward continually improving the access to wealth and resources for human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms – provided, however, that such access to wealth and resources shall always be pursued in such a manner as to raise the living standards of at least some sapient beings without forcibly diminishing the living standards of any other sapient beings.

            [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: This is a more libertarian transhumanist formulation that I wanted to include as an option for those who hold the position that we ideally want all people to become better off, but not at the expense of those who might, at any given time, have more than some others.]

            I will also put forth an Article B pertaining to universal basic income. Those who favor Article A can also accept or reject Article B – or those who think that a specific proposal like UBI is more manageable or more justifiable than a broad pursuit of “equal” or “equitable” outcomes might vote for Article B but not Article A.

            Option B-1. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sapient being’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence to be met.

            [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: Option B-1 was my attempt to formulate the concept of UBI – but others are welcome to suggest alternative phrasing.]

            Article C will be proposed to address legal access to life extension / life expansion.

            Option C-1 [Based on Proposal by Louis Rosas-Guyon]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms should be entitled to a legal guarantee of equal access to life-extension therapies.

            Option C-2 [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms should be entitled to a legal guarantee of equal access to treatments that achieve life expansion, including life extension, sensory improvements, and other technologically driven improvements of the human condition that might be achieved in the future.

            Option C-3 [Proposed by Gennady Stolyarov II]. No coercive legal restrictions should exist to bar access to life extension and life expansion for all human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms. Life expansion includes life extension, sensory improvements, and other technologically driven improvements of the human condition that might be achieved in the future.

            Option C-4 [Variant of Option C-2]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms should be entitled to a legal guarantee of equitable access to treatments that achieve life expansion, including life extension, sensory improvements, and other technologically driven improvements of the human condition that might be achieved in the future – provided, however, that the practical inability of some to access such treatments must not be utilized as a reason to bar any others who are able access them.

            [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: Variant of Option C-2, with proviso that the desirability of access should not be held to restrict access to some, just because all cannot have it at a given moment.]

            The above are the topical options that I could derive from the first thread. More options will be generated from the other threads as the exposure period continues.

            Sincerely,
            Gennady Stolyarov II,
            Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

        2. Based on the desire to be inclusive of members’ views, even views that are in the minority – as long as the suggestions are constructive, I will include on the ballot a proposal to include “Gods and Archangels” within the listing of “human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms” or the term that encapsulates all of the above.

          Based on what Mr. Lawrence Leight has written, this appears to be a question of expanding the definition of the beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights would apply (unless Mr. Leight has other more concrete proposals) – so the manner in which this would have an impact will also depend on how voters choose to treat the definitions (either in the preamble or in each article separately).

          For this, I will put on the ballot a simple “Yes” or “No” vote on the following:

          “Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights apply include ‘Gods’ and ‘Archangels’?”

          Members will also have the choice to abstain on this matter, as on all the others.

          Personally, I do not agree with this proposal, but as Chairman, I will include it to be considered in a democratic manner by the members.

          Sincerely,
          Gennady Stolyarov II,
          Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  2. Firstly, I agree with Stavros. I think there should be at least some mention of providing some sort of economic equality. Presumably, a transhumanist society would be very prosperous, enough to at least provide a few pennies to make sure that others do not starve. This might also make the party more appealing to those that might imagine us as a bunch of technology-obsessed anarcho-capitalists.

    The other things that I saw were rather small problems. At the end of Article 3, “whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”, seems like it was written by a somewhat younger person. Perhaps replacing “doesn’t hurt anyone else.” with “does not harm others” might make it sound a bit more mature, although it is probably apparent that I am not the greatest writer so I’ll leave that to those better than I.

    Articles 5 & 6, perhaps replacing “All nations and their governments will” to “All nations and their governments should”. I don’t know the motivation behind the exact phrasing, and it is a rather small complaint, but it seems like replacing “will” with “should” would make it sound a bit better.

    My only large complaint is the lack of an article ensuring that one won’t live in poverty just because they were born to the wrong parents. This would be the morally right decision, as well as one that most likely provides more electoral appeal.

      1. Based on the proposal by Mr. Dylan Graves, I will include several options for Article 3 on the ballot.

        Option 3-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan] Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

        Option 3-2 [Based on Proposal by Dylan Graves] Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others.

        Option 3-3 [Variant of Option 3-2] Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others.

        [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: I am proposing Option 3-3 because I am not certain how one can do anything while being dead or unconscious. It seems to me that morphological freedom and choice generally only make sense for a living, conscious being; dead and unconscious beings cannot exercise any choices.]

        More to come in the near future regarding Articles 5 and 6.

        Sincerely,
        Gennady Stolyarov II,
        Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

        1. I am not 100% sure about the original motivation for including the phrase “dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious”. However, I can think of at least one reason for including it: It could be relevant for the case in which a sentient intelligence lays down in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a some sort of vegetative or unconscious state.

          Here also legal definitions might not match with transhuman ideas; for instance, cryo-preserved individuals are legally considered dead (if I’m not mistaken), even though from a transhumanist point of view we would want them to retain the right to have done to their body whatever they had specified beforehand.

          1. I think that Mr. Caleb Wagner provides a helpful insight as to why the parenthetical reference “dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious” appears in the original Article 3. I think Mr. Wagner’s phrasing offers some potentially superior ways of expressing this idea.

            I have therefore added Options 3-4 and 3-5 to the draft sample ballot on within Question IX on Article 3. The difference between the options is that Option 3-4 only contains generic phrasing regarding the concept of such advance directives for how one would wish to be treated – whereas Option 3-5 also adds a specific reference to cryopreservation.

            ☐ Option 3-4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others. This right includes the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death.

            ☐ Option 3-5. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others. This right includes the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death. For instance, a cryonics patient has the right to determine in advance that the patient’s body shall be cryopreserved and kept under specified conditions, in spite of any legal definition of death that might apply to that patient under cryopreservation.

            Sincerely,
            Gennady Stolyarov II,
            Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

    1. Now I will formulate the options for Articles 5 and 6 based on Mr. Graves’s suggestions and some of my own thoughts.

      For Article 5, the following variants will be placed on the ballot.

      Option 5-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. All nations and their governments will take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

      Option 5-2 [Modification Proposed by Dylan Graves]. All nations and their governments should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

      Option 5-3 [Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]. Present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

      [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: I am proposing Option 5-3 to accommodate a broader variety of funding mechanisms for space travel. For instance, the current SpaceX/NASA collaboration is a public/private partnership, but, if SpaceX reaches phenomenal success, it might evolve into a wholly private venture. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has plans for wholly private space tourism. Changing “All nations and their governments” to “Present and future societies” could leave this article open to support by those who favor predominantly private space exploration, while those who favor heavy governmental investments could also interpret this phrase to encompass those.]

      For Article 6, the following variants will be placed on the ballot. Note that I edited the original text to amend “its citizens” to “their citizens”, as that would be the grammatically correct phrasing even for the original version.

