domingo, 6 de noviembre de 2016

BioEdge: Your last chance to vote for the transhumanist candidate

BioEdge: Your last chance to vote for the transhumanist candidate

Bioedge

Your last chance to vote for the transhumanist candidate
     


As the bitter and dirty race for the American presidency draws to a close, it’s time to highlight the only candidate who has put bioethics at the front and centre of his campaign.

Zoltan Istvan is the Transhumanist candidate. His program is pretty simple: to overcome death and ageing within 15 years. A Tranhshumanist Bill of Rights for “Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms” commits government to working for indefinite life spans, morphological freedom and an end to involuntary suffering and ageing.

Some people have questioned the practicality of eliminating death, because of the resulting population explosion. However, Zoltan’s response is that “mind-uploading will be here in 50 years, so people might actually remain alive but in machines, making population levels easy to deal with."

He has a few other ideas as well, such as surrendering the job of being president to artificial intelligence. He told the BBC:

“I've advocated for an artificial intelligence to become president one day. If we had a truly altruistic entity that was after the best interests of society maybe giving up at least some freedoms would be beneficial if that was truly in our best interests. What’s happened in the past is we’ve had dictators who are selfish, and they’ve done an absolutely terrible job of running countries. But what if you actually had somebody who really was after your best interests, wouldn’t you want him on your team?”
If you are planning to cast your vote for Mr Istvan, you will have to write in his name, as it is not on the ballot in any of the states. Take note: the name registered with the Federal Electoral Commission is Zoltan Istvan Gyurko.
- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/your-last-chance-to-vote-for-the-transhumanist-candidate/12072#sthash.I5BYhxee.dpuf

Bioedge

Bioedge



With the bicentenary of the publication of Mary Bysshe Shelley’s book on human enhancement approaching in 2018, it may be worth reviewing the dramatic bioethical challenge faced by Dr Frankenstein.
You may recall that Dr Victor Frankenstein assembled an eight-foot, highly intelligent, powerful male humanoid. His creation escaped but returned to plead for a female companion. With her he would emigrate to “the vast wilds of South America”. However, the good doctor fears that their progeny would compete with humankind. “A race of devils would be propagated upon earth who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror.”
So he destroys his female project. Did he make the right decision? Would these creatures really have destroyed the human race?
An article in the journal BioScience has crunched the numbers for us using “competitive exclusion” theory. It turns out that had the couple escaped to South America, they would have multiplied and spread, and eliminated us within 4000 years – 4,188 years to be exact. So, at least within a framework of utilitarian ethics, Frankenstein was right. He deserves the gratitude of BioEdge readers


Michael Cook
Editor
BioEdge

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