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Zoltan Istvan Advocates for The Future at RAAD Fest 2017

Zoltan Istvan Advocates for The Future at RAAD Fest 2017

Zoltan Istvan

Introduction by U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II

Post by Martin van der Kroon


Zoltan Istvan, founder of the United States Transhumanist Party, discusses his 2016 Presidential campaign, his Immortality Bus tour, and his ambitions to spread the ideas of the transhumanist movement and forward the goal of defeating death. Zoltan delivered this speech at RAAD Fest 2017 in San Diego on August 11, 2017, as part of the panel entitled “Advocating for the Future”. He was introduced by the current U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman, Gennady Stolyarov II.

We Would Like to Welcome Everyone – Official Statement by Martin van der Kroon

We Would Like to Welcome Everyone – Official Statement by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party humbly prides itself on our stance regarding inclusion of people from all manner of different backgrounds, religions, and movements.

We outline this in detail in Section XXV [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party welcomes both religious and non-religious individuals who support life extension and emerging technologies. The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that some religious individuals and interpretations may be receptive to technological progress and, if so, are valuable allies to the transhumanist movement. On the other hand, the United States Transhumanist Party is also opposed to any interpretation of a religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose religious belief by force and/or by legal compulsion.”

Furthermore, we adopted Section XX [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports the freedom of peaceful speech; religious, non-religious, and anti-religious philosophical espousal; assembly; protest; petition; and expression of grievances. The United States Transhumanist Party therefore strongly opposes all censorship, including censorship that arises out of identity politics and the desire to avoid perceived offensive behavior.”

There is good reason that these planks were adopted. Not only is the U.S. Transhumanist Party striving for inclusion where others fail, we also labor to be a party where anyone may feel welcomed. This is not entirely altruistic though. We think that people of different backgrounds, people of faith, those with perspectives different from our own, can bring valuable ideas to the table, and are uniquely qualified to criticize our own perspectives, helping us all to avoid becoming trapped within an echo-chamber.

People who believe in a higher power, despite no evidence based on our current scientific standards being available, are not automatically opposed to science, reason, and evidence. That people believe in a god does not mean they reject the laws of physics, and they may well believe that god was so awesome that he/she/it created all these amazing physics equations for us to discover. To each his or her own.

I, Martin van der Kroon, Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party, being non-religious, would nonetheless be ecstatic if, for example, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, or Rabbi Wolpe would speak positive, or even support the U.S. Transhumanist Party, or engage in a debate with us. They may be people of faith, but that doesn’t mean they are devoid of intellect or meaningful ideas and opinions.

What it comes down to is that as members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, and hopefully the transhumanist movement at large, we should not perceive the Core Ideals as outlined in our Constitution as being at odds with religious beliefs. Sometimes religions are referred to as ‘deathist’ beliefs, hinting at the perception of inferiority, or perhaps perceived from the opposite side, creating the impression of elitism on part of the non-religious.

In addition to the acceptance of anyone regardless of their religions (etc.), the U.S. Transhumanist Party furthermore has adopted two plank proposals to outline practices we do not support, with the intent to further reason, acceptance, and debate, and shun intolerance and practices in direct violation of the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s goals. We adopted Section XL [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]:

“In addition to its opposition to intolerant interpretations of religious doctrines, the United States Transhumanist Party is furthermore opposed to any interpretation of a secular, non-religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose certain beliefs by force and/or by legal compulsion. Examples of such doctrines opposed by the United States Transhumanist Party include Stalinism, Maoism, Neo-Malthusianism or eco-primitivism, the death-acceptance movement, and the doctrine of censorship, now prevalent on many college campuses in the United States, in the name of “social justice”, combating “triggers” or “microaggressions”, or avoiding subjectively perceived offense.”

We also adopted Section LXIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during June 18-24, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate individual rights and bodily autonomy. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.”

Let us all respect that we all hold notions about our existence, about religion or lack thereof, and appreciate that we, thankfully, do differ in perspectives on such matters. Let us all engage fervently in debates, share our ideas, be critical and skeptical, but allow each other space and dignity to be ourselves.

For those who are interested in our approach of open, inclusive engagement with the ideas, technologies, and policies that can help shape a better future, we invite all of you to become members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free by filling out our Membership Application Form here.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 – New International Version)

Martin van der Kroon is Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

U.S. Transhumanist Party Q&A Session – July 15, 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party Q&A Session – July 15, 2017

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Gennady Stolyarov II
B.J. Murphy
Bobby Ridge
Scott Jurgens
Martin van der Kroon


In this interactive question-and-answer session, scheduled for 11 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Saturday, July 15, 2017, U.S. Transhumanist Party Officers answered members’ and the public’s questions about the ongoing activities and objectives of the United States Transhumanist Party and also discussed other issues of interest that relate to emerging technologies and how to ensure the best possible future for sentient entities.

