What Can Blue And Orange Morality Tell Us
Updated December 12, 2018
Reviewer Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Morality is always an interesting element of life. Lots of times, we think of it in absolutes, such as black and white. But, it's normal to look at things in shades of gray. But 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 it exactly? Well, read on to find out what it is, and some examples of this type of morality.
A Strange Morality Indeed
Some characters in media, and in real life, do have strange morality, but the strangest it blue and orange morality. Think about it, blue and orange are two different colors on the spectrum, and it doesn't tell you much about who they are, and whether they're good or evil.
Blue and orange morality is complex, and usually very alien compared to our morality. They're 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 have logic behind it, it's a completely different set of premises and values that are used for conclusion drawing. It's a type of acting that seems awful and terrible, but it's not necessarily.
So, Are They bad?
Not necessarily. Just because their 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 period. That's essentially what they do, and they kind of action based on their personal feelings, but it's a different type of morality.
Now, this is commonly seen in writing more than real life, but even in writing, it's very hard to pull off, since most writers have human virtues, but it can create a very complex character.
Now, you may wonder if this is like Values Dissonance, but the difference is that if you have values dissonance, usually they have the same concepts of good and evil to measure. But with blue and orange morality, the values are quite all over the place, that you can't really apply concepts to it, and lots of times, the person themselves might not even know what these are, and they're confusing. It's not necessarily beyond the grasp but are something that they put importance on.
They may also have the concepts of good an evil but are so different from what they are used to, such as seeing exploration as evil, or maybe sitting around as bad. Usually, this type of morality works on a set of rules that are different from our own.
Examples Of This Mindset
Usually, a good example of this involves misapprehension of the consequences and facts happen, no matter how foreign the reasons.
Now, let's take an alien people that think killing is alright because they come right back. You see this in some media, where they'll outright kill a man, and then he comes right back. This alien person might think everyone does that, but that doesn't mean they won't stop if they realize that it does harm others. They 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.
In a human sense, the way for one to operate like this is based on the Ubermensch, which was a Nietzschean philosophy. Moral sociopathy does have this trope sometimes too, but it's not always like this.
In media, these can be reality warpers n a great scale. They can be alien, love to induce madness, and many times, they often have very very out their moralities, and they are in defiance of natural law.
Examples In Media
There is a bunch of media that play into this, and we'll go over a few of the different major ones both in anime, manga, movies, and even religion.
- In the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kaworu exhibits this 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 for love and sexuality. There is also the fact that he 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. It also is noted that he does have both blue and orange blood types, according to the show itself, then again playing on the blue and orange morality.
- The Pillar Men that are in JoJos Bizarre Adventure are another great example. They don't care about human life, other than those that know how to use the Ripple, which is their weakness. But, Kars who is the leader does go out of the way not to hurt flowers or will kill others, so they don't hurt a dog. Again, very two different moralities.
- Death Note also has the Shinigami, which do revolve around killing humans to survive, and they believe that the highest of sins is actually to kill someone to preserve another life, and that is seen almost as playing god in a sense. Ryuk does drop the death note because he's bored, which is 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
This is a type of morality that is honestly very hard to replicate in real life. That's because it is very random, with two very polarizing viewpoints on the morality of life. That's because we tend to focus on one way or another. The best way to convey this is through writing.
Some people may be able to exhibit this, especially if they have two very different ways of looking at the world, where they believe certain actions are fine, but others aren't. It's a type of randomizer in life, and it's something that few can achieve, but n a psychological sense, it's quite interesting.
Many people do study this because it brings up a very different morality, one from left-field, and it does bring the food for thought question that comes with this: what type of morality is right? What is right and wrong? Are these people inherently bad? Do you think that if someone does replicate this, they should be punished outright, even if they don't act on the actions? 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 feel like you're missing something, or maybe you feel like you could do better in the realms of morality, then you're in luck. You can always get better at expressing morality and rightness, even if it isn't as extreme as this. You can talk to a counselor today and get the help that you need to better understand yourself.