What Can Blue And Orange Morality Tell Us
Updated February 05, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Morality is an interesting element of life. Lots of times, we think of morals in absolutes, such as black and white. But it's normal to look at things in shades of gray. What about looking at them in an even more obscure sense? Blue and orange morality is something that's seen a lot in tropes, including Eldritch abominations. But what is blue and orange morality, exactly? Well, read on to find out more about blue and orange morality and some examples of this type of morality.
A Strange Morality Indeed
Blue and orange morality refers to fictional characters whose moral compasses are alien to the typical human experience and therefore cannot be pinned as good or bad. Blue and orange are two different colors on the spectrum, and they alone offer no clues about whether they represent good or evil.
Blue and orange morality characters not exactly chaotic neutral, but they act super random. They're not lawful neutral fettered either, because the concept of the law might not be what we think about it.
Essentially, they operate in a random sense, and while they may be rooted in logic, it's a completely different set of premises and values that are used for conclusion drawing. Often the acting seems awful and terrible, but it's not necessarily that way.
So, Are They bad?
Not necessarily. Just because these characters’ actions are all over the place doesn't mean they aren't necessarily bad, but they will commit horrific acts and then act perfectly friendly, as if nothing was the wrong. They act based on their personal feelings, but it's a different type of morality.
You may wonder if this is like Values Dissonance. The difference is that in values dissonance usually you have the same concepts of good and evil to measure. But with blue and orange morality, the values are quite all over the place, so much so that you can't really apply concepts to them and often the characters themselves might not even know what these values are.
They may also acknowledge the concepts of good and evil but these concepts are so different from what they are used to.
Examples Of This Mindset
A good example of bkue and orange morality involves misapprehension of the consequences and facts.
Now, let's consider an alien people that think killing is alright because the “dead” come back to life. You see this in some media, where aliens outright kill a man, and then he comes right back. This alien might therefore assume everyone who is killed can come back, but that doesn't mean they will stop killing if they realize that it harms others. The aliens may work by different moral standards, and they mistake the applications of actions and implications.
Lots of times though these rules are beyond comprehension, such as the Eldritch Abominations, the Fair Folk, and even AIs and robots who are smart but don't understand emotions.
Examples In Media
Media play into concept of the blue and orange morality, and we'll go over a few of the different examples across anime, manga, movies, and even religion.
- In the anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” Kaworu exhibits blue and orange morality in a very obvious sense. The romance that he has for Shinji is obvious, but he also doesn't conform to the type definitions that are used among humans for love and sexuality. There is also the fact that Kaworu does love the human race and respects humanity, along with the achievements that he sees there, despite trying to cause the end of the world. He has both blue and orange blood types, according to the show itself, again playing into the blue and orange morality concept.
- The Pillar Men in “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” are another great example. They don't care about human life, other than those who know how to use the Ripple, which is their weakness. Their leader Kars goes out of the way not to hurt flowers or kill others, so the Pillar Men they don't hurt a dog. Again, very two different moralities.
- “Death Note” also has the Shinigami, which revolve around killing humans to survive. They believe that the highest of sins is actually to kill someone to preserve another life, which is seen almost as playing God, in a sense. Ryuk drops the death note because he's bored, which is seen as cruel since it causes Light to become a killer. But he also believes that killing the death note is a part of nature, so he doesn't see the harm in it.
- In the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, those that are in the Halloween land do scare children to live, but they aren't malicious about it, and they enjoy doing this. The people also don't comprehend the basics of how Christmas works, until they try to replicate it, and they believe that life needs to have scares. To further extend this, in the Kingdom Hearts games Jack thinks that the Heartless are considered new experiences that can be used in Halloween surprises, using the bad guys for evil, but with the intention of just making it a fun little scare for others. However, Jack doesn't want actually to cause harm but instead use the Heartless as a way to scare others in good fun.
- Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is a film example, in that he has rules that don't make sense period to anyone but him. You can see his moral code early on within the film when the manager talks to him, and it shows that the manager married the former owner's daughter which irritates him, and he makes the owner flip a coin with his life on the line. He also does promise at one point to not kill the wife of the main character, he makes her flip a coin with her life on the line, and while she does try to argue, it doesn't get anywhere.
- Finally, CLU from Tron: Legacy was programmed to create the perfect system, with killing others being used on those he considers not perfect, and the program to make it perfect does involve trying to bring perfection to another world.
What We Can Learn From This
Blue and orange is a type of morality that is very hard to replicate in real life. That's because it is very random, with two polarizing viewpoints regarding the morality of life. The best way to convey this is through writing.
Some people may be able to illustrate this, especially if they have two different ways of looking at the world, where they believe certain actions are fine, but others are not. This creative technique is something that few can achieve, but in a psychological sense, it's quite interesting.
Many people study blue and orange morality because it offers food for thought. For instance, what type of morality is right? What is right and wrong? Are blue and orange morality characters inherently bad? Do you think that if someone replicates this type of morality, they should be punished, even if they don't act on their beliefs? It's a very interesting element to think about and something that many people will focus on.
Even though you may not have this type of morality, it's still important to make sure that your moral compass is righted. If you are struggling to identify the moral principles that matter to you, how to live them out in your life, or where to correct a past misstep, talking with a counselor can go a long way toward understanding yourself.
You might consider trying online therapy. Research shows that electronically delivered therapy is as effective as traditional face-to-face counseling, which makes it an incredibly convenient option. This study, conducted by Brigham Young University researchers, found that technology-based therapy provides other added benefits too, including, “lower cost, no travel time, easy access, no waitlists, and trackable progress.”
If these perks are attractive to you, consider choosing an online therapy solution such as BetterHelp. The professional, licensed therapist at BetterHelp can provide ongoing daily support via email, chat, or video conferencing, which means you can select the best format for you. The site also offers numerous sources of helpful information about common mental illness disorders and articles discussing how to cope with stress, difficult people, and challenging situations. Here's a look at what others had to say about the assistance they received from the counselors at BetterHelp.
“I’ve been working with Alicia for about 7 months now, and I can’t recommend her enough. She is unbelievably smart and yet filled with warmth, she’s non-judgmental but still able to see negative patterns, she gives solid frameworks and solutions when I need them and is a listening ear when I need that. Alicia doesn’t just deal with the subject matter at hand, she remembers things I’ve told her weeks prior, small names or details or passing comments, and points out patterns I hadn’t noticed, helping me re-frame my own thoughts and behaviors, all while showing how much she’s really listening and paying attention. It makes me feel like I’m talking to a friend. One personal example of her intuitive spirit is what she said to me in my very first session with her which has stuck with me since that day. I had shared how “broken” I felt after my last couple roles in rather toxic work environments. And after sharing why I had left those companies, mostly dealing with bosses/ colleagues who were bullies, dishonest and manipulative people who did a lot of damage, Alicia pointed out that I am not, in fact, broken, as the reason I left those companies was always the same – my deep rooted values of kindness and honesty would not allow me to be in that environment any longer, that my sense of self from a moral perspective had remained the same when many people bend their morals to succeed in stressful work situations. This reframing of the narrative I had been telling myself from the moment I quit changed everything for me, and she had known me for 45 minutes. For anyone on the fence about therapy and its benefits, Alicia is the empathetic soul we all need in our lives.”
“Oliver has helped me in many ways despite our relatively short time working together. He’s helped me gain a better outlook on the world, and he has helped me install some new philosophies and principles that I’ve found to be very useful in my day-to-day life and coping with everyday stress, as well as helping me and guiding me through some tough personal decisions and working on myself and my behaviour.”
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