Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

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Transhumanists believe emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence and gene editing, can and should be used to artificially enhance human abilities. They argue technological innovation will allow humans to move beyond our biological capabilities, the product of evolution, initiating a new historical era.

Policies advocated by Mr Istvan include declaring ageing to be a “disease to be eradicated”, aiming to make the US military “near totally reliant on robots, drones, and other tech” and total freedom to augment your own body with technology.

He argues the best solution to America’s incendiary abortion debate is the use of government funding to help develop artificial wombs.

Speaking to Express.co.uk Mr Istvan, a pro-choice atheist, said he’d decided to run as a Republican both to counter a leftwards shift within transhumanism and to encourage more conservatives to join the movement.

He said: “I lived in the Silicon Valley area and I can tell you over a ten year period of living there it has changed dramatically.

Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

Zoltan Istvan is challenging Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination (Image: GETTY/Zoltan Istvan )

Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

Campaign graphic for Zoltan Istvan (Image: Zoltan Istvan)

“It’s one thing to be left, it’s another thing to go really hard left, almost socialist, and that’s really what’s worrying me.

“Running as a Republican is a good way to straighten that out.

“The other problem is that the Republicans tend to be anti-science or anti-technology, so they could use some instruction that science and technology is a really good thing.”

Mr Istvan, who is on the ballot for next week’s New Hampshire Republican primary, argued the transhumanist movement has shifted to the left due to its strong youth appeal.

He commented: “All of a sudden the movement just grew dramatically but it grew from the youth and the youth tend to be very left leaning in the beginning.

“Transhumanism, sort of like environmentalism, is a movement that the youth are pushing in terms of numbers and that’s why I’d love to get some of the older fiscally conservative people interested in transhumanism because it might balance out those forces.

READ MORE: US Presidential hopeful plans to ABOLISH DEATH using technology 

Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

I think some conservatives have come to the transhumanist movement through my campaign” (Image: Zoltan Istvan )

“Environmentalism is entirely run by the left and it’s not good when you don’t have balance.”

“I think some conservatives have come to the transhumanist movement through my campaign and

maybe the movement itself will be better balanced as a result.”

Mr Istvan’s campaign has three main themes; promoting transhumanist technology, providing each American with a universal basic income funded via leasing federal land and protecting American democracy from authoritarian rivals, most notably China.

He argues America risks being left behind by Chinese technological advancement, and this could have a damaging impact on the health of democracy globally.

Specifically Mr Istvan worries that, unlike China, America will be held back by a religions inspired bio-conservatism.

He explained: “We are afraid of this because it requires this new type of technology.

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Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

Zoltan Istvan is running against Trump for the Republican nomination (Image: GETTY)

Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

Transhumanists want to use technology to enhance human abilities (Image: GETTY )

“America has to get over that and forget whether it bothers our moral values, we have a game to win here and that game is to out produce China.

“To remain wealthier than them. To be able to call the shots.

“The reason that’s very important is I believe that otherwise people will start accepting China’s social system including its social credit system.

“I don’t want to live in an authoritarian regime even if it’s a very functional place.

“I think a democracy can be just as functional, it just needs to overcome some of its religious biases as well as some of its cultural biases.”

Mr Istvan ran for the Presidency in 2016 with the support of the US Transhumanist Party.

To draw attention to his ideas he drove a bus, modified to look like a coffin to represent his belief that transhumanism can overcome natural death, from California to Washington DC.

In Britain the transhumanist movement is represented politically by the Transhumanist Party UK, which is registered with the Electoral Commission.

Mr Istvan believes we are on the verge of revolutionary change to human civilisation.

Asked by Express.co.uk what he expects the world to look like in the future he replied: “I think it would be virtually unrecognisable within 40 years.

“I think in 30 years you and I will have some metal parts as we’re talking to each other, we’ll be talking to each other directly from inside our brains.

“But we’ll still be physical entities as we are now.

Donald Trump faces Presidential challenge from Transhumanist who hopes to end death

Zoltan drove a giant ‘coffin’ from California to Washington D.C. during his 2016 presidential bid (Image: GETTY)

“But you go out 40, 50 years and I think it makes sense to start uploading one’s consciousness, being totally different biological creatures – not ones that need to breath air or rely on whether its hot or cold outside.

“There are a lot of problems with the human body. We could end up in virtual worlds, we end up with our consciousness expanding through merging with other consciousness.

“At some point its no longer even recognisable to what it once was – things like the singularity start happening or we merge our brains with AI consciousness that’s so much stronger than us.

“Then all the laws of democracy and the US constitution probably fall away and we have to create brand new ideas, and they’re probably so complex and bizarre to us now they’ll almost be unrecognisable.”


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