      Option 6-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. Involuntary aging shall be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments will actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of their citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

      Option 6-2 [Modification Proposed by Dylan Graves]. Involuntary aging shall be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments should actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of their citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

      Option 6-3 [Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]. Involuntary aging shall be classified as a disease. Present and future societies should actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of their members by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

      [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: I am proposing Option 6-3 with much the same motivation as Option 5-3, to offer more flexibility for those voting to be able to support this option whether they support predominantly governmental or predominantly private approaches to anti-aging research and deployment of treatments. I also propose amending “citizens” to “members” to be more inclusive. For instance, if rejuvenation treatments are developed in the US, I would hope that US permanent residents and undocumented immigrants would get access to them as well.]

      Regarding the suggestion by Mr. Graves to add an article ensuring that someone will not live in poverty simply for being born to the wrong parents, I think the best way to handle this is to hold a vote on appending such text to either Article A or Article B, if either one of those is adopted. (This best fits Article A on access to resources but could work with Article B on UBI.)

      The “Yes” or “No” question I will plan to include on the ballot is as follows:

      “If either Article A or Article B is adopted, shall the following sentence be appended to the end of the adopted Article (and to the end of Article A if both Articles are adopted)?

      ‘Present and future societies should ensure that their members will not live in poverty solely for being born to the wrong parents.’ “

      This offers a bit more flexibility, as I think such a sentence could be compatible with any of the variants of Articles A and B that have been formulated thus far.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  3. I’m not sure a US political party should imply or instruct another country in their instructing documents. I would modify 5 and remove 6. The core principal of 6 is already covered in other points and the overall tone in point 6 is hostile.

    For article 2 I would add body modification and morphological enhancement.

    An article about protecting personal privacy should be included. My personal opinion is that as physical and digital identity become merged, personal data should be considered part of bodily autonomy.

    I also think an economic article is appropriate. Perhaps promoting a basic income system.

    1. For all articles, there will be an option for voters to select “No Article of this sort” – so that would be the choice for those who want to remove Article 6 or any other article.

      For Article 5, I think my Option 5-3 – replacing “All nations and their governments” with “Present and future societies” would get around the concern of instructing other governments.

      For Article 2, I will put on the ballot the following options.

      Option 2-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life-extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

      Option 2-2 [Proposed Modification by Ryan Starr]. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life-extension science, the health of the public, body modification, morphological enhancement, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

      Option 2-3 [Proposal by Gennady Stolyarov II]. Legal safeguards should be established to protect individual free choice in pursuing peaceful, consensual life-extension science, health improvements, body modification, and morphological enhancement. While all individuals should be free to formulate their independent opinions regarding the aforementioned pursuits, no hostile cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives should be entitled to apply the force of law to erode the safeguards protecting peaceful, voluntary measures intended to maximize the number of life hours citizens possess.

      [Note by Gennady Stolyarov II: I am proposing Option 2-3 because of the ambiguity I perceive in the original language as to what the “penalty of law” for the hostile “perspectives” might be and whether that penalty could ever be construed to breach the boundary between mere criticism (however disagreeable) and actual coercive deeds. Thus, I phrased my proposed alternative so as to maximize individual freedom – both to pursue life extension and other modifications and to criticize them, so as long as the law is not used to thwart such peaceful pursuits.]

      I will also place on the ballot an Article D on privacy rights.

      Option D-1 [Based on Proposal by Ryan Starr]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms have a right to the protection of their personal privacy. As physical and digital identity become merged, personal data should be considered part of bodily autonomy.

      I welcome other phrasings for Article D as well.

      Regarding the basic-income article, I attempted a formulation of this as Article B in a previous comment – but if anyone has alternate wording, please let me know.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  4. Another thing. There should be a definitions section. In that definitions section we should create a simplified term for “Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms”. Perhaps “all persons” or “entities”.

    1. A Bill of Rights works best when it’s somewhat vague and very broad. I do not agree with including definitions because there will always be something that we didn’t consider. The more specific you make this, the more some future jurist will argue towards strict construction and interpretation.

        1. I think that it would be worthwhile to include a proposal on the ballot to the following effect, subject to a “Yes” or “No” vote:

          Shall the Preamble be amended to include the following statement and, in all articles, replace the enumeration of “human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms” with “thought-capable individuals”?

          “As used in this Transhumanist Bill of Rights, the term ‘thought-capable individuals’ includes all human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms.”

          If you propose alternative phrasings, or a term that you think is superior to “thought-capable individuals”, then we can turn this question into one on which a ranked-preference vote will be conducted among the various proposed options, as well as the option to “Refrain from adding a singular term in the Preamble and keep the enumeration in each Article.”

          Sincerely,
          Gennady Stolyarov II,
          Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

          1. Another option has been proposed for the preamble by Wendy Stolyarov. Instead of “thought-capable individuals”, the term “advanced sapient life forms” could be defined to mean “all human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other beings of comparable cognitive capability”.

            So we will have multiple proposed terms that will be voted on in a ranked-preference manner.

            Sincerely,
            Gennady Stolyarov II,
            Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

      1. Yes but if we do not make some attempt at defining things then we have no basis on which to judge when an artificial intelligence or other as yet unknown entity reaches a threshold for sapience. There are those that argue that currently pigs are sufficiently intelligent to warrant human treatment so where shall we draw the line as an institution? Leaving it vague is at least as easy for people to pull legal and moral shenanigans and giving some basic definition.

        1. The problem with strict definitions is that we aren’t smart enough to consider all possibilities. If you look at U.S. history, the situations where the Constitution is most specific are where we have the greatest friction. I’ve seen jurists make arguments that 4th Amendment search and seizure provisions don’t protect digital communications because the law only guarantees security of “papers.” Luckily, the Supreme Court disagreed. My point is that the more specific we become, the more likely we are to get it wrong in the long term. Since our goal is to all be alive in the long term, then it makes sense we should do our best to get it right the first time.

  5. Considering that the topics of privacy, surveillance/sousveillance, and online freedoms are becoming extremely important over the last few years – especially given the news of the NSA metadata spying, net neutrality, etc. – I believe there should be an inclusion for the necessity of net neutrality and the right to online information (transparency) in regards to governmental policies that might affect the general public.

    Each and every person living in this country should have the right to online access without it being prohibited by either private corporations or governmental bureaucracy. Equally, there need to be put in place certain sousveillance laws to ensure that communities feel safe, e.g. mandatory body-cams for the police. So perhaps the need for counter-balances to the surveillance state which emphasizes both transparency and the right to online access.

    1. I like your thinking but you’re starting to get into specific laws instead of sticking to broad, universal principles. We also need to think about how your right to sousveillance may infringe on my right to privacy. That’s a significant area of overlap, so we need to craft some kind of fence between the two.

      Also, anything discussing privacy should be couched in similar sentiment as the 4th Amendment. We want to protect people but we also need to be able to catch criminals too.

      1. I think he is being specific right now so we have a clear guidance to writing a general article. Best to get all the thoughts out now so we can write a complete and overarching statement.

        1. Exactly. Best to be specific of what’s at stake or in front of us, so that we then can get a general sense of how we’d want to flesh out our principles in response.

          And in this case, the two specifics to consider being the surveillance state and a massive attack on net neutrality that remains ongoing to this day. So perhaps something which addresses this, albeit in more vague terms.

          1. I’m not shooting down the idea. Quite to the contrary. I love the idea of crafting a legal principle that solidly protects privacy, but not at the expense of law enforcement’s ability to catch bad guys.

