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.