Interview with U.S. Presidential Candidate, Zoltan Istvan

Today I would like to introduce you to someone you may already know, US Presidential Candidate, Zoltan Istvan. I am of course very glad to be able to interview a candidate for the Office of the President of the United States and I have found him to be a simple person with an understated way of explaining and describing himself and his platform. Simplicity is refreshing in this day and age, and I think a quality of good value.

Zoltan Istvan was born in 1973 and is the author of The Transhumanist Wager. He is a futurist, a philosopher and a transhumanist. He is also a conservationist, journalist and a writer. As a reporter for National Geographic, he covered the crisis in Kashmir, which was later made into a documentary. Zoltan also writes articles for Psychology Today, Huffington Post and other publications.

He is husband to Dr. Lisa Istvan, with whom he has two beautiful daughters.

Zoltan is well-known as an atheist, which is not the totality of his person, nevertheless, is often a remarkable distinguishing element that people quickly take notice of. Those who know me, will probably immediately say, “Then why would you support an atheist candidate when you are anything but atheist?” Notwithstanding, I am actually in favour of the idea of having a President who does not represent any one form of spirituality. I don’t need to see my own spiritual beliefs reflected by my President.

The Transhumanist Party slogan is, Putting Science, Health and Technology at the Forefront of American Politics. I think that anyone who is familiar with my work, would question my endorsement of such a slogan and wonder, “Why would an esoteric writer want to put science and technology at the forefront of her choice of politics?” Nevertheless, I am one of those few people who truly see no conflict between science and spirituality. The majority of people always see conflict between the two, while I happen to be of the minority that sees coherence and harmony between science and spirituality. In my eyes, there is such a flow and there is no fight. You could say that I am equally supportive of science, as I am of the mystical. The corporeal is equally important to the incorporeal.

Below is the interview in its entirety, please enjoy it and learn more about a man who would like to lead a nation:

Before anything else, I would just like to thank you for having this interview with me; it is an honor to interview a US Presidential Candidate who is also the individual at the forefront of transhumanism in the United States. I am very glad and I welcome you to my reader base, as well as to my friends and colleagues. We will all be glad to hear from you and to learn more about you.

I would like to begin this interview quoting your own words. I actually have these words up in my personal FB account’s description of my political ideology. I just think that it speaks so much and so clearly, not only of the situation that we are all in, in the world today; but also of how our priorities are so obvious and yet for some reason, so difficult to address. You said, and I quote, “Government funds some medical and science research, but currently, that funding (in the US) is about 10 times ‘smaller’ than funding for defense, wars, and bomb making. This is a tragedy that we fight wars against human beings—and not against cancer, or heart disease, or Alzheimer’s, or even aging. This is a primary reason transhumanists must organize into a movement, so that we can battle the powers that be, and demand much more government funding go directly into science and medical research.” This is something that I wholeheartedly agree with. But then it’s something that every human being should easily be able to wholeheartedly agree with. In this light, why do you think that transhumanism as a political ideology lacks the attention that the more popular political parties seem to take as a given?

I don’t want to criticize religion too much, but we live in a Judeo-Christian culture that for centuries has taught us it’s okay to die, since there’s an afterlife. This of course also applies to war and a culture’s feelings about going to war. I don’t believe in God. When people die, they return to dirt. So until we have a more secular culture that realizes that death is a final thing, we won’t be too worried about it. We’ll feel like the military is more important than medicine.

For those who are hearing about transhumanism for the very first time, could you please explain transhumanism as a political ideology and also as a philosophy? How do the politics and the philosophy itself differ, if they do differ at all?

Transhumanism is a social movement of a few million people around the world who want to use science to radically modify the human being and the human experience.

As a political movement, we aim to get governments to approach problems with scientific and technological solutions. Most governments approach problems from a social, religious, or historical point of view.

Many people— when they think about American politics— immediately think about just two political parties— liberal and conservative; Democrat and Republican— I think that many are actually unaware of the fact that other parties, like the Transhumanist Party, do exist! Why do you think that this is the case? And what do you think can be done in order to show people that there is in fact a divergent path? Because that’s what I think transhumanism is. I think it’s divergent.