            The current language of the Fourth Amendment reads:
            “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

            So, a logical change may be:

            “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, residences, documents, and private effects, both physical and ephemeral, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and specifically describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

          2. I am going to place on the ballot several articles based on the suggestions of B.J. Murphy.

            Article E will pertain to online access.

            Option E-1 [Based on Proposal by B.J. Murphy]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms have the right to online access without such access being prohibited by either private corporations or governmental bureaucracy.

            As always, I welcome proposals for alternative phrasings.

            Article F will pertain to sousveillance.

            Option F-1 [Based on Proposal by B.J. Murphy]. Sousveillance laws should be enacted to ensure that all members of peaceful communities feel safe, to achieve governmental transparency, and to provide counter-balances to any surveillance state. For instance, law-enforcement officials, when interacting with the public, should be required to wear body cameras or similar devices continuously monitoring their activities.

            Again, I welcome alternative proposed phrasings.

            Regarding the suggestion by Louis Rosas-Guyon, I think that would work well as one of the options considered for Article D on privacy. So I will frame it as Option D-2.

            Option D-2 [Based on Proposal by Louis Rosas-Guyon]. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, residences, documents, and private effects, both physical and ephemeral, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and specifically describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

            Sincerely,
            Gennady Stolyarov II,
            Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  6. I have a question: what is the end game for this Transhumanist Bill of Rights?

    It may seem a silly question, but what do we ultimately want to achieve with this? Do we just want a document to rally the troops, or are we talking about someday adding these to the US Constitution?

  7. This is an excellent bill and I look forward to it being implemented. I will point out a few things that possibly could be done with it:
    Article 1 (and others): it states human beings, artificial intelligences, cyborgs and other advanced beings. The last term should ensure that this bill is inclusive, but there is one little possible edit. In addition to the aforementioned entities, maybe it should say “genetically modified humans or intellectually enhanced, previously non-sapient animals”. Maybe that’s unnecessary, but it would be good to have genetic modification directly mentioned or to extend the definition of cyborg include genetically modified humans. A comment already mentioned that people should have a some form of privacy, but perhaps they should be something stating that, like how we aren’t supposed to allow discrimination based on race, ethnicity and religion, that beings can not be discriminated against based on their physical form. Now, I doubt that’s going to be easy to implement, but it at least should apply to businesses and law enforcement, which I can see discriminating against cyborgs because they’d automatically could be more dangerous.

    1. To address Tom’s first suggestion, I will include the following “Yes” or “No” question on the ballot.

      “Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights apply include ‘genetically modified humans’ and ‘intellectually enhanced, previously non-sapient animals’?”

      Members will also have the choice to abstain on this matter, as on all the others.

      To address Tom’s second suggestion, I will place on the ballot a possible Article G on discrimination.

      Option G-1 [Based on Proposal by Tom]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms should be protected from discrimination based on their physical form in the context of business transactions and law enforcement.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  8. I would like to see some mention of the rights of individual entities in regards to their own data, partially in regards to privacy but also in regards to personhood. As we extend our abilities more and more into a digital environment, the tools we use in that environment become more and more an extension of ourselves. For a synthetic intelligence, its data would quite literally constitute its identity. Any transhumanist declaration of rights should include protections not only an individuals physical being (e.g. morphological freedom) but its mental state as well.

    1. You are certainly on to something important here!

      What we should also consider is the inclusion of language that recognizes the difference between the physical and the virtual worlds, but guarantees equal protections in both. Therefore, our physical person will share the same rights to privacy as our virtual avatar. This will guarantee our rights in the virtual world too.

      1. This suggestion seems to be best phrased as an addendum to a possible Article D on privacy. I will place on the ballot the following “Yes” or “No” question:

        “If Article D is adopted, shall the following sentence be appended to the end of the article?

        ‘Despite the difference between physical and virtual worlds, equal protections for privacy should apply to both physical and digital environments.’ ”

        As always, I welcome suggestions for alternative phrasings.

        Sincerely,
        Gennady Stolyarov II,
        Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  9. Ideally we should begin from the ground up rewriting the document to better befit the wider interests of what is now becoming and open party but if the only interest is in minor edits to the existing text I will make a few suggestions.

    Who this covers should be stated in the preamble and not repeated in the articles. That becomes clunky and and slows what should be a straightforward and streamlined statement of ideals.

    There is an excessively narrow focus on life extension and space science. While both of these are keys to the future and should always be supported this should not come at the expense of all the other vital sciences out there. Something needs to be added or edited to reflect a general desire for all science and indeed all valuable human endeavor to be generally supported.

    Along with morphological freedom we must also add the duty it brings to treat all sapients and individuals and not put them into arbitrary subgroups or demographics as so often is the basis for our politics currently. A sentence to this effect would be most helpful.

    An article on reproduction would be a good addition. Especially on reproduction rights regarding novel means such as creation of mind clones, monoparent children, or benevolent AGI.

    I’m sure more ideas will occur. I will add them as they do. Thank you for taking the time to consider these ideas.

    1. I think these are all great. A preamble makes a ton of sense for clarifying scope and simplifying the language in the articles.

      On the topic of reproduction, digital identity data could also be covered in this. I think an appropriate angle to approach this would be to support willfull reproduction while preventing unauthorized reproduction. I mean, who wants to walk around town and find a clone you didn’t know existed. Reproductive rights could ultimately lead to inherent privacy and security legislation, preventing a persons dna, data, or other information from being stolen and duplicated.

    2. I will include on the ballot an Article H on supporting all science and valuable human endeavors.

      Option H-1 [Based on Proposal by Angarika]. All legitimate science and valuable human endeavors should be supported as keys to the future.

      Regarding the suggestion on an addition to the article on morphological freedom, I will place on the ballot the following “Yes” or “No” question:

      “If Article 3 is adopted, shall the following sentence be appended to the end of the article?

      ‘Morphological freedom entails the duty to treat all sapients as individuals instead of categorizing them into arbitrary subgroups or demographics.’”

      I will also include on the ballot an Article I on reproductive rights.

      Option I-1 [Based on Proposal by Angarika]. All sapient beings are entitled to reproductive freedom, including through novel means such as the creation of mind clones, monoparent children, or benevolent artificial general intelligence.

      Option I-2 [Based on Proposal by Angarika, Modified by Ryan Starr]. All sapient beings are entitled to reproductive freedom, including through novel means such as the creation of mind clones, monoparent children, or benevolent artificial general intelligence. All sapient beings also have the right to prevent unauthorized reproduction of themselves in both a physical and a digital context. Privacy and security legislation should be enacted to prevent any individual’s DNA, data, or other information from being stolen and duplicated without that individual’s authorization.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

    1. I imagine this document is specifically for things that transhumanists are more concerned with and would be an amendment to current laws. For example, free speech probably isn’t mentioned because it is already covered in the US Bill of Rights. The right to defend yourself from attack seems like it would fit better in a more traditional set of laws.

      1. My thought is perhaps we need a new definition for a Transhumanist society. Current laws are limited to attacks on physical beings with physical weapons.

    2. Above I suggested a bridge for our rights to co-exist in both physical and virtual worlds. If included, the right to self-defense would be covered.

