Created By: AnairoDecember 6, 2009
Nuked

Blue and Orange Morality

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Characters can represent a wide range of moral viewpoints. They can be completely good, completely evil, or somewhere in between. In general, however, they can fit into a Shades Of Conflict framework.

Not these characters. Their sense of morality is so alien from anything most people follow, terms such as 'good' and 'evil' simply don't apply. There might be a logic behind their actions, it's just completely divorced from human experience. That doesn't make them bad, although they are often liable to commit acts we would see as horrific; in that case, they're likely to follow these with completely benign behavior, and not act as if anything was the matter. Because in their world, that's just what they do.

Generally tends to refer to a non-human character, in which case the trope helps to emphasize its 'otherness'.

Examples:

Any others?
Community Feedback Replies: 53
  • July 17, 2009
    Earnest
    I just want to say that the title rocks.
  • July 17, 2009
    Professor Sternum
    Deadpool.
  • July 17, 2009
    Jack Butler
    In one of S. P. Somtow's Mallworld stories, an alien race hosts a banquet for their human hosts, featuring one of the race's prized delicacies. The primary ingredient for this delicacy was roasted alien baby (the children of this alien race were non-sentient, and actually considered vermin until they reached a certain age and started "smartening up"). The aliens couldn't quite understand why the humans were so horrified.
  • July 18, 2009
    BokuraBurnes
    bump
  • July 18, 2009
    DanielLC
    That reminds me of what I've considered calling the morality in Warhammer 40000: Black and the Colour Out of Space Morality.
  • July 18, 2009
    DalekKanNoladti
    In Enders Game the buggers don't actually attack Earth. They kill what they think are a few drones (due to their being a hive-based species) to let the hive know they're there. To the humans this appears as an unprovoked hostile war.
  • July 18, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Eliezer Yudkowski wrote a short story about humans encountering two species with such moralities that to each of the three species, the other two seem horrifyingly evil.

    http://lesswrong.com/lw/y4/three_worlds_collide_08/
  • July 18, 2009
    Ryusui
    Maybe Red And Blue Morality or Red And Green Morality, so it flows like the Black And White Morality tropes? (You know, a single syllable for both colors?)
  • July 18, 2009
    Nimbostratus
    I think the examples are going to need to go in-depth, since the whole point is that it's not something people understand.

    Ex, "The aliens in Childhood'sEnd." doesn't do anything for me as an example, since it doesn't say what they do.
  • July 18, 2009
    DanielLC
    @Unknown, it should be noted that the future humans are themselves morally incompatible with us.
  • July 18, 2009
    Unknown%20Troper
    Shouldn't the description be more along the lines of it being a morality that just plain ISN'T good or evil.
  • July 18, 2009
    Recon5
    I have to object to Red And Blue Morality, because the first thing I think of when I see that is Red Versus Blue, which has something closer to Grey And Grey Morality minus a few hundred IQ points on either side.
  • July 18, 2009
    BokuraBurnes
    Nimbostratus, fair enough. I was just throwing examples out to get a sense of whether or not this is tropeable, not doing a rough draft for the page. If launched, they would need to be expanded.(By the way, I am the OT for this example.)

    Ryusui, I was thinking of colors that are opposites of each other, if not on the "black-white" scale. That being said, if I remember my color wheel correctly, Red and Green morality would also work. (I just didn't want people to think that it had anything to do with Christmas.)
  • July 19, 2009
    Shjade
    You could go with Blue and Gold Morality. Gold's more yellow than orange, but they're still pretty far apart, not Christmas-related, and single syllables. Has the added benefit of both colors generally being bright and "good," making it hard to discern which end of the spectrum would be "bad" if that word even applied...which it doesn't.
  • July 19, 2009
    Clarste
    I thought the point of Blue and Orange is that they're completely unrelated to each other. Red and Blue sound like opposites, Gold sounds more "noble" than blue, etc etc. Blue and Orange are just completely random colors. And maybe it's just my accent, but orange seems like 1.5 syllables at most, so I'm not hearing a big rhythm difference when it's used.
  • July 19, 2009
    Unknown%20Troper
    1st point, Rocon5, I lol'd hard.