I think the Republicans and Democrats have done a superb job of monopolizing the political field. Unfortunately, that’s also been a large disservice to America and what America stands for.

This election cycle in 2016 is unique as 3rd parties are getting more attention. The key is dissatisfaction with politics as usual, and that’s when something like the Transhumanist Party can break out. And we are. We’re growing like wildfire in impact this year.

Are we all headed to a transhumanist future, anyway? Let’s put it like this, whether I like it or not, am I headed towards a future where artificial intelligence will look just like any other human being, and where robots will be taking over the economy?

Yes, I think we’re all headed to a transhumanist world. Of course some won’t want to join, but it’s sort of like the internet. If you don’t use the internet, then you are missing out on a major piece of the new world. Transhumanism will be like that. Without upgrading your bodies, you’ll be totally left behind, both intellectually and physically. Can you imagine if you’re the only one in 50 years who doesn’t have a bionic eye that can stream media info into your brain, see 100 miles clearly, and also see 90% of the light spectrum (gases, microbes, etc)? The normal human eye sees just 1% of the universe.

Who are transhumanists? I know that you are an atheist, but I am also aware of the fact that transhumanists can be theists, spiritual, or even religious! To what extent would you say, are all people welcome to become a transhumanist?

I think all people will eventually be transhuman. And I think all people will give up their fundamental religious beliefs to be more reason-based. However, spirituality will continue, and perhaps grow with technology. Beliefs will change from a divine man looking over the Earth, to super AI intelligence or science. The change will be slow, though. People are afraid to give up their core beliefs.

I am personally not an atheist. Quite the opposite, actually! You could say that I feel God in everything. I believe in myths and legends, which are to me, my history! And yet, I do not see the problem in having an atheist President. In fact, I see the opposite of a problem; I see a solution! A President should not be (in my opinion), someone who belongs only to a certain group of people in a certain religion. A President must be a President to all of his or her citizens. The easiest way for that to happen, I believe, is to have an atheist President! However, many would not agree to this. What would your message be to those who would not agree with me on this? Why is it okay (or even better) for a President of the United States to be an atheist?

Well, I don’t think anyone is really “atheist.” No rational person could ever say they do or don’t believe in God. They simply could not know that in any provable sense. I’m an atheist in the battle sense—I see formal religion as oppressive and I choose to battle against it. But I certainly believe in many super intelligences out there in the trillion galaxies that exist in the universe. And I’m sure some of them are smart enough to be as deities to us. But until I meet them, I don’t care about them. In fact, they’re competition to what humans are doing on planet Earth, until they prove otherwise.

And regarding politics, it’s very simple. A good President serves his people, not his beliefs, whether they’re atheist or religious.

What is it actually like, to wake up every day as an atheist? Would you say that you enjoy less of the beauty that the world has to offer? Does it make you less thankful for what you have? Does it make you appreciate your wife any less than, let’s say, a very spiritual person would?

For me, atheism is essentially a guide on how to use reason. I don’t make up things in my mind. I base everything on the scientific method. My appreciation is science and reason based.

Tell me about your wife. And tell me about your two daughters. I think everyone would want to hear what you sound like as a husband and as a father.

I love my wife a lot, and we have two beautiful kids. Thankfully, I have a great family life. A lot of my work is from a computer from home, so I see my kids a lot more than other people.

Immigration is obviously a top issue in American politics today, given the present refugee crisis. In fact, your opinion on the matter was what first attracted me to transhumanism. Your stand on the matter was that all refugees should be implanted with microchip tracking devices. In true transhumanist style, you turned your attention to science and technology for the answers to the issue. The issue was the disparity in opinion of what to do about it all; whether to let everyone in all of a sudden, or to let nobody in at all! It was a very emotional issue. I was impressed with your take on it, which at the time came like a cold glass of water on a very humid day. There was no drama, only scientific logic applied. I thought, “Hey, I really like this, this is what we need” and from then on, I have been calling myself a transhumanist. However, some would argue that placing microchips into people would be akin to treating people like animals. I don’t see that angle at all, as science is science and has nothing to do with any of our emotional identifications of objects and how we designate them as good or evil. But I would like to know, what is your message to those who liken microchipping refugees to the treatment of animals? Why is it not the same as microchipping a cow or a goat?