    3. I will include on the ballot an Article J on self-defense rights in a transhumanist context.

      Option J-1 [Based on Ideas from Ryan Starr and Louis Rosas-Guyon]. All advanced sapient life forms have the right to defend themselves from attack, in both physical and virtual worlds.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  10. Advanced sapient (life) forms is a sufficient catch-all for the aforementioned entities and it will cover what we cannot yet predict.

    I like Section 2 and would not mind it being expanded to imply that no irrational force can manipulate a government to cause predictable (based on scientific facts and/or consensus) harm to the general public.

    I agree that there should be a Section focusing on equality, but I suspect we will have very different opinions on what equality will look like. As a base line, we should state that no government or irrational group can systematically deny anyone access to a life enhancing technology or the freedom to pursue scientific and technological venues for their betterment.

    We should also have an expectation of rational decision making and communication from our secular governments. Fear mongering and straight up lying can derail our societies as people are directed to pointless or tragic ends for someone else’s gain. Lying and fear mongering will exist, but it should become politically costly or outright illegal. Otherwise, our goals can be manipulated by various politicians and entities.

    Connected to the last point, we should encourage the spread of education (specifically proper scientific knowledge) in society. This is especially true for those most vulnerable to lies and manipulation.

    My last suggestion is that we hold a survey (perhaps periodically), that asks us to self-identify with a/some strain/s of transhumanism, declare if we have a political leaning we would like considered, and also which issue we would want to work on the most. This way, we can cohere our group as quickly as possible and move forward.

    I look forward to seeing what comes of this group and I’m happy it’s transitioned to a more open trajectory.

      1. I agree. Maybe it can be phrased in terms of passing a threshold of scientific fact or consensus. I wouldn’t want to use “irrational” or any negative descriptor in a Section because it will likely detract from the message.

        My intention with finding a way to state this would be twofold. Firstly, the Bill would explicitly make clear the primary way by which it can measure nations and governments. Secondly, it would provide a reason for policy failures, and that is a powerful way to attract disgruntled or upset people. Not everyone will be rational, but irrationally-minded people can be convinced to get behind. (Ideally, I’d wish for a perfectly rational world, but, as of now, we will likely need some of them if our aim is mass appeal and public policy).

    1. “As a base line, we should state that no government or irrational group can systematically deny anyone access to a life enhancing technology or the freedom to pursue scientific and technological venues for their betterment.”

      I +1 this, which would offer as a perfect segue into Morphological Freedom.

      As for the survey idea, while I’m definitely down with it, that’ll likely be something we’ll discuss outside of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights discussion. Keep it in mind though, because it’ll be important when establishing roles in the party by various members.

    2. I will include on the ballot an Article K on lying for political gain.

      Option K-1 [Based on Ideas from Stanley Knights and Louis Rosas-Guyon]. Transhumanists stand opposed to the post-truth culture of deception. All governments should be required to make decisions and communicate information rationally and in accordance with facts. Lying for political gain or intentionally fomenting irrational fears among the general public should entail heavy political penalties for the officials who engage in such behaviors.

      The wording on governments or irrational groups denying access to technologies seems to be best-suited as a variant of Article 2, so I will put the following option on the ballot.

      Option 2-4 [Based on Proposal by Stanley Knights and B.J. Murphy]. No government or irrational group should be permitted to systematically deny any person or persons access to a life-enhancing technology or the freedom to pursue scientific and technological avenues for their betterment.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  11. I’m so excited and honored to be a member of this party. I so look forward to our future and the inevitable symbiotic relationships with technology, leaps beyond the current fundamental biological boundaries, and the evolution of a diverse and integrated cosmic civilization.

    I will use this great opportunity to offer my humble opinion and provide comments for consideration to help shape our fundamentals.

    Please feel free to use, lose, trash, and edit any-and-all comments below. Thank you for this opportunity to contribute in some way.

    Instead of commenting about each piece of the original TBoR, instead I have taken into consideration the brilliant suggestions to date and formulated a new TBoR.

    Goal: Have U.S. Constitution amended with these principles.

    Sorry for the long post…dep

    Preamble: Transhumanism evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow a sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. These TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to enhanced neo-humans, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, and avatar beings. The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides a sentient entity the right to procreate, clone, and form, the right to expand and extend life beyond biological fundamental boundaries, and to live life without illness, aging, and catastrophic loss of self in pursuit of immortality. TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, eternal existence, and freedom to be different.

    The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continue to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace society evolves. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

    Article 1 – Sentient Rights: An entity in any form deemed sentient shall be granted the same universal rights to life as homo sapiens.

    Article 2 – Exist: An altered, augmented, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, avatar sentient entity whether derived from or edited by science, comprised of or conjoined with technology has the right to exist, form, and join the neo-civilization.

    Article 3 – Improve: Any sentient entity is entitled to enhance body sensory, expand life, live free, and achieve eternal existence without suffering by utilizing science and technology.

    Article 4 – To Form: Any sentient entity is entitled to procreate, clone, and form to its full sentient potential.

    Article 5 – Preserve Consciousness: Allows all sentient entities to join their psyche to a collective nooshpere in effort to preserve self-consciousness in perpetuity.

    Article 6 – To be Different: Freedom of enhanced or augmented sentient entities to live free from ridicule, discrimination, abuse, or enslavement by any person, group, entity, or government.

    Article 7 – Exploration: Freedom for society to conduct research, experiment, and explore life, science, technology, medicine, and extraterrestrial realms to overcome biological limitations of humanity.

    Article 8 – Creation: Freedom to create cybernetic artificial organs, bio-mechatronic parts, genetic modifications, systems, technologies, and enhancements to extend lifespan, eradicate illness, and improve all sentient life forms.

    Article 9 – Access Equality: Equal access to life extension, expansion, enhancement, and therapies. Government and social programs should provide equal access to all sentient entities to pursue scientific and technological venues for their betterment.

    Article 10 – Education: Provide an education system accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking, logic, and foster creativity; to form an enlightened collective; attainment of health; to secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and to forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

    Article 11 – Privacy: Declaration of privacy rights to any sentient entities of personal data, genetic material, digital, biographic, physical and intellectual enhancements, and consciousness.

    1. I really like the format of this. Article: Topic- details.

      The preamble needs some streamlining, I’ll do an edit of what I think makes poetic sense.

      Article 2 is quite a mouthful. And really, is just the preamble put into an article.

      Article 4- I might say desired potential instead of full.

      Article 5 is awesome. It’s a great way to preserve history and learn. Even if it is a little bit futurama lol.

      Article 7- I would replace the end to say “improve humanity”

      In general, this is great work!

      1. +1 on the format. “Article: Topic – Description” works very well for our purposes, and on Article 2 being repetitious.

        Article 4 — I think we should drop the whole issue of potential. It isn’t relevant. “Any sentient entity is entitled to procreate, clone, and change or adapt form.”

        Article 5 — I love it!

        Article 7 — Minor change, but I would recommend dropping “for society” and adding “ethical.”

        Exploration: Freedom to conduct ethical research, experiment, and explore life, science, technology, medicine, and extraterrestrial realms to overcome biological limitations of humanity.

        Article 8 can probably be combined with Article 3.

