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collapse/expand topics ykttw archive back to Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality

05:40:24 PM Oct 10th 2013
The article has attracted lots of Natter and incorrect sorting of examples.

This was in Real Life with two or three bullets. It should be moved to Literature or Mythology — and written properly, without Word Cruft and Thread Mode.

  • Eating in public was a major taboo in ancient Greece. It was probably the inspiration for similar taboos found in various Speculative Fiction works.
  • Shakespeare in the Bush is a delicious account of trying to explain the plot of Hamlet to a tribe with very different mores; they have no concept of ghosts, the term which is their closest approximation to "scholar" (literally "person who knows things") is the same as one of their terms for "witch," they believe that a widow should remarry as soon as possible, and on top of that, a ruler is succeeded by his brother, who proceeds to marry the ex-chief's widows upon death. They wind up deciding, among other things, that Polonius's death was entirely due to his own mind-blowing stupidity regarding hunting etiquette and that Laertes was a witch who killed Ophelia to sell her body.
  • This trope is the result of a lot of misinterpretations of the myth of Pandora's box - people now see the hope at the bottom as the manifestation of the one good thing that persists in spite of all bad things. But the ancient Greeks actually saw hope as a negative, because it was a delusion. That's why it was in the box Pandora wasn't supposed to open!
    • Even the idea that Pandora wasn't supposed to open the box is an example, most likely from associations with Eve from The Bible; in the full version she was created, from the ground up, to be incapable of not opening the box. Her entire existence, and that of women in general, was a punishment for Humanity's patron Prometheus.
    • According to at least some scholarship, the last evil, the one Pandora managed to keep in the jar, wasn't hope. It was the sure knowledge of the future's shape. Humankind still has hope because we do not know for certain just how bad things will be. The ancient Greeks weren't a very optimistic bunch.

06:30:17 AM Sep 12th 2013
I think it might be time for Portal entry pimps to stop acting like Valve invented the blue orange color scheme. We have a trope that explains why blue and orange are used together and that trope influenced Portal and others who use it. Following this logic, I might conclude that Valve was paying homage to the University of Florida Gators who have been using that color scheme for decades.
09:34:31 PM Sep 5th 2013

This trope is about systems of morality that are beyond human understanding. None of these examples represent that. The first looks like inconsistent writing. The second is just an example of an Anti-Hero. The third is Bad Is Good And Good Is Bad, a different trope.
11:19:51 PM Jun 29th 2013
I removed this wick.

Jane is a young woman based on Jane Eyre. She's very moral and very human, compassionate... This must be shoehorning or not understanding the trope at all.

The wick on the show's page is about Grace Poole, and also incorrect.

  • Grace Poole's interests seem to revolve around her work and avoiding gluten.

Grace Poole is obsessed with gluten and she is a Granola Girl, but that hardly means she has foreign and incomprehensible system of moral values.
10:46:58 PM May 23rd 2013
Pretty much everything in the Real Life section is just Values Dissonance and not this trope at all.
11:39:39 AM Jun 19th 2013
It could be argued that Values Dissonance and this trope are not mutually exclusive, or this trope is simply an extreme form of the other.
08:12:31 PM Feb 11th 2013
edited by Candi
"The Martians in Mars Attacks! declare war, apparently, because they see a bird, laugh, cry and get angry for reasons incomprehensible to humans, cut off someone's head and keep it alive for no apparent reason, put another person's head on a chihuahua's body, again for no apparent reason and their entire language consists of the word "Ack!""

And the Martians originally approached the US, which have a bird on the State Seal -but one is later seen spazzing out when eavesdropping on a Presidential statement/broadcast when the Seal comes up. (???)

About the only thing consistent with the guys is that they reallllllly hate birds. One gave up a perfect hostage situation to shoot a caged bird!
10:34:17 AM Sep 7th 2012
Chopped this from World of Warcraft on General Principle:

  • What Malygos and his Blue dragons conveniently forget is that it was one of the own that used dragon magic to become one of the worst monsters in Azeroth. It was also a human mage who helped the dragons defeat him.
  • Interestingly, quite a lot of pre-release information suggested the war would have been more along the lines of Grey and Gray Morality. Then a considerable portion of the player base decided they'd rather support the blue dragons as the pre-release information made them sound right. It's unclear whether Blizzard changed the blue dragon's actions to be more along the lines of Knight Templar Well-Intentioned Extremist in response to what they saw as Draco in Leather Pants, or if it was always going to be like that and the pre-release information just gave a very incomplete picture of it.

