How Can the Ideology of Zero be Ethical?
One of the strangest justifications for zero ideology is that there is no other ethical goal. The only way such thinking can make sense is if one accepts the binary assumptions of the zero black and white mindset. The either-or mindset justifies a discourse in adversarialism which is unethical.
An ‘ethic’ is essentially a moral system. The etymology of the word ‘ethic’ is from the Greek ethos meaning customs, culture, habits and mores of people. The focus of an ethic is how to live rightly for the good of others and society. Whilst this should sit well with Safety it does not. As we see from the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2017 Accord the focus on objects, science, systems and engineering draws the risk industry into internal conflict. On one hand Safety wants to avoid policing (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-as-policing/) and on the other drive does everything in its discourse and language to an enforcement culture through numerics and the mechanics of objects.
An ethic of safety can only be holistic if it takes into consideration the focus of an ethic itself, fallible humans. How can it be ethical to speak a language of absolutes to fallible people? What kind of moral system will one create when the discourse of zero frames Safety as an absolute yet the systems, organizing and subjects of the system are all fallible?
Absolute language and discourse can only drive the vice of brutalism. You can’t say on one hand that you care for someone then on the other preach intolerance as a moral virtue? How can one seek a learning organization when the language and discourse of zero prohibits movement, mistakes, trial and error, change and learning?
For a snapshot of the problem see the attached paper: How-can-the-ideology-of-zero-be-ethical_.pdf (128 downloads)