Dogma is the systematic assertion of a set of principles as incontrovertibly true, especially as given by an authoritative source. The notion of dogma is most associated with religious tenets of faith declared without evidence.
The idea of dogma comes from the language of doctrine and is usually associated with undeclared moral assumptions. The study of dogmatic theology (dogmatics) emerged in the 17th century and claims of ‘objective’ truths concerning god and salvation. The idea of dogma is also associated with confessions of faith that are used politically to weed out heresy and build in-groupness.
We see this most commonly in the safety industry where an affirmation of zero is used to confirm those who are pro-safety and zero denial as being anti-safety.
I would like a dollar for every contact that I have received about dissent on zero being silenced, people losing their job because they disagreed with zero or political pressure being applied in organisations for everyone to affirm the zero belief. Such is the dogma of zero.
We know that zero is religious dogma when we see absurd videos from global safety such as The Spirit of Zero (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/). This video complete with apocalyptic fervour and religious imagery is pure dogma.
What also follows and preaching of dogma is an insistence on belief and language such as ‘believe the impossible’ or ‘believe in zero’.
There is no difference in faith commitment to zero as there is to any religious dogma.
What often follows any dogma is an indoctrination campaign to convince the gullible that the dogma is true. We see this at Zero Vision Digital and the ‘we believe zero’ propaganda by global safety (https://visionzero.global/videos).
What also follows is mythology (https://safetyrisk.net/category/safety-myths/ ) on how zero ‘works’ and how it symbolises some practical new approach to safety. Neither is true or real. This is accompanied by statistics on all the companies and believers that follow zero to create the idea that any disagreement with the dogma is heresy. Then if you want to become a fellow indoctrinator you can become a zero vision trainer and join the crusade (campaign) (https://visionzero.global/why-vision-zero). This is classic in-group out-group strategy.
Then you get nonsense language on ‘golden rules’ which are just more traditional safety and claims to ‘a transformational approach’ (https://visionzero.global/why-vision-zero) which of course is safety code for more of the same (https://safetyrisk.net/deciphering-safety-code/).
And like all dogma, once you absorb it all, it’s all about nothing, nil, zero. There is no substance, like any dogma, but rather an undisclosed political assertion to join the congregation and follow the belief.
Of course, all of this is both unprofessional and unethical.