To understand my microchipping position, you have to understand that it was not my preferred choice on how to treat refugees. It was a compromise since both Democrats and Republicans don’t want them here, and at some point, humans have to be kind to other humans, especially when there’s women and kids involved. So this was my idea on how to deal with the issue. Of course, it’s not my policy, but an idea I’d want to explore with other people. But, yes, I do think I could support that.

Also, we’re “all” going to have microchips, or various tracking devices on us in the next 10-20 years. I mean, we already have phones that track everything. So it’s not such a stretch to have chips. Bear in mind the chip implants can go in, in 30 seconds, and pulled out with a slight incision in 1 minute. It’s not a big deal. One can do it all themselves. And there’s other ways too, like tattoo chips, etc.

My real goal with the refugees was to get them to a safe place—and I say this as a National Geographic reporter who has seen war zones. Get the kids, women, elderly, and disabled people out! Do what must be done to save lives of those who absolutely are being terrorized.

Your name is Zoltan Istvan Gyurko; that name says something about your heritage. Can you please tell us more about your heritage? I’ve heard you are of Hungarian descent.

Yes, I was born in Los Angeles and raised there, but my household was very Hungarian. Everyone else in my family, including my sister, was born there. In fact, I also now have Hungarian citizenship.

Why on Earth would you want to live forever? And why on Earth should anyone want to transcend physical death?

Some people just don’t want to die. They love life and see death as unacceptable. I’m one of them.

I am an American citizen living abroad. How important is it to you, to reach your overseas American voters?

At this moment, not high on the list, since I’m already understaffed as it is. However, of course I care about them.

Lastly, I think we would all like to know, what made you run for President of the United States? It’s one thing to be a transhumanist; it’s another thing to actually say, “I want to be President of a Transhumanist United States of America.” Tell us about your mental journey to the candidacy.

I wrote a novel called The Transhumanist Wager. It’s very political and quite quickly became an important book in the futurist world. The protagonist becomes President at some point in the book, and I suppose I’ve always thought I could help America with my leadership skills. Running to be President is also a good way to bring attention to a cause—like transhumanism.

I know I said that would be the last question, but, here’s the very last question: what is your favourite colour? Everyone has one! What is the favourite colour of a Transhumanist Atheist Presidential Candidate?


Green! Thank you very much for this interview, I can’t wait to share it with everyone and hopefully people will get to connect with you on a new, more comprehensible and relatable level.

How To Navigate Through The World With Equanimity And Balance

Copyright © Michael Tackett
       I express in three different ways. One for me, one for analysis, and one for others. Allow me to explain:
       I have my own personal preferences and feelings about anything, just like everybody else. But since I acknowledge that what I want and what I feel is not the center of the universe, I do not reflect this section of my expression onto everything and everyone. I keep it to myself, or to situations that immediately concern me.
       Then I have my section for analysis, where I analyse what might be really going on behind the scenes, which is something totally unattached to both myself and others. In this section, all people are merely collateral damage. This is the "masterplan" section. This area is for analysis of the masterplan.
       And there is the section for others, where I see things through their eyes, removing my benefits, wants and opinions entirely from the scenario and seeing it 100% through their eyes. This area is applied to all scenarios wherein I am not the immediate recipient of any effects (for example, things far removed from my life that I see on the news). And, also applied to any scenario for a brief time during which I need to understand another person/other people.
       So when I write, my writings might not even be how I personally feel about an event or a scenario. I can be writing from the "masterplan section" or from the "their perspective" section.
       I advise everyone to approach life this way. Apply these sections to your life, if you can. Do not attach your feelings and emotions to everything. There is a time and place for that. Not everything is YOU.
       The problem when you buy into the new age teaching of "I am the universe, we are all one, everything is me", is that this belief produces chaos. It eliminates your ability to see anything apart from your own convictions, feelings, and thoughts. And that produces stupidity and utter chaos.

Here is an example, to make things easier for everyone:

Let us examine Brexit.

