An Open Letter to the Transhumanist Community – Article by Arin Vahanian

An Open Letter to the Transhumanist Community – Article by Arin Vahanian

Arin Vahanian


During the events that have transpired over the past few weeks, many of which have affected (and not in positive ways, sometimes) the USTP, Humanity+, and other organizations in the Transhumanism movement, I have mostly refrained from sharing my opinions and thoughts. However, I feel it is time now to share something that has been on my mind for a while.

But before I do so, I would like to express my disappointment at the level of discourse I am seeing in our community as a whole. Just a few days ago, the USTP released a statement condemning the vicious, vindictive manner in which someone in the Transhumanist community treated other members, as well as USTP Officers.

Instead of using this as a rallying cry for greater cooperation, an opportunity for increased self-awareness, as well as coordination on our shared goals, we now, yet again, have a candidate attacking another candidate, insulting their intelligence, not to mention their physical appearance.

Such petty, cruel behavior not only reflects negatively upon the person engaging in such behavior, but also reflects negatively on Transhumanism as a whole.

The sad truth of the matter, and what has been on my mind for a long while, but which I have been reluctant to share, is that many of the things that members of the general public dislike about Transhumanism, we have displayed here with great fervor, whether intentionally, or not.

Indeed, in some ways, we ourselves have become our worst enemies, treating each other with disdain, pretending that we are somehow more intelligent than others, disregarding the legitimate objections people have brought forward about the consequences of technology, ignoring how bizarre or unhinged some of our behaviors and actions may appear to the public, and being generally disconnected from the needs of the population as a whole.

However, it is not only a single candidate or person who is responsible for helping to create an environment in which arrogance, narcissism, unstable behavior, a lack of civility, pettiness, and a lack of empathy have persisted.

Sadly, we in the Transhumanist community are all responsible, because we have all allowed this sort of behavior to continue, over many months and many years. To be sure, this sort of behavior has been around long before this current USTP Presidential campaign started, but it continues, nonetheless.

One thing I have been passionate about and dedicated to from day one is to change the public’s perception of Transhumanism. To grow a movement that is small, into a worldwide force that is capable of great positive change, requires us to have a finger on the pulse of the views of the general public.

Vitriol is still vitriol, and venom is still venom, whether we sling it with bows and arrows, or whether we drop it like a bomb. We have no business complaining about the lack of civility in politics, in any country, when we ourselves are guilty of incivility. We should not lament the proliferation of cyberbullying when we ourselves engage in the same behavior.

We could say, once again, that the way we conduct ourselves in front of the general public influences greatly their opinions about Transhumanism, but this message has been nearly as ineffective as advocating for peace in the Middle East. We could say, once again, that we are a team, and that the shared goals we have are far more important than our disagreements with each other, but that doesn’t seem to have helped very much. We could say, once again, that humanity could benefit greatly from increased longevity, improved health, and the complete eradication of poverty, but even this, surprisingly, doesn’t seem to register with some people.

So let me put it this way, instead – the next time you think about hurling abuse at someone in our community, the next time you feel like getting even with someone for their past transgressions, consider the fact that in just a few decades, unless we achieve our objectives with anti-aging research and life extension, everyone here will likely be dead.

Dead, as in, they will no longer be able to hold a loved one in their arms. Dead, as in, they’ll never again feel the warm rays of the sun caressing their face on a summer morning. Dead, as in, they’ll never have the pleasure of tasting their favorite food again, or any food, for that matter.

In many ways, the movement has never been stronger. Transhumanism has been garnering more press coverage, thanks to the efforts of people like Zoltan Istvan. USTP membership has grown substantially in recent weeks and months, thanks to the leadership of Gennady Stolyarov. The work that pioneers such as Fereidoun Esfandiary (also known as FM-2030), Aubrey de Grey, Nick Bostrom, and Jose Cordeiro have done over decades has helped built the foundation for what we are able to do now.

Every time we attack each other, we dishonor the legacy the hard-working people in our movement have created. Every time we attack each other, it sets us back from important work we could be doing to help humanity with its greatest challenges.

