Continuing our series on Safety Myths – see them all here
Myth in itself is not bad, it depends on the purpose and ethic of the myth. The same with ritual.
The first question we need to ask when it comes to myth and ritual in safety is: what is the purpose and ethic of this myth and ritual?
The value of a myth is best determined by its ethical outcome. If the outcome is unethical, demonises persons, dehumanises community, puts objects before persons, creates delusional discourse, embodies delusional meanings, corrupts purpose or brutalises, then it is a bad myth.
A myth is good when its outcomes lead to the humanising of persons, communities and ethical practice. This is why the foundation of professionalism is ethics. This is why ethics is excluded in any safety curriculum and why safety is NOT a profession.
If Safety had to study an open-minded approach to Ethics it would have to confront its culture of brutalism.
This is why Care Ethics is excluded from the AIHS BoK on Ethics.
It is simply nonsense to claim the word ‘professional’ and have no sense of ethics.
Similarly, to concoct an exclusive and deontological ethic simply enables brutalism (https://safetyrisk.net/myths-ethics-and-enactment-in-risk/).
Of course, if you can’t articulate a humanising ethic, ontology or methodology, its most likely one doesn’t even have the mental equipment or critical capability to work out what a myth or ritual is doing. Indeed, Safety is most often defensive about its myths and rituals and denies its denial (https://safetyrisk.net/why-is-myth-so-scary-to-safety/ ).
Yet, the moment a symbol assumes mythical power it is made ‘salvic’. This means that salvation will not be achieved without it. After all, ‘safety saves’.
Once a ritual or myth has been established as salvic in safety and given salvation status, it is nearly impossible to be eliminated regardless of its real outcome.
This is because myths operate in the unconscious, individually and collectively, through the symbols, gestures and rituals with which they are anchored.
All myths create their own reality/truth framed by the symbol to which it is attached. The symbol can be visual, textual, verbal/oral or gestural. And we have see what myths like dominoes, bow-tie, risk matrix, curves, swiss-cheese and pyramids do to people. All objects designed to do things to people in the name of good. Such is the alternate reality safety has constructed without an ethic of personhood.
This is why Personhood is excluded from the AIHS BoK on Ethics (https://safetyrisk.net/the-aihs-bok-and-ethics-check-your-gut/ )
As an alternative to the myths of Safety (https://safetyrisk.net/category/safety-myths/), SPoR proposes positive, constructive and meaningful symbols/models/myths/gestures that enable the humanising of persons.
SPoR is focuses on skill development in critical thinking, understanding ethics, Socialitie and the primacy of persons over objects and systems (https://safetyrisk.net/spor-and-the-bbs-myth/ ).
SPoR is about putting into practice positive methods, models, symbols and myths that enable the flourishing of persons, communities and being (https://safetyrisk.net/spor-and-myth/ ).
When we state that ‘SPoR Works’, this is what we mean (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/it-works-a-new-approach-to-risk-and-safety/).
This is why when one disposes of zero safety improves (https://safetyrisk.net/moving-away-from-zero-so-that-safety-improves/).