1. How I personally feel: I am personally saddened to see Britain leave. While I am a culturalist, I am also a Europhile. The EU was founded upon the value that the nations ought to unite, but they also ought to remain sovereign. That is the same thing as saying, "We may all be friends and help one another, but that doesn't mean that we need to wear the same clothes, read the same books, and like the same food." And that's just right. It is a reflection of a good and well-balanced value from a daily, more personal level of our friendships with others. I am therefore saddened to see Britain go, because I could benefit from the amazing EU laws and ways.

2. What I think the masterplan is: I think the masterplan could be either of the two: 1. To destabilise the EU in order to formulate the third world war, or 2. To create a United States of Europe. If it is the former, then the masterplan has succeeded. If it is the latter, then Britain just broke the masterplan.

3. What I believe is going on with the people immediately concerned with this situation: I believe that through the years, the founding value of the EU has faded and they have less and less respect for sovereignty. I think Britain sees a "United States of Europe" on the way and wants out of it. The younger UK generation doesn't see this, because they were born in the era of the EU and now they feel like the world is over. The older generation sees this, because they are naturally older, wiser, and were living even before the EU was formed.

       And this here is a very good example of how I think and how I express. As you can see, I did not make room in any of my previous writings, to say that I like the EU and I want it back in Britain, because of the fact that it does not immediately concern me and I believe that those whom it concerns should be given more thought. The rest of the world falls into the category of the masterplan, in which, we are all collateral damage, anyway.

A Call to Unity and How to Do It

Copyright © Grace Adams
      The world is like the human body. When you look at the human body, you see a single biological system covered in one giant field of skin. You can tell me that there are no borders on my body; but inside my body, there is a skeletal system, a muscular system, a nervous system; there are tissues, cells... there are plenty of little communities working together as a whole, in order for my body to function. They are all different, but they are connected. My heart is not my lung and my eyes are not my ears. Each part needs to be different in order for me to be a fully functional human being. What would happen if my eyes decided to be just like my ears? What would happen if my fingers wanted to be just like my toes? Then I would be a deformed and dysfunctional human being.
       You cannot tell me that in this world we need to all be the same, because to tell me that would be telling me that you want the world to be dysfunctional and deformed. Yes, when the Earth is looked upon from a spacecraft, you are not going to see where a country ends and where it begins. But that is just like looking at my body from the outside. You need to go in to see what's inside.
       In order for a body to function, all parts must be in harmony and undivided. If you were to divide my heart in half, I would cease to live. In this same exact light, if you are to divide a nation in half, expect not the world to unite. The only way for the world to unite, is for the nations to unite first within themselves. The only way for a community to unite is for the families to unite first within themselves. Do not tell me about the inexistence of nations in a plea to unite the whole world. The whole world will never unite, until you as a nation first heals yourself.

