ICE Press Release, November 18, 2019:
NEW ONLINE EXERCISE FOSTERS THE PERSONAL PRACTICE OF VIRTUES
Think tank Promotes Character Development and Civic Virtue by Inviting People to Create a Personalized “Portrait of the Good” —a Practice Tool Delivered By Email
BOULDER, COLORADO, The Institute for Cultural Evolution think tank is working to overcome hyperpolarization by encouraging Americans to be more virtuous. This nonprofit’s website now features a 10 minute exercise that helps people discern and practice their highest ideals. By answering 10 questions, users create a personalized chart of the people and things that matter most to them. Upon completing the exercise, the user’s “portrait of the good” chart is then sent to their email address.
The point of the exercise is to get people to reflect on their ideals and what they really care about. This process helps clarify the basic moral obligations that people owe to themselves, to others, and to that which they recognize as transcendent. Helping people distill their ideals by creating a personalized printable chart fosters character development and promotes the practice of virtues. Consciously practicing virtues is a proven way to become happier and more effective. An example of a completed Portrait of the Good chart is shown on the right.
The Institute for Cultural Evolution’s mission is help America grow into a better version of itself. Headed by authors Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps, the Institute’s Board of Directors includes Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, Daily Evolver podcast host Jeff Salzman, and serial tech entrepreneur John Street. The Institute works to synthesize and harmonize the values and positive goals of both the Left and Right. Its strategies are based on fresh insights into how worldviews form and how human culture evolves.
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From Developmental Politics: “Taking an evolutionary perspective on our political problems helps reframe our hyper-polarized political condition as a golden opportunity to bring about the next emergent level of our civilization’s development.”
From Developmental Politics: “The higher purposes which we recognize as *transcendent* have a kind of magnetic power that draws us forward. As Oxford philosopher Iris Murdoch wrote, ‘we are spiritual creatures, attracted by excellence and made for the Good.’”
Emerson’s insight, that “every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact,” reveals the connection between exterior physical energy and interior ‘value energy.’ In fact, ‘the good’ in itself can be most accurately conceived of as an upward current of perfecting energy.
Although every infant begins life with the same basic form of biological “human nature,” the extent to which their consciousness develops is largely determined by the culture in which they are raised. Human nature itself thus evolves through the evolution of human culture.
Managing the polarity of liberal and conservative values is not simply a matter of meeting in the middle or compromising. Working to both challenge and *support* our political opponents is a new approach to politics that is pragmatic and transformational at the same time.