    Second, yeah, the description needs to be better. Focusing more on the fact that the 'good' and 'evil' of this morality are completely different from estabished norms.
  • July 19, 2009
    Michael
    Old World Of Darkness. There's a detailed description of a great many moralities in a supplement named Chaining The Beast. One believes that suffering is good and if you deprive someone of it you might as well kill them because they won't be strong enough to face life. Another believes that everything must change or die and thus encouraging change is the only good thing you can do. etcetcetc.
  • July 19, 2009
    Aruelle
    Clarste is right- the colours should be unrelated. If you're not all set on the 'one syllable' thing, I'd like to propose octarine as one, because it's completely foreign and strange to us. It also happens to be awesome.
  • July 19, 2009
    Tacitus
    If you really want to emphasize how incomprehensible the parties' alignments are, why stop at colors? Plaid And Cheese Morality! Fish And Elbow Morality! Urple And Sofa Morality! Thought that might separate this trope too far from Black And White Morality...
  • July 20, 2009
    Jack Butler
    Actually, Plaid And Cheese Morality sounds pretty cool... Heh
  • July 20, 2009
    Meems
    Blue and orange are not unrelated--they're complimentaries. </artstudent>

    Plaid And Cheese Morality sounds good to me. Or possibly something like Fish and Lightbulb.
  • July 20, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The Star Wars Expanded Universe book Traitor. Similar to Micheal's World Of Darkness example, the aliens that trapped Jacen, taught him that pain was good and shielding people from it preventing them from developing strength
  • July 20, 2009
    Earnest
    We shouldn't make it too silly or whimsical a color combo, otherwise people will think this is the morality of the Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • July 20, 2009
    JethroQWalrustitty
    I like Blue And Orange.
  • July 20, 2009
    webrunner
    Blue and Gold makes me think of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.

    Which, I suppose, at the time did have sort of odd morality, but I digress:

    Example: Mass Effect's reapers are presented as evil, yes, but their motives are explicitly said to be inscrutable as they are so far above mere mortals that it's impossible to understand them. It's quite possible the reapers have a good reason for doing what they're doing, as it otherwise seems pointless.

    Akuma in Street Fighter's often portrayed as being a dark, evil being, but he's really just got his own morality: if you best someone in a fair competition it's only honorable to give them death. He doesn't kill people like Dan who pose no threat to him, for instance.
  • July 20, 2009
    Kayube
    A lot of the It Just Bugs Me entries for Harry Potter seem to point towards this being the case. For wizards, it's perfectly fine to wipe the Muggles' memories to keep up The Masquerade.
  • July 20, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Many people know about the story in the Bible in which Lot when he was still in Sodom offers his virgin daughters up to a horny crowd that want the men, who are angels, inside. To us, anyone giving up their daughters to such a fate seems horrific, but we must understand, that at the time, you would supposed to protect the guests of your house from dangers at all costs.

    Actually, a good deal of morality in old mythology that predates modern civilization by thousands of years could fall under this trope. The actions of people then seem horrific to us, but we must remember, our concept of morality hadn't formed yet.
  • July 20, 2009
    Andygal
    Examples from historical works (or works from other countries) where the morality reflects the values of the day/culture would go under Values Dissonance. This appears to be talking about morality that is deliberately strange and weird and not just the result of a work being read in a later era or different culture from where it was written.
  • July 20, 2009
    BokuraBurnes
    One additional possibility: would the monoliths from ~2001: A Space Odyssey~ count? They certainly would seem to in the Kubrick movie, but I don't know if their motivations get developed and humanized at all in the sequels, as I have not read/seen them.
  • July 20, 2009
    Korgmeister
    I'd like to thank Unknown Troper for his reccommendation of that Eliezer Yudkowsky novella. Damn thing took me about 3 hours to read, but it was totally worth it.
  • October 26, 2009
    Insanity Prelude
  • October 26, 2009
    deuxhero
    In The Elder Scrolls the Daedra are not evil, just "different", said "difference" just happens to result in a few razeing here and some tormenting there, so people put them into "evil".
  • November 28, 2009
    deuxhero
    bump.
  • November 29, 2009
    Roland
    This trope is one of the trickier to pull off well, because, well, Most Viewers Are Human, and it's often used to be Evil-In-Everything-But-Name by less-skillful writers.
  • November 29, 2009
    Smokie
    The Ancients of Stargate SG 1 might be this trope after their ascension. Whenever we see living Ancients on this plane of existance, they are generally depicted as normal humans who were simply interested in science a lot, not the gigantic Jerkasses they are as ascended beings (See more on Neglectful Precursors). Daniel Jackson goes ballistic at this fact multiple times and tells them how unfair their non-interference is, but they won't listen nor even look at him, despite clear implications being made that they do hear what he says.
  • November 29, 2009
    StudiodeKadent
    Morality is a complex thing and many moral philosophers have wildly diverging theories about what makes morality.

    I think troping this has some merit, in the sense that it captures the fact that "good" and "evil" aren't universally agreed upon. The problem is that it tends to get instantly seen as "evil," i.e. HP Lovecraft etc. We all see Cthulhu as evil even if its explicitly stated he is only evil by our morality.