In Defense of Fear

Copyright © Gregory Colbert; Ashes and Snow
       I never thought it would come to this, but, I find it necessary to say that, fear is a human right just as much as love is a human right. People have the right to love whom they love. But people also have the right to fear what/whom they fear.
       Civilisation is always out of balance, swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other. It is necessary to reinstate that balance every now and then.
       We fight for the right of a person to love whom they wish to love, but we shame anyone who is afraid of anything or anyone else. And shame is not the method of soothing fear.
       If you had a fear of clowns, spiders, heights... or any other phobia... do you think that the way for this fear to be removed is by people shaming you for your fear? I don't think so. Why do people then shame other people the moment they are afraid of something or someone?
       It is not right to fear people due to their race, their disability, sexual orientation, because these are natural states of the homo sapien. We should not fear natural states of our species. However, any person has the legal right to fear a person's religion. A religion is not a natural state of any person on Earth. A religion is not a race, a disability, or a gender. A religion is an institution.
       If I were afraid of your sorority or your fraternity due to that organisation's practices (like violent hazing for example), that is my right to fear your organisation and to distance myself from it. Would it be a good idea for me to educate myself about your frat or sorority, in the hopes that my fear would be alleviated? Sure, maybe! You can tell me how the hazing process has only killed a few people in a few years, and maybe that would make me feel better. But then maybe it wouldn't. That's up to me! You have the right to be a member of that fraternity or that sorority, but you don't have the right to make everyone else around you accept you for your choices. You have the freedom to be in that organisation, but I have the freedom to fear you as a result of it, or, to distance myself from you as a result of it.
       A religion is not a natural part of the homo sapien. A religion is an institution, an organisation. It is a choice. Do not ever tell me that you cannot choose, because if you cannot choose, then that religion is trampling your human right to choose and in that case, it should be illegal. You may choose your spiritual beliefs and nobody can stop you from it.
       Meanwhile, nobody can stop anybody else from fearing you because of your choices. I can fear any institution or organisation that I feel threatens me in any way. I am not taking sides. But I am injecting some balance here. Some equanimity.
       We are not born entitled to other people's acceptance of our choices and affiliations. In fact, we are not even born entitled to other people's acceptance of our character traits, hair color, gender, or anything about us! But we are thankful that our natural rights are protected by the people who love us and by those who are in charge of us and who draft laws. But to expect all others to accept our choices and our affiliations is an enactment upon a privilege that does not exist. Because when you do something or when you choose something, you may do it freely, but others do not need to condone or to accept you freely if your choices and affiliations threaten their comfort in any way.
       Let's say you are a member of the Illuminati. Many people fear this organisation. Sure, they can educate themselves about it and find out that it is not what they have been told it is like. But then they don't have to. They really don't have to. They don't need to tell you to leave the Illuminati, but they also don't need to like you. Not everybody needs to like you for choices that you make.
       Would it be a good idea if everyone were further educated on everything in order to lose their fears? Sure. If I learned more about clowns, maybe I wouldn't fear clowns. But I don't have to learn more about clowns. And I don't have to like them. Were people born as clowns? No. People choose this as an occupation.
       You can choose as you wish. But others may also like or not like you; or fear or not fear you, accordingly.
       The Church of Satan is an officially recognized religion in the United States. I think it's safe to say that not a bunch of people are going to want to invite you over for brunch if you go to the Church of Satan. Do these people need to sit down and listen to a long lecture about how Lucifer is actually the angel of light and how it is perfectly okay to worship him? No. They don't have to listen to that. They can just not like you if they don't like you.
       The reality is that we are not entitled to people liking us. And we are not entitled to people not fearing us. We are also not entitled to friendship from others.
       Getting mad at people because of their fears is an abuse of a human right. You have a choice to be and do as you wish, but, others have the equal choice to not be friends with you because of it. I never thought I would defend fear, but, it is now appropriate to do so.
       Any person has the right to fear any religion in this world, because a religion is an organisation. It is not your race, your gender, and it is not a disability.
       The best way to ease the fears of others, if you want to be friends with them, is through kindness. Not through anger. And through your kindness, minds will be opened. Or maybe not. If not, then that is really not anything to take personally.

We have been taught wrong. But we can change it.

 Photo labelled for noncommercial reuse.
       I have been thinking a lot about zeal lately. Could it be that humankind is truly becoming an incredibly zealous lot? We see so much zealous reaction to everything these days, especially since we can see people react on social media all the time!
       What is it about the actions of others that cause so much passionate reaction in our own lives? What is it about the lives and the choices of others, than can cause us to wreck havoc in our own lives via the passion that it strikes in our own minds and hearts?
       Zeal can be described as "burning". And yet burning leads to third degree burns!
       What is to be said about the objects in life that do not cause us to burn, yet are worthy of our utmost admiration? The very small things that bring joy, comfort, reassurance, happiness? Some people are so zealous that they prefer the term "joy" over "happiness", because, "happiness" is supposed to be the shallow form of joy! So zealous that they cannot even be happy!
       And what can be said of morality? Is morality overly thought about and pondered upon? Why do our own moral choices mean so much to us and why do the moral choices of others offend us in such great ways? Why do we place such zeal into our own morality and into the morality of others who are not going to be a part of our lives, anyway?
       Perhaps it is time to let go of the word "morality" and instead live by the word "creed". Morality falls through all the time, anyway, because it is too much associated with the word "hypocrite". But Creed is different. Creed is something that you may draft and construct and live by, without employing the passions that are evoked by the actions of others in their own lives that have nothing to do with your own.
       Perhaps it is time to let go of the word "passion" and all the favour this word has found in our eyes in our century. Instead, favour the word "beauty" (a word which we have all been taught is shallow and we should not care about). If a thought does not produce an end result of beauty— do not think of it! If a belief does not make the world a beautiful place to live in— stop believing in it. Regard beauty as the highest form of thought, belief, and faith. Why should you ever think, believe in, or have faith in what is not a cause for beauty?
       Beauty, happiness... seek the simplicity! This is life unto the human race. Zeal is death, zeal is destruction.