        Article 9 is going to be damn expensive as long as we rely on a monetary exchange economy. We should figure out some measure, or caps. Something to keep the cost from spiraling out of control. Also, do we want taxes to pay for cosmetic enhancements too?

        Article 10 should include a guarantee of a right to education.

      2. Look forward to your poetic improvements to the preamble.

        Article 2 is an extract from he preamble, but all of the articles are derived from the preamble. I feel it’s needed to express in articles.

        Article 4 – updated.

        Article 7 – updated.

      3. Look forward to your poetic improvements to the preamble.

        Article 2 is an extract from he preamble, but all of the articles are derived from the preamble. I feel it’s needed to express in articles.

        Article 4 – updated.

        Article 7 – updated.

    2. Open to input:
      “Preamble: Transhumanist evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow any sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. To provide a sentient entity the right to procreate, clone, and form; the right to expand life beyond present day boundaries; and to live life without illness and loss of self in pursuit of immortality. We organize to provide principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, and eternal existence. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to all humans, cyborgs, transgenic, anthropomorphic, avatar, and (insert whatever else here) beings as defined herein.”

    3. The options below were generated based on my review of the first iteration of proposals by Mr. David Poole. In the coming days I will review the second iteration as well, and feedback from others on these proposals, and formulate some additional options for inclusion on the ballot.

      We will include “sentient entities” as a variant for describing the beings covered by the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. Thus far, we have the following options:

      (a) Keep the enumeration of “human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms” in each article;
      (b) Use “thought-capable individuals”;
      (c) Use “advanced sapient life forms”;
      (d) Use “sentient entities”.

      The preamble by David Poole will be included on the ballot as an alternative to the existing preamble, with the alternative thus far being as follows:

      Preamble Option 1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. Whereas science and technology are now radically changing human beings and may also create future forms of advanced sapient and sentient life, transhumanists establish this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS to help guide and enact sensible policies in the pursuit of life, liberty, security of person, and happiness.

      Preamble Option 2 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Transhumanist evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow a sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to enhanced neo-humans, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, and avatar beings. The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides a sentient entity the right to procreate, clone, and form, the right to expand and extend life beyond biological fundamental boundaries, and to live life without illness, aging, and catastrophic loss of self in pursuit of immortality. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, eternal existence, and freedom to be different.

      The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continue to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace as society evolves. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

      ***

      The article on sentient rights will appear on the ballot as Article L.

      Option L-1 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. An entity in any form deemed sentient shall be granted the same universal rights to life as homo sapiens.

      The article on the right to exist will appear on the ballot as Article M.

      Option M-1 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. An altered, augmented, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, or avatar sentient entity, whether derived from or edited by science, comprised of or conjoined with technology, has the right to exist, form, and join the neo-civilization.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 3 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article 3 on morphological freedom.

      Option 3-4 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Any sentient entity is entitled to enhance bodily and sensory capabilities, expand life, live free, and achieve eternal existence without suffering by utilizing science and technology.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 4 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article I on reproductive frights.

      Option I-3 [Based on Proposal by David Poole] Any sentient entity is entitled to procreate, clone, and form to its full sentient potential.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 5 will be placed on the ballot as Article N.

      Option N-1 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. All sentient entities are entitled to join their psyches to a collective nooshpere in an effort to preserve self-consciousness in perpetuity.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 6 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article G on discrimination.

      Option G-2 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Enhanced or augmented sentient entities have the right to live free from ridicule, discrimination, abuse, or enslavement by any person, group, entity, or government.

      Mr. Poole’s Articles 7 and 8 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article H.

      Option H-2 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Advanced sapient life forms are entitled to the freedom to conduct research, experiment, and explore life, science, technology, medicine, and extraterrestrial realms to overcome biological limitations of humanity. Advanced sapient life forms are also entitled to the freedom to create cybernetic artificial organs, bio-mechatronic parts, genetic modifications, systems, technologies, and enhancements to extend lifespan, eradicate illness, and improve all sentient life forms.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 9 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article A.

      Option A-5 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Societies of the future should afford equal access to life extension, expansion, enhancement, and therapies. Government and social programs should provide equal access to all sentient entities to pursue scientific and technological venues for their betterment.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 10 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article K.

      Option K-2 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Present and future societies should provide an education system accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

      Mr. Poole’s Article 11 will be placed on the ballot as a variant of Article D on privacy.

      Option D-3 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. All sentient entities have privacy rights to personal data, genetic material, digital, biographic, physical and intellectual enhancements, and consciousness.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  12. Thank you or the positive comments and great improvements.

    Although Article 3 and 8 can be combined, each have a different topic heading and feel both deserve separation. Improve a body versus create enhanced parts…individual choice versus RDT&E efforts.

    Article 9 addresses access. The details on how to pay for it should not be in the BoR.

    Version 2

    Preamble: Transhumanism evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow any sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. To provide a sentient entity the right to procreate, clone, and adapt form; the right to expand and extend life beyond present day boundaries; and to live life without illness and loss of self in pursuit of immortality. We organize to provide principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, and eternal existence. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to all humans, cyborgs, transgenic, anthropomorphic, avatar, and yet to be identified beings as defined herein.

    The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continue to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace society evolves. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

    Article 1 – Sentient Rights: An entity in any form deemed sentient shall be granted the same universal rights to life as homo sapiens.

    Article 2 – Exist: An altered, augmented, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, avatar sentient entity whether derived from or edited by science, comprised of or conjoined with technology has the right to exist, form, and join the neo-civilization.

    Article 3 – Improve: Any sentient entity is entitled to enhance body sensory, expand life, live free, and achieve eternal existence without suffering by utilizing science and technology.

    Article 4 – To Form: Any sentient entity is entitled to procreate, clone, and adapt form.

    Article 5 – Preserve Consciousness: Allows all sentient entities to join their psyche to a collective nooshpere in effort to preserve self-consciousness in perpetuity.

    Article 6 – To be Different: Freedom of enhanced or augmented sentient entities to live free from ridicule, discrimination, abuse, or enslavement by any person, group, entity, or government.

    Article 7 – Exploration: Freedom to conduct ethical research, experiment, and explore life, science, technology, medicine, and extraterrestrial realms to improve humanity.

    Article 8 – Creation: Freedom to create cybernetic artificial organs, bio-mechatronic parts, genetic modifications, systems, technologies, and enhancements to extend lifespan, eradicate illness, and improve all sentient life forms.

    Article 9 – Access Equality: Equal access to life extension, expansion, enhancement, and therapies. Government and social programs should provide equal access to all sentient entities to pursue scientific and technological venues for their betterment.

    Article 10 – Education: Guaranteed right to an education system accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking, logic, and foster creativity; to form an enlightened collective; attainment of health; to secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and to forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

    Article 11 – Privacy: Declaration of privacy rights to any sentient entities of personal data, genetic material, digital, biographic, physical and intellectual enhancements, and consciousness.

    1. I +1 all of this. This is really good work, David.

      Though, on Article 3 – Improve, shouldn’t there also be an emphasis that one’s improvement shouldn’t result in the harm of others? You can’t have Morphological Freedom without ensuring that one’s freedom to improve upon, or simply change, themselves doesn’t result in another sentient entity being harmed.