    Maybe we need to include examples of HUMAN moral philosophers that focussed on different types of morality to what we are currently used to? i.e. Aristotle and most of the Greek philosophers believed morality was about the individual wanting to live a good life, rather than the (relatively modern) belief that morality was primarily about benefitting society as a whole.
  • November 29, 2009
    BlackMageJ
    Sam Starfall of Freefall seems to fall into this- he explains that, coming from a race of scavengers, morality on his homeworld is incompatible with that of human society- stealing, for example, is seen as an act of bravery necessary to help your family survive. But at the same time, he revels in breaking the law just for the thrill of it, so he may just be using the scavenger morality thing as an excuse.
  • November 29, 2009
    DoctorNemesis
    Possible example, depending on whether I understand the trope correctly; Morgaine in the Doctor Who episode "Battlefield" thinks nothing of brutally slaughtering people who tick her off, but insists on paying for a round of drinks that her son ordered in. She pays for them, by the way, by curing the barmaid's blindness.
  • November 29, 2009
    Aminatep
    If it will be launched, compare http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=xi3h0cel6peogfb7cnlcl5nj for thirty morality pileup.
  • November 29, 2009
    Paradisca Corbasi
    • Bonobos morality is also significantly different from that of humans' (though several humans this troper knows have said we should follow their example once learning Bonobos resolve conflicts through sex)
  • November 29, 2009
    Michael
    What about the Graysons in Honor Harrington? They actually manage to justify a civilisation where women are slaves (until sufficient technology makes the key reasons no longer an issue)
  • November 29, 2009
    Roland
    I'm not saying the trope can't be done well, though in my opinion it's somewhat rare. I'm just saying that part of the trope description should include the fact that this is usually done very unconvincingly, i.e. with Lovecraft, where the only reason Cthulhu isn't instantly evil is because one of the premises of Lovecraft is the nonexistence of morality on any real cosmic scale.
  • December 6, 2009
    Aminatep
    Any conflicts involving Knight Templars.
  • December 6, 2009
    DomaDoma
    Enders Game, hell. Speaker for the Dead is about nothing but figuring out the alien morality.
  • December 19, 2009
    Strain Of Thought
    Consider Purple And Yellow Morality, which also uses complimentary colors, and has the same number of syllables in each color. Purple and yellow are both colors that can be associated with strangeness, whereas blue is downright friendly. Orange is pretty appropriate, though.
  • December 19, 2009
    BlackHumor
    Orange And Purple Morality?

    Both are fairly odd colors that have nothing to do with each other (except nothing really rhymes with either, but that's really a point in favor.)
  • December 21, 2009
    pyroclastic
    Blue and Orange Morality sounds like the morality of either Big Applesauce or Freestate Amsterdam (check out the flags). But then, just about any two colors will have SOMETHING associated with them.
  • December 21, 2009
    BulldozerBegins
    Isn't this just Beyond Good And Evil?
  • December 21, 2009
    BulldozerBegins
    Above Good And Evil, excuse me.
  • December 22, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    @Bulldozer Begins, No. It isn't that these things have transcended human morality they're just different. For ex: Fair folk are playful pranksters. They don't consider how Rip van Winkle's loved ones will all be dead when he leaves their party. Or that farmers starve if their milk keeps curdling. Cenobites are all about order. Their reordering of people may be painful, traumatic, etc. but they're not trying to damage or help humans, only order us. That order could be a scientist finding a cure to a disease through her investigation or it could be your body cut into pieces and restructured. Eris is devoted to chaos. She'll do whatever causes the most wildness. It could disrupt an evil institution like school or cause riots. In the culture of the necro(whatevers) from The Chronicles of Riddick you own whatever you kill. The Predators have a sense of fair game in hunting. You kill things according to how much of a threat to you they are or could be. @ Roland, There's no evidence Cthulu's evil. He scares people in their dreams, is worshipped by some from days of old, and's a deathless monster that woke up recently. Hostile to humans by his nature but how evil?
  • December 28, 2009
    Vree
    Maybe we should have a Rainbow Morality World trope as well - after all, it should not be neccessarily measureable and easy to place on a black to white scale as most examples (and indeed, fictional works) make it out to be.
  • December 28, 2009
    berr
    I like Blue And Orange Morality because they are complimentary colors -- a concept that is neither oppositional nor readily intuitive.

    This trope could have a whole section devoted to Bronze Age Mythology and literature.

    Related to Values Dissonance.
  • January 15, 2010
    karstovich
    Bump. Methinks it's a better title than Rainbow Morality.

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