Photograph Information: I cannot find credit for this photograph, anywhere. If you know the photographer, please inform me, thank you.

What is better than passion? Beauty.

Copyright © Adrian McDonald
       A person should never identify first and foremost with a religion. A person should never forget that he or she is living in a physical body, and that he or she is in fact a person; not only an adherent of his or her religion. To have faith is good. To have faith beyond the identification of the self is wrong. What about you? Do you identify first and foremost with your religion? What is the color of your eyes, what are your dreams at night? What makes you laugh? What do you want to be tomorrow, ten years from now? Many things are you. Your religion is not you. Everybody needs to draw this line in the sand and be like, "That over there is the religion that I subscribe to, it was developed some few thousand years ago and I happen to believe in its teachings." And then look at your side of the line in the sand and say, "This here is me, a person with dreams and hopes. I like to eat oatmeal in the morning, I like strawberries."
       This identification with religion as a person is wrong. People are filled with too much zeal, people forget they are people, and forget that other people are also people, all for a passion in the soul.
       Passion of the soul is a dime a dozen! It is not what they would want you to believe it is! Everyone has it! It is not glorified, it is not anything! You know what's something? The little things are something. They don't even have to make you burn! The smiles of your loved ones, the way the Sun sets and the Moon rises! The flowers and the way they bloom... these are somethings! Beauty! There is too much beauty thrown away in the name of passion. There are too many moments of reflection that are lost because people no longer see themselves reflected in anything other than their religions!

It is time

Copyright © David Gaz
       Humanity, listen to me. So many of our opinions, preferences and presumptions about other people and about what the world must most definitely be like, are placed into our minds by our childhood religions. So few of that is from our own experiences of our lives from outside of that religious blanket.
       I cannot give you evidence that my God is real and you cannot give me evidence that your God is real. You may laugh at the stories of my God while I laugh at the stories of your God. In reality, both stories are of absolutely equal reliability. They are stories that we believe. And that is it. Your God lives within your faith of Him or Her. And my God lives within my faith of Him or Her. This means that our Gods live for us as individuals and within us as individuals.
      You are real and I am real. We need no evidence to prove to each other that the other exists. Then why do we quarrel over the Gods that we cannot see? Your God is real because you are real and within your belief your God lives. My God is real because I am real and within me my God lives. We therefore need not mock, we therefore need not quarrel.
       How much of what your Holy Book says, is what your God says? And how much of it is just what you are saying? You may live as you are and as you choose, for as long as your ways do not dictate that the way I am and the way I live are not supposed to be. What your God says is not supposed to be, may be different from what my God is telling me. But when our Gods have something hateful to say about you and about me, that is when our Gods must no more dictate us.
Have our Gods ever really, really dictated us? Or have we been dictating our Gods?

       So much of what we think about others, are things we do not know. If someone needs to save my life one day, it will not matter what God they believe in! Would you stop to ask if they are Christian, Muslim or Jew? Would you stop to ask first if they are Pagan, Monotheist or Witch? Or would you just let them save your one precious life?

Humanity, listen to me. It is time for this all to end. It is time for a new beginning.

       It is time for a change that will shake this Earth until the outer crust crumbles and falls off of it; until the only thing left is that which was meant to be.
       We have reached a point in time, a needle-point moment in time, where we will either shake this Earth and her civilisation to the core until it falls away and we may build a new Earth; or, we will all fall asleep, and every act of violence and terror will become only like bugs walking across our faces while we are deep in our sleeps. You will either stand up or you will fall asleep.

Now is the time.

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