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Meet the 2016 presidential candidate who believes humans will eventually live forever

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Meet the 2016 presidential candidate who believes humans will eventually live forever

WATCH  | Zoltan Istvan thinks all sentient beings -- including, but not limited to humans, artificial intelligence and cyborgs -- have the right to be immortal. And that right should be protected under law. 

Which is why, naturally, he decided to run for president of the United States. 

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Istvan founded the Transhumanist Party in 2014 and became its presidential candidate at the end of the year, campaigning around the country in the "Immortality Bus" -- essentially a giant coffin on wheels. 

How to live forever

Transhumanism is a belief that human race can evolve beyond its physical and mental limitations using advanced science and technology. The party's main goal is to improve the quality of human lives and even conquer death with "radical" technology like gene-editing science and nanotechnology.

"Transhumanist movement has existed for 30-40 years but it never had a political element until now," Istvan said. He says with the growing impact of technology in our lives today, it's a great time for the movement to start gaining traction.

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So who is Zoltan Istvan, exactly? 

The former National Geographic journalist, entrepreneur and futurist lives in Mill Valley, California, just north of San Francisco.

'Technology is happening'

Istvan, in his early 40s, says he thinks he will have a better chance gaining support from younger generations than the two leading presidential candidates.

In his campaign video, you see him riding hoverboards, trying virtual reality headsets and getting a microchip implant that now enables him to access his car and house by just getting close enough to the reader.

"All around us, technology is happening. You're seeing people get out of wheelchairs and walk with exoskeleton suits. You're seeing telepathy headsets being sold at superstores."

I fund my presidential campaign entirely alone. I just wanted to make a symbolic stand because I so disagree with campaign finance laws in the U.S.
Zoltan Istvan

So given the transhumanist theory, where does the candidate stand on some of the key issues?  Scroll down for more.

Meet the 2016 presidential candidate who believes humans will eventually live forever

WATCH  | Climate change: "Use technology to regrow resources and reprogram biology. It's impossible to lessen the carbon footprint, so we should use radical nanotechnology to regrow and replenish the Earth."

 

Human bodies max out at 130 years, so you'll need to tweak your plan for living forever

WATCHHealthcare: "Eliminate all diseases and eventually death with 3D bioprinting, cryonics and other types of radical technology that we may not know of yet."

Meet the 2016 presidential candidate who believes humans will eventually live forever

WATCHJobs and wages: "The Universal Basic Income system will pay everyone above the poverty line since all jobs will be taken by robots, and the companies responsible for making the robots will fund the federal system."

 

Wait, that sounds like communism. 

"A Universal Basic Income will lead us to the path of some type of communism. The actual term that has been catching on is luxury automated communism where you basically wake up, robots do everything. The world is changing. I don't think capitalism will survive.

"My wife is an ObGyn, delivers babies. She trained for 19 years. They warned her, be prepared in 15 years, 20 years, that a robot will be able to deliver babies better than you."

Immigration

"At some time in the future, I do advocate for having completely open borders and I also advocate for all countries eventually merging into larger overall nation. I do believe that at some point we're going to be a world democracy instead of this national democracy.

"I think national democracy works as long as we're human beings -- but at some point when we become robots and robots take over all the jobs and we start having machine intelligence, things like this, it may not make sense to have national identities."

Education

"Preschool and college should be mandatory and free in the U.S. because our lifespans are getting so much longer, and I would also add a fifth year to college. We haven't changed our education requirements in 50-60 years in America.

"Also, once somebody finishes college, they deserve a reward and the government would then sponsor them to travel and party and do whatever they wanted for 6 months and the only regulation there will be in those 6 months, they'll have to go to 3 different countries outside America."

If immortality is the ultimate goal, what will you do about overpopulation? 

"Bear in mind that if most people knew they were going to live 1,000 years, they probably wouldn't have children in the first 250 years -- they'd prefer their freedom, so the entire institution may change.

"Finally, mind-uploading will be here in 50 years, so people might actually remain alive but in machines, making population levels easy to deal with."

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