The following Officers were present for this Q&A session:

Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman
B.J. Murphy, Director of Social Media
Martin van der Kroon, Director of Recruitment
Bobby Ridge, Secretary-Treasurer
Scott Jurgens, Director of Applied Innovation

Because of an unexpected technical difficulty, the video stream was split into two portions.

Watch Part 1 here.

Watch Part 2 here.

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free by filling out our membership application form at https://goo.gl/forms/IpUjooEZjnfOFUMi2.

Visit the U.S. Transhumanist Party Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USTranshumanistParty/.

Visit the U.S. Transhumanist Party Twitter page at https://twitter.com/USTranshumanist.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party Supports Net Neutrality. Do You? – Article by Martin van der Kroon

The U.S. Transhumanist Party Supports Net Neutrality. Do You? – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party openly supports net-neutrality. In particular, Article XV of the U.S. Transhumanist Bill of Rights states,

“All sentient entities, with the exception only of those in legal detention, have the right to private internet access without such access being prohibited or circumvented by either private corporations or governmental bureaucracy.”

Furthermore, we openly show our support for H.R. 1868 – the Restoring American Privacy Act of 2017.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been on a mission to put an end to net neutrality, a move that would be widely supported by Internet Service Providers (ISP) such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner.

So what?

You may be skeptical of net neutrality, and so am I. Instead of approaching this from a for/against argument which we’ve surely seen and endless number of articles about, let’s take a different approach.

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U.S. Transhumanist Party Supports U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, Approved By 122 Member States

U.S. Transhumanist Party Supports U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, Approved By 122 Member States

Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party applauds the efforts by members of the United Nations (UN) to ban nuclear weapons.

On Friday, 7 July, 122 of the 193 member states adopted the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, which is “the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years,” according to Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty.

Unfortunately none of the nine member states that possess nuclear weapons (United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel), or are thought to have such weapons  supported the treaty. The Netherlands also opposed the treaty, as it has U.S. owned nuclear weapons within its borders at Volkel military air base, and Singapore abstained from voting.

We, the U.S. Transhumanist Party, oppose the use of nuclear weapons, as per Article III, Section III, of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution.

“However, a minority of technologies could be detrimental to human well-being and, as such, their application, when it results in detrimental consequences, should be opposed. Examples of such detrimental technologies include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons . . .”

Furthermore, we support the complete abolition of nuclear weapons as outlined in Section IV:

“In recognition of the dire existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to sapient life on Earth – including as a result of such weapons’ accidental deployment due to system failures or human misunderstanding – the United States Transhumanist Party advocates the complete dismantlement and abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere, as rapidly as possible. If necessary for geopolitical stability, synchronized multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaties should be pursued, strengthened, and accelerated in the most expeditious manner. If, however, multilateral agreements among nations are not reached, then the United States Transhumanist Party advocates that all nuclear powers, especially the United States and Russia, should undertake unilateral nuclear disarmament at the earliest opportunity in order to preserve civilization from accidental annihilation.”

It is our hope that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that entered into force in 1970, as well as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons of 2017 (Draft), is part of an ongoing process for the disarmament and abolition of all nuclear weapons by every nation. 

Martin van der Kroon is Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

 

In Time For Everyone, A Reason To Support Us – Article by Martin van der Kroon

In Time For Everyone, A Reason To Support Us – Article by Martin van der Kroon

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Martin van der Kroon


There is a lot of inequality in the world, from economic or wealth inequality to inequality of opportunity, to inequality that may have to do with ethnicity, biological sex, or gender. It is not a surprise when I say that we can do without new inequalities. This is exactly what some critics of transhumanism fear, that with the coming possibility of indefinite life-extension we will face lifespan inequality.

I think they are justified in their fears. Let’s take a step back and illustrate what that would look like, as for many indefinite life extension seems like science fiction, and at the moment it still is. What would a world with lifespan inequality look like?

(Spoilers for the movie In Time (2011) ahead)

Although often compared to society’s current situation of wealth inequality, the movie In Time might actually be more directly linked to a fear of lifespan inequality, for the obvious reason that the movie is about humans being able to buy ‘life-time’, but also have to spend it.

