A Zoltan for President posterTo no one’s great surprise, the candidate of the Transhumanist Party in the US presidential election did not win. However Zoltan Istvan is far from unhappy with the result.
“I never ran to win the presidency, but rather to spread word about the transhumanist movement and its goal to conquer death with science and technology,” he told Inverse magazine. “And my campaign, after 731 days, has been seen by likely 100 million people. I think transhumanism grew tremendously as a result, so I’m thrilled I could contribute to the transhumanism movement so dramatically.”
Nor is he unhappy with the prospect of President Donald Trump. “Unlike many others, I’m quite okay about a Trump presidency,” he said. “My main thing is science — and Trump will be good for science, since if he really wants to Make America Great Again, then he’ll have to beat China in it. And China is doing amazing science and tech, and so Trump will be forced to help technology and science move forward in America to keep up.”
Mr Istvan has offered his services to Trump as a science and technology advisor. He also plans to get more experience in politics and to prepare for a tilt at the presidency in 2020. “Whatever I do, I’m in the long war to conquer death with transhumanism, so I’m just beginning this crusade for the movement.”
There is quite a bit of literature in bioethics journals about the ethics of telling white lies to patients, especially with terminally ill patients. But a far more common ethical conundrum has been strangely neglected: whether children should be told the truth about Santa Claus. This, thankfully, has been remedied. Two psychologists have written an article in The Lancet Psychiatry arguing that children’s moral compass could be permanently deranged by the disappointment of learning that their parents have been telling them lies.
Kathy McKay, a clinical psychologist at the University of New England, Australia and a co-author, told The Guardian: “The Santa myth is such an involved lie, such a long-lasting one, between parents and children, that if a relationship is vulnerable, this may be the final straw. If parents can lie so convincingly and over such a long time, what else can they lie about?”
The psychologists follow in the footsteps of Richard Dawkins, who saw through the myth of Santa Claus at the tender age of 21 months. He told a conference in 2014: “Is it a good thing to go along with the fantasies of childhood, magical as they are? Or should we be fostering a spirit of scepticism? I think it's rather pernicious to inculcate into a child a view of the world which includes supernaturalism.”
We’d like to open up comments on BioEdge to a discussion of this issue.
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