Responsible Media Reporting and the Epstein/Transhumanist Fallacy – Article by Dinorah Delfin
The USTP’s leadership has just issued a statement addressing a New York Times’s recent article associating Transhumanism, a progressive global philosophical movement, with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced con-artist and sex offender.
Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the USTP, stated:
Epstein was a prominent financier of many other causes – but if the leadership of the world’s largest transhumanist political organization had no knowledge of him, this is strong evidence that he was not involved in transhumanism to any significant extent. He is merely a criminal abuser and deserves his sentence. His conduct was also deeply antithetical to the transhumanist philosophy and the value that philosophy places on dramatically improving the human condition for all through reason, science, and technology. Epstein’s fate should reinforce the principle that wealth and power do not confer license to mistreat one’s fellow sapient beings, all of whose rights must be protected. The foundational values of the Transhumanist Party, as well as key documents such as the USTP Platform and Transhumanist Bill of Rights, point toward an inspiring future where the Epsteins of this world could have no sway.
Many transhumanists criticize the NYT’s “unwarranted” and “irresponsible” association between Epstein and transhumanism as being “a modern-day version of eugenics”.
This appears to be a case of certain media outlets interpreting some of Epstein’s personal idiosyncratic proclivities as somehow being transhumanist – even though such interpretation is based on a highly deficient understanding of what transhumanism actually means and stands for.
– Chairman Stolyarov
Associating transhumanism with eugenics is a logical fallacy; like associating environmentalism with being anti-human. It is news reporting that seems to be more concerned about being sensational and controversial, than about accuracy, integrity, or solving problems; not adding more.
Even if Epstein perceived himself to be a transhumanist, this kind of sensationalist media reporting doesn’t serve the general public nor the greater good, as it keeps people misinformed and uneducated about emerging sciences and technologies.
What suffers from this approach is the characterization of a fundamentally benign worldview, as well as thousands of people who abhor Epstein’s behavior and stand for noble aspirations and principles of conduct. Criticism and debate regarding transhumanism are well within the realm of legitimate public discourse, but smearing good people by association is not.
– Chairman Stolyarov
Renowned transhumanist philosopher and USTP member David Pearce remarked that “a commitment to the well-being of all sentience as enshrined in the Transhumanist Declaration (1998, 2009) is hard to reconcile with some of the traditional male primate behaviour of Jeffrey Epstein.”
Humanity+ has also released a statement to clarify Epstein’s donation, which reveals that the time they accepted the donation, Humanity+ “had no knowledge of Mr. Epstein’s horrific alleged criminal activity.”
It should be known that Epstein was never a member of Humanity+, nor affiliated with any known transhumanist organization. Epstein’s egocentric ideas about eugenics ardently conflict with the philosophy of transhumanism and the express directive of Humanity+ that aims is to prevent coerced practices. Instead, Humanity+ encourages exploring the use of genetic engineering to save lives and mitigate diseases that affect all humanity, such as sickle cell anemia and other horrific illnesses.
Humanity+ is an international nonprofit membership organization that advocates the ethical use of technology and evidence-based science to expand human capabilities. You can learn more about transhumanism at https://www.humanityplus.org.
Members of the USTP and other representatives of the transhumanist community call for more objective and responsible media reporting and fewer “hyperboles” and “nebulous generalizations”.
Dinorah Delfin is an Artist and the Director of Admissions and Public Relations for the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party.
Become a Member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party.