As per the In Time movie’s IMDB page: “In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. …”

In the movie the wealthy accumulate time as a means of profit, and by extension extra life time. The less fortunate have their daily lives, but are always close to their time running out. Obviously the chances of this exact scenario are slim, but the metaphor is apt nonetheless. Wealth can buy almost anything, and in a future where indefinite life extension is possible, the wealthy will want to buy this, too.

The problem we face is whether we end up getting into a situation similar to the movie In Time, the wealthy having time, and the poor almost always out of time, or whether we can create a framework to make life extension available and accessible to everyone, rich, poor, and everything in between.

The science and willingness to make indefinite life-extension possible are fascinating and amazing, but the critics are right that we have to tread carefully in how it may be applied.

This is a reason why, even if you otherwise do not consider yourself a transhumanist, you might wish to consider supporting the U.S. Transhumanist Party. As a political party looking towards the future, we strive to create a framework that makes available and accessible to all the possibility of indefinite life extension so that we may prevent another inequality from entering our world.

Martin van der Kroon is the Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

Being Excited About Failure – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Being Excited About Failure – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


The much hyped CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technique often explained as being the ‘DNA scissors’ or the ‘cut and paste’ technique, has had a setback, and this has me excited.

CRISPR-Cas9 has has the scientific community, and in particular those involved in research and development of genome editing, raving over the roughly past 3 years. It is hailed as a cheap and fast way to edit genomes with great accuracy compared to other genome-editing techniques, and this is true. Now however, researchers have found CRISPR-Cas9 to have some annoying side-effects. The side-effects were found in mice who had their blindness corrected but also caused mutations in other parts of the DNA sequence, roughly 1500 mutations. It is unknown what the consequences of the mutations are at this moment.

“Why am I excited about this setback?” you might ask.

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U.S. Transhumanist Party Opposes Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences

U.S. Transhumanist Party Opposes Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences

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Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party officially opposes mandatory minimum sentences. We reiterate our position on this matter following a series of efforts to mandate minimum mandatory sentencing by the current U.S. Federal Government.

In this area we wish to bring readers’ attention to a memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, directing all federal prosecutors to apply minimum sentencing regarding drug-related crimes, and the proposed Bill H.R.1761 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) known as “Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017” which would also apply to teens voluntarily and consensually sending a partner of similar age content of themselves that could be considered ‘child pornography’ and subsequently subject both to the possibility of a minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment – a law intended to protect youth but achieving the opposite effect.

Regardless of the act that is criminalized, The U.S. Transhumanist Party opposes mandatory sentencing as adopted in Article III, Section XV, of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutionwhich reads as follows:

Section XV [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]: The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.”

A minimum prison-sentence duration can have disproportionately disruptive effects on the offender – where in the above examples there may not be a victim – and his/her future, as well as an unnecessary, long, harmful effect on the offender’s family and the community. If a crime is of such severity that a sentence similar to or beyond the proposed minimum sentencing would be warranted, the presiding judge in a court case should be able to apply such a sentence without minimum-requirement restraints. However, such a decision should be made on a case-by-case basis and not prescribed in advance of knowing and considering the individual facts of any given person’s actions. 

Martin van der Kroon is the Director of Recruitment of the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

The Right to Die – Article by Martin van der Kroon

The Right to Die – Article by Martin van der Kroon

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Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party is, among many other things, concerned with life extension, health, and in general the well-being of people. If life extension can be stretched to virtual immortality, that would be even more amazing, but should it be mandatory?

This post is my personal view, and I have proposed a Plank regarding this which has been added to the Exposure Period for Platform Vote #5I’m not trying to convince people, but I would like to open the discussion on a topic that we may reasonably call controversial.

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People-Centered Justice – Article by Martin van der Kroon

People-Centered Justice – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics data from 2015, there were an estimated 6,741,400 people supervised within the U.S. criminal-justice system, 2,173,800 of whom are in either state or federal correctional facilities.

It is in itself concerning that the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has to ‘estimate’ the number of people within the system. One would think that BJS would know exactly how many people are within the criminal-justice system, or at least that ought to be the case. Regardless of whether the numbers are 100% accurate, the prison population and incarceration rate are both very high compared to any other Western nation relative to population size. The U.S. also has among the longest sentences in the Western world. 

One of the issues I believe is of particular influence is the reasoning that creating a more severe punishment will make it a better deterrent. Regardless of severity, this is a retributivist judicial system, the type used in most countries around the world.

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