Contrary to what some people may think, the work that Transhumanists are doing does not only benefit the Transhumanist community; it benefits people who don’t even know about us. It benefits people who are suffering from a rare disease and feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It benefits people who are struggling with crippling poverty, having to make a choice between starving to death or being homeless.

The indignation we may feel, righteous or not, at the lack of awareness and acceptance of our movement among the general public, isn’t the general public’s fault. It is simply because we have been unable, thus far, to clearly demonstrate, with a compassionate and unified voice, the many worthy and noble projects we are engaged in, as well as our vision, mission, and purpose. But there is no rule that says that this state of affairs has to continue.

Being able to demonstrate to the world the optimistic, humanitarian, and thoughtful goals of Transhumanism requires us to take a good look in the mirror and decide who we are, and who we want to be. But most importantly, it requires us to be optimistic, humanitarian, and thoughtful, ourselves. How we treat others is an indication, on some level, of how we look at the world as a whole.

Requesting that people be treated with respect, dignity, and kindness is not authoritarianism or fascism. It is called being a better human being. And one of the core tenets of Transhumanism is being a better human being. So let us start today, right now, by being better, not just to ourselves, but also to each other.

Arin Vahanian is Director of Marketing for the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party. 

3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Transhumanist Community – Article by Arin Vahanian

  1. I am sorry but this has to be said. The US Transhumanist Candidates need to grow a back bone. People have a right to their own opinion, good bad or indifferent. If you want to be a candidate then you have to deal with it.

    I also find it funny how this is only an issue when this has an impact on your own people. My site the Wave Chronicle has been and will continue to be abused and ignored by most because I will not take anyone’s shit. How many times over the years have I been removed from various groups and then readded and then removed and then readded.

    At no point did you ever see me complain about the discrimination. I do my work, my way, through my own might and mane.

    My suggestion for the US Transhumanist Party is to do the same and stop whining. Do the Damn job and move forward.

  2. Positive is positive. Negative is negative.
    Long-term permanent change will happen only by
    the application of leadership and education. One without the other…well you know.
    How, specifically, can the Transhumanist Party achieve our goals: small steps with large impact.
    Example: You do not have to be a Transhumanist to know the danger of sugar. If all humans stopped eating sugar, high fructose corn sugar, the man-made kind, longevity would increase, etc., etc..
    Where is the disadvantage to anyone to advocate for the reduction and ending voluntarily of the consumption of sugar?
    Thank you, Roy J. Kendall royjkendall@hotmail.com 559-901-1974

  3. Parallel with the current decline in democracy around the world is a decline in demand for any scientific reasoning: facts. I spoke with a former math instructor of mine today and she stated, “Today it is all about feeling.” Not scientific facts.
    Today is 2019 and it might as well be the Dark Ages…not even the Reformation when it comes to the general public’s view of almost anything scientific. If Galileo were alive today he would be considered a conspiracy nut and ignored.
    We know that demographics are against us. Consider today’s lower SAT scores and ACE scores. Alcohol and cannabis consumption prior to and during pregnancy does not help the IQ of the exposed children. Consider FAS/FAE AND FASD.
    Example: The Parkland shooter was a FAS/FAE FASD victim. Check out the Jim Beam case re: FAS/FAE. The cumulative, additive DNA Downstream effects of alcohol and cannabis prior to and during pregnancy do not make for healthier individuals with a I.Q. higher than a rock.
    Of course further peer reviewed research is needed and that is a safe and sane proposition. In the mean time 1/3 of high school students in the USA are using cannabis and getting clobbered by the Chinese and South Koreans in STEM. Maybe in the future we will learn, or insert at chip, in a foreign language.
    The take away is: The U.S. Transhumanist Party could take the lead in requesting research into the connection between FAS/FAE FASD and mass shootings and the DNA Downstream effect of Cannabis consumption prior to and during pregnancy.
    What do we have to loose? Where we are headed is not where a thinking person wants to go. Remember Hitler?

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