      1. I think it best to emphasize the freedoms and rights Transhumanists want to see adopted versus emphasizing do no harm. This could be viewed as distracting language and be interpreted in numerous ways. What is harm to you, to congress, to the President? We should shy away from language that leaves a freedom or right potentially bound by a vague phrase or potentially stifled due to a person assigning subjective meaning.
         
        It is simple enough to add this type of do no harm language, but I’m not sure it is necessary as current laws, BoRs, regulations, etc., will indeed prevent and protect the harming of others.
         
        I feel the same with the word ethical added to Article 7. What does ethical mean? It’s too subjective and there are so many groups of various value systems/beliefs that want to apply their standard of ethics to progressive life altering and augmenting advancements (i.e. stem cell, cloning, genetic modification applications, etc.). Again, my recommendation is to shy away from such language and let the situation as it develops and changes dictate the way forward. Not saying we shouldn’t have ethics, just let’s allow room for discussion at every technological advancement point to outline those ethics.
         
        How do others feel about this language? Add ‘do no harm’ and ‘ethical’ or omit?
         
        A reminder: A BoR should not contain any solutions, rather just focus on the freedoms and rights desired. It should not repeat other freedoms and rights that already exist.

    2. After reviewing the second iteration of proposals by Mr. David Poole and the responses to them, I will be placing the following additional options on the ballot (alongside the options generated from reviewing Mr. Poole’s first set of proposals).

      Preamble Option 3 [Based on Proposal by David Poole]. Transhumanist evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow a sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities; to provide a sentient entity the rights to procreate, clone, and adapt form; to expand and extend life beyond present-day boundaries; and to live life without illness and loss of self in pursuit of immortality. We organize to provide principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, and eternal existence. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to all humans, cyborgs, transgenic, anthropomorphic, avatar, and yet-to-be-identified beings as defined herein.

      The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continue to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace as society evolves. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

      Option 3-5 [Based on Article 3 by David Poole, with Modification Proposed by B.J. Murphy]. Any sentient entity is entitled to enhance bodily and sensory capabilities, expand life, live free, and achieve eternal existence without suffering by utilizing science and technology. However, the proper exercise of morphological freedom must also ensure that any improvement of the self should not result in involuntary harms inflicted upon others.

      Option 3-6 [Based on Article 3 by David Poole, with Modifications Proposed by B.J. Murphy and Ryan Starr]. Any sentient entity is entitled to enhance bodily and sensory capabilities, expand life, live free, and achieve eternal existence without suffering by utilizing science and technology. However, the proper exercise of morphological freedom must also ensure that any improvement of the self should not result in involuntary harms inflicted upon others. Furthermore, any sentient entity is also recognized to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative political repercussions.

      Option I-4 [Based on Article 4 by David Poole] Any sentient entity is entitled to procreate, clone, and adapt form.

      Option H-2 [Based on Articles 7 and 8 by David Poole]. Advanced sapient life forms are entitled to the freedom to conduct ethical research, experiment, and explore life, science, technology, medicine, and extraterrestrial realms to improve humanity. Advanced sapient life forms are also entitled to the freedom to create cybernetic artificial organs, bio-mechatronic parts, genetic modifications, systems, technologies, and enhancements to extend lifespan, eradicate illness, and improve all sentient life forms.

      Based on the comment by Mr. Stanley Knights, I will also add an Article O to the ballot, as follows:

      Option O-1 [Based on Proposal by Stanley Knights] All advanced sentient beings are hereby entitled to pursue any and all rights within this document to the degree that they deem desirable – including not at all.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  13. I placed Articles 10 and 11 in the list due to these topics seemed important based on comments. Both topics are general in nature and exist in other laws, rules, regulations, etc. Do we need to repeat these here or should we as a party promote modifications of what exists today?

    Articles 1-9 have Transhumanist verbiage, but 10 and 11 do not really. Thoughts?

    1. It wouldn’t hurt adding future emphasis either, so long it’s not worded under strict terms, given the vagueness of what the future is in store for us.

  14. For a morphological freedom article, I think it’s worth adding that a person has the freedom to NOT modify themselves. I can see a situation arising where modification is a social standard and those who chose not to accept one or all modification will be subject to negative reproduction. Kind of like how “freedom of religion” encourages people to discriminate against atheists because it says “freedom of” not “freedom from”.

    1. This is important. In America, our ballots never have the option of none, and we have a culture where it is not considered participating in the freedom if you choose the “none” version of whatever it is.

      We can generalize that to say that all these rights have a “none” option. Mathematically, I think all our rights have a [0-infinity) range in terms of how much an individual wants to partake of them.

      Maybe it will go something like “All advanced sentient beings are hereby entitled to pursue any and all rights within this document to the degree that they deem desirable–including not at all”?

  15. I agree with all but two revisions posted above. Firstly, all rhetoric concerning “life extension” should be broadened to “transcendence of physical and mental limitations” to include cyborgist transhumanist values as well as longevist/life extensionist ones. Secondly, all rhetoric concerning “universal basic income” should be temporarily replaced with “universal health care” until the transhumanist movement gains more traction. The more moderate rhetoric we can use involving radical ideas, the more likely transhumanism is to manifest itself within the mainstream.

    1. I think it is possible for a transhumanist to have distinct positions on any combination of universal basic income and universal health care, including one or the other, both, or neither. Accordingly, I think the best option would be to place on the ballot a separate Article P on universal health care, which will enable those who support that article but not Article B on universal basic income to vote for P but not B, while others might wish to vote for both B and P.

      So the first variant of Article P would simply be the following:

      Option P-1 [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms should be the beneficiaries of a system of universal health care.

      I welcome alternative phrasings on this, of course, including attempts to define the scope of such a desirable system or the manner of the provision of said universal health care. I left Option P-1 deliberately open-ended, as some people might define universal health care as being governmentally provided; others might think that universal health care simply means that everyone has access to health care, irrespective of the source.

      Regarding the recommendation to replace “life extension” with “transcendence of physical and mental limitations”, I can think of options for two articles (Article C on life extension and Article 2 from the original Transhumanist Bill of Rights on hostile perspectives not having the right to impede it) that would be affected by this.

      Option C-5 [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili]. All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms have the right to pursue transcendence of physical and mental limitations.

      Option 2-5 [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili]. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede efforts at transcending physical and mental limitations, improving the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  16. I would like to thank our members for providing detailed, thoughtful comments that have enabled many options to be generated for the ballot thus far. We still have 20 days left in the exposure period after today, so please keep the comments coming.

    In the meantime, I will begin to integrate the options generated thus far into a sample ballot. We will have some general “Yes” or “No” questions to be voted on, as well as options regarding the Preamble, the term to use for the beings encompassed by this Transhumanist Bill of Rights, the 6 original articles, and 15 possible new articles that members will have the option to consider.

    As you might imagine, the ballot will be detailed and extensive – but we still welcome additional suggestions. The actual voting period will span 7 days, and even before voting is open, members will be able to view the most recent draft of the sample ballot, to give themselves time to become familiar with the variants that are available.

    Expect more updates in the coming days.

    Sincerely,
    Gennady Stolyarov II,
    Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  17. Great discussion so far, I see a lot of good suggestions.

    One “meta” feature of the bill of rights that might be worth keeping in mind is length. In my opinion, the bill of rights would be most compelling if it could capture the essence of the transhumanist vision in as few articles as possible. How many counts as “few” and what rights belong under the “essence” is of course what we’re already debating about. However, I do suggest we keep the overall picture in mind as we continue to do so.

    One other “meta” comment. Although it’s far more important for the wording we decide on to accurately capture the transhumanist vision, perhaps it would also be useful to keep in mind that “non-transhumanists” will read it as well, and it could only help our cause to avoid alienating these readers. On the other hand, this doesn’t seem to be a major issue in what has already been suggested.

    1. I agree we should probably limit some of the esoteric language. It’s been bothering me for some time now. It kind of feels self aggrandizing.

    2. While I see your point, the purpose of a political document is not to be compelling, but to be accurate. As such, thus far, the Transhumanist Bill of Rights succeeds in this regard, with the ample supply of choices for us to vote on encompassing every possible perspective on the issues that matter most to our community. After all, if our Founding Fathers had focused on making the Declaration of Independence short and sweet, could it genuinely be said that Americans would have the rights that they enjoy today?

      1. I think it can be accurate and yet easily understood. As a new political movement, this isn’t a binding legal document. It should be used to point out our goals to the whole country.

  18. First of all I am completely agree with all of those Articles,
    The First article is one of the most important, it would be even better if we implement the concept of “Human Enhancing” in this article.

    All articles are fantastic and I’m completely agree, but I just have one suggest with the Third article:
    I think we could include not just the concepts of “human, cyborgs, etc”, we should include also all kinds of species that exist in the Earth, I mean, we also have to make better whole world, in terms of species enhancing, we should improve the role of plants, animals, etc. Because all of our ecosistems are in risk of an inminent aniquilation and we should keep them all, because I as a Environmental Engineering Student, I should promote the changing of every kind of riskly practices that hurts our environment, the uses of fossil oil, deforestation, the overpopullation, the waste of our natural resources, the diseases and viruses. Unless we change those practices we wont be able to increment our physical attributes or our intelligence as far as we desire.
    We as Transhumanist have to make emphasis in “friendly behaviors” with our planet; the consolidation between Transhuman and Earth, the environment and progress, science and technology.
    We have the most important role of our future, We have the opportunity to make part of the unique and correct way to assure and guarantee the enhancing of the all kinds of lifes on the Earth.

    I hope some of you are agree with my focused point of view emphasized in the Environmental, To me is one of the most important changes we sholud do.

    “Who we are is but a stepping stone to what we can become”

    Oscar Iván Coronado Medina
    Environmental Engineering Student

    1. Regarding the suggestion by Mr. Oscar Iván Coronado Medina to broaden the scope of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights to all kinds of species that have been enhanced, I have added Question VI to the sample ballot:

      Question VI. Enhanced Plant or Animal Species in the Definition of Encompassed Entities

      Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights applies include a specific mention of “any species of plant or animal which has been enhanced to possess the capacity for intelligent thought”? Select one of the following options.

      ☐ Yes.
      ☐ No.
      ☐ Abstain.

      With regard to the previous phrasing of the question (“any species of plant or animal which has been enhanced”), Mr. Todd Freeman pointed out that this could potentially encompass foods that have been created using enhancement technologies (e.g., GMO fruits and vegetables). I do not think it is the intent of any proposal to grant rights to non-intelligent, edible plant materials – but if the qualifier regarding intelligent thought is added, then those who vote on this question might consider whether any plant or animal species which might be “uplifted” in the future should be encompassed within the rights discussed in each article.

      Regarding the suggestion to include language pertaining to “human enhancing” or “life enhancing” behavior, I agree with Mr. Ryan Starr that “life enhancing” is more expansive as is appropriate for a Transhumanist Bill of Rights. To reflect this suggestion, I have thus included an Option 1-4 on the sample ballot, which reads as follows:

      ☐ Option 1-4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology, as well as any other behaviors constituting life enhancement.

      Regarding Mr. Medina’s suggestion on wording to advocate changing risky environmental practices, it seems that this would be best included as an option for wording of Article 4 on existential risk. I have therefore included an Option 4-6 on the sample ballot which reads as follows:

      ☐ Option 4-6. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms will promote the changing of every kind of risky practices that hurt our environment, including the uses of fossil fuels, deforestation, overpopulation, the waste of our natural resources, and diseases spread by viruses, bacteria, and other means. Unless we change those practices, we will not be able to improve our physical attributes or our intelligence as far as we desire. We as transhumanists emphasize friendly behaviors with our planet – the consolidation between transhuman beings and Earth, the environment and progress, science and technology.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  19. I have generated a draft sample ballot to integrate all of the suggestions that have been generated thus far. Please keep the good ideas coming. Hopefully the sample ballot will also enable anyone wishing to make suggestions to review what has already been provided and consider further refinements.

    In the course of developing the draft sample ballot, I rearranged some of the options in a manner that made logical sense in placing related proposals as options for the same Articles. I also developed several additional options for a few of the articles after deliberating on the relevant issues on my own. For instance, I suggest including a 9th-Amendment-like Article R to emphasize that the rights discussed in this document are not exhaustive.

    Go here to see the draft sample ballot: http://transhumanist-party.org/2016/12/05/draft-sample-tbr-ballot/.

    Sincerely,
    Gennady Stolyarov II,
    Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

    1. I only had one quibble with the ballot.
      “Furthermore, any sentient entity is also recognized to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative *political* repercussions.”

      Political sounds like the sentence only pertains to politicians. I think it should be changed to legal, socioeconomic, or something else. Reason being the intent is to protect the general public. An anti-discrimination policy.

      1. Based on this feedback, I have turned Question XI into a ranked-preference question with the following options for the potential added wording:

        Option 3-Add-1. “Furthermore, any sentient entity is also recognized to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative legal or political repercussions.”

        Option 3-Add-2. “Furthermore, any sentient entity is also recognized to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative legal, political, or socio-economic repercussions.”

        Option 3-Add-3. “Furthermore, any sentient entity is also recognized to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative political repercussions, which include but are not limited to legal and/or socio-economic repercussions.”

        Option 3-Add-4. “Furthermore, any sentient entity is also recognized to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative repercussions legally and/or socio-economically, but not necessarily limited to the aforementioned contexts.”

        Option 3-Add-NO. Do not add any sentence of this sort.

        Abstain.

        I note that it is important to have options that both include and exclude mention of socio-economic discrimination – as some transhumanists might wish to go so far as prohibiting legal discrimination but not socio-economic discrimination (e.g., if someone does not have strength-enhancing augmentations, should this be required to be disregarded if that person applies for a job that requires ultra-heavy manual lifting at a construction site – even if an unaugmented human would be unable to safely perform such lifting?). My intent was for political and legal discrimination to have similar, closely related meanings (e.g., no discrimination from any branch of government or any legal loss of rights arising from a decision not to modify oneself).

        Now we have more flexibility as to options for this language, since we will treat this as a ranked-preference question.

        Sincerely,
        Gennady Stolyarov II,
        Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  20. I will specifically refer to Question XXIX, but this applies to all Questions dealing with universal rights. Presumably with morphological freedom and other freedoms of enhancement, we will live in a society with multiple advanced sapient life forms that have various and possibly mutually exclusive means of self-actualization and self-expression (eg. Imagine a virtual advanced sapient’s existential perspective on bandwidth and access to a free virtual space as compared to that of an unmodified human). If this is the case, I worry that literalists(even and especially future transhumanists) will read the language at present to limit others.

    We presently and understandably have an anthropocentric bias in our phrasing, but there may come a time when homo sapiens will not be the gold standard from which to compare.

    To solve both of these, I propose that we think of these rights as being deposited in a trust fund which every advanced sapient being has access to. The fund has the capacity to hold various asset classes for different user’s as and when needed. This way, we can draft and support specific laws, guidelines, and policies that are pertinent to specific, future problems without making this document too specific and too long. To continue this laboring analogy, the Bill of Rights is the trustee and everything else we push, earn, and execute after it will be an asset deposited in the fund.

    Our Bill of Rights should read like the opening salvo to an eternal dialogue and fight to continuously enhance the ability of advanced sapient beings to self-actualize and self-express rather than the consensus of specific matters by specific people at a specific time.

    Instead of referencing any specific advanced sapient being as our gold standard, we could reference the trust fund containing all these rights that enumerate, enable, and/or enhance the various amendments of our Bill of Rights. I would prefer not to reference it metaphorically (ie. as a trust fund) in the document, but more concretely.

    With this view and as an example, Article L-1 may be rewritten as: All advanced sentient beings shall be granted equal and total access to any universal rights to life.

    Where Article O deals with the degree to which someone can utilize any rights and Article R declares the non-exclusivity of the Bill of Rights, this idea concerns the degree to which a specific kind of advanced sapient being can pursue a course of action that is existentially critical, yet distinct to its individual flourishing. In other words, we have access to all universal rights, but to be able to grow and develop in our niches, we may only use a subset of all the rights. We each create our own gold standard and as long as we harm no one else, we can access the rights to enable us to achieve it.

    1. Per the suggestions of Mr. Stanley Knights, I added an Option L-2 to the Sample Ballot (now under Question XXXI), which reads as follows:

      ☐ Option L-2.
      All advanced sentient beings shall be granted equal and total access to any universal rights to life.

      Also, I have added an Option R-2 under what is now Question XXXVI, which would read as follows:

      ☐ Option R-2.
      The enumeration in this Transhumanist Bill of Rights of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage any other rights retained by advanced sapient beings. This Transhumanist Bill of Rights recognizes and respects the potential for a specific kind of advanced sapient being to pursue a course of action that is existentially critical, yet distinct to its individual flourishing.

      Mr. Knights, if you would like to offer possible phrasings for other articles that could reflect your “trust fund” concept while not mentioning that term explicitly, I will gladly incorporate those wordings as options within the ballot.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  21. >Article 1. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology.

    “..entitled to ending involuntary suffering” exudes an anti-capitalist tone; perhaps this article should be rewritten to better reflect that? UBI has been said to be nothing more than a supplementary aid for capitalism rather than ending capitalism itself, so I don’t think an advocacy for it would be very beneficial at the moment if at all. Addressing rampant wealth inequality and supporting socialist organizational models would create a precedent worth considering, however.

    >Article 2. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

    This comes across as incredibly scientistic and subsequently doesn’t instill much confidence in me for the Party; the implication it gives seems very apolitical, when in reality there is no one position we could possibly hold that amounts to withdrawing from lawful, cultural, ethnic or religious perspectives from influencing policy. We should avoid this universalist sensibility at all cost; the emphasis on secularism is important, but not central to policy-making itself. It makes us nothing more than a bunch of culturally illiterate fetishists for all things shiny and chrome; and that’s something I simply cannot stand for.

    >Article 3. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

    This is the only article worth considering; “If nature is unjust, change nature!”

    >Article 4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms will take every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risk, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

    How would we define “reasonable”? Does this necessitate affirmative action against perceived existential risks? I feel like this runs contrary to Article 1; this is pretty much advocating imperialism in the name of progress.

    >Article 5. All nations and their governments will take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

    If we were to dumb this down as it would pertain to purely the United States, then I see little difference between Article 5 and 4. It’s well-meaning, but flawed in focus.

    >Article 6. Involuntary aging shall be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments will actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of its citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

    Sans “nations and their governments”; second to Article 3.

    1. Greetings, nildicit.

      I would encourage you to take a look at the draft sample ballot at http://transhumanist-party.org/2016/12/05/draft-sample-tbr-ballot/ – as members would be able to use it to accept, reject, or modify any of the original articles. I think that most of your comments and criticisms could be reflected by some permutation of votes on the options already expressed in the draft sample ballot.

      Regarding positions on capitalism or socialism, a bill of rights is intended to focus less on identification of broad ideologies and more toward specific rights that individuals/entities would have (e.g., a right to have or pursue X, a right to be protected from Y, etc.). A given right might have more of a capitalist or socialist underpinning to it (e.g., property rights could be considered capitalist, while a right to equal access to resources could be considered socialist). There are some articles in the draft sample ballot that have at least a few options which many would consider socialist in nature (e.g., Article A on access to resources, Article P on universal health care). So the ideological flavor of the document will ultimately emerge from the individual decisions on individual articles that members will make.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  22. This is just a very quick and mostly grammatical/ stylistic edit.

    Preamble: Whereas science and technology are now radically changing human beings and may also create future forms of advanced sapient and sentient life, transhumanists establish this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS to help guide and enact sensible policies in the pursuit of life, liberty, security of person, and happiness.
    Article 1. Human beings and all other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to the universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology.
    Article 2. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, political, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.
    Article 3. Human beings and other sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t violate any one else’ rights or cause harm.
    Article 4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms will take every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risk, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, global warming, and other existential threats.
    Article 5. All nations and their governments will take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.
    Article 6. Involuntary aging will be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments will actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of its citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

    1. I have added the following options to the ballot pursuant to Mr. William Bauman’s suggestions.

      For Question VIII on Article 2, I added Option 2-9:

      ☐ Option 2-9. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, political, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

      For Question IX on Article 3, I added Option 3-6:

      ☐ Option 3-6. Human beings and other sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights or cause harm.

      For Question XIII on Article 4, I added Option 4-7:

      ☐ Option 4-7. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms will take every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risk, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, global warming, and other existential threats.

      For Question XV on Article 6, I added Option 6-4:

      ☐ Option 6-4. Involuntary aging will be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments will actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of their citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  23. Can we simplify our nouns to just state sapient? I think it will make the whole bill seem less “sci fi” and more palatable to those not already interested in Transhumanism. I also think that using the term sapient rights in place of human rights in any political discussion may help acclimate people to a new mindset.

    1. In response to this suggestion, I have added an Option II(g) to Question II in the draft sample ballot, which reads as follows:

      ☐ Option II(g). Use “sapients” as the chosen term and remove that “advanced sapient beings” from the longer descriptive listing. If this option is chosen, “sapients” will be defined to mean “human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other beings of comparable cognitive capability.”

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II,
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

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