Attempted to tidy the Dragon Age examples: There's some good info in there, but it's mixed up and in Thread Form, rather than seperate point. Someone who knows the series might do better.
07:40:39 PM Aug 16th 2012
Kimblee from Fullmetal Alchemist (at least his manga/Brotherhood adaptation) seems to me like more of an odd variant of Lawful Neutral. Granted, it's his ethics that fall under this trope, but they basically boil down to the idea that a person's state in life dictates that they adhere to the "rules"/expectations that come with it. ie: Being critical of soldiers not killing innocent civilians, but commending the Rockbells for treating the same civilians (soldiers are killers, doctors are healers). Or better yet, if you're an Artificial Human by the name of Pride, then trying to pull a Grand Theft Me on a "lower being" is going against your own principals.
09:30:16 AM Jul 25th 2012
Could the characters of Seinfeld be considered practitioners of Blue and Orange Morality? Not just the four main characters, but just about any character on the show. At the least they're very quirky, and at the most they might as well be aliens from another planet.
03:25:53 PM Jul 2nd 2012
Ultimately Black and White morality are defined in the eye of the beholder. Blue and Orange is simply a set of moral values that isn't understood, on an emotional level, by the viewer. Everyone who isn't you has a shade of blue and orange, all it takes is they do something that you would find offensive, or they don't understand why you care about something that is good/evil.

Just do a survey of opinions on animal testing and you will find a lot of disagreement.

In short, create a list of everything that people should do, and another list of things they shouldn't. The more someone (or something) disagrees with that list, they more shades of orange and blue they have.
10:40:25 PM Oct 2nd 2012
I think that Blue and Orange is more like a set of morality at a higher level of complexity.
06:07:27 PM May 13th 2013
Blue and Orange Morality is morality that comes from a basis that is entirely different from a human one. If one person has a morality set that values obedience, and another that values independent thinking, each would be Blue and Orange to the other.
10:19:03 AM Jan 21st 2014
It could also be a basis which is simply unconventional- hence the bacon/necktie example. The dichotomy between enjoying your food vs. dressing for dinner is no big deal for most people- but to some eccentric out there it could be a huge deal. (Bacon being someone who enjoys consuming food, but can't be bothered with dressing up; necktie those who dress up and consider dinner more a social occasion but aren't foodies or into gluttony.)
06:38:36 AM Apr 7th 2012
Just a suggestion: couldn't this be considered a subtrope of "Values Dissonance" in the same way "And I Must Scream" is a subtrope of "Fate Worse than Death"?

Reasoning: Assuming I'm not misinterpreting one or both tropes, Blue & Orange Morality would be the most extreme version of Values Dissonance, where the sets of values presented are not only different from the "standard" set, but are incomprehensible. More than likely, the two sets are mutually incomprehensible.

Just a thought.
12:02:48 AM Aug 11th 2012
That does sound logical...

I think we do need to determine where to draw the line. First, determine whether we have Blue and Orange Morality compared to people who were grown-ups in The Fifties. If we don't, then we had better trim the Real Life section again. If we do, then things will get very interesting....
06:57:58 PM Feb 20th 2012
Removed this from the Perdido Street Station example:

  • The Garuda would also count to an extent. Their society values personal freedom and individuality above all else and has only one law: You must respect others' right to choose. Those who break this law are all guilty of choice-theft. While most human crime can be seen as theft of a choice (the choice of owning an item, the choice of continuing to live unharmed, etc), the converse does not hold, meaning that people who would be considered highly dangerous criminals in human society are be put on an equal footing with people who wouldn't be seen as criminals at all to humans. And some human crimes don't fit at all: to the Garuda, selling drugs would probably be legal and moral, while preventing the selling of drugs would be heinous.
    • More alien are the feelings of one Garuda as she talks about being raped... she seems to bear no more ill-will to the rapist, so long as his punishment continues, and becomes quite irritated when a human considers her a victim worthy of pity; she refuses to be anthropomorphized.
    • Although given the lengths she goes to to make sure her rapist continues to be punished (not unlike a victim appearing before a criminal's parole board), she might not be as untraumatized as she pretends.

This doesn't seem to be an example. The Garuda might have slightly different values, but they make sense to humans and coincide with basic human morals. Rape is considered a horrible action and the victim clearly suffered emotional damage. Just because a morality and judicial system are different and phrased a different way doesn't make it this trope.
06:10:00 PM May 13th 2013
Also, a lot of people (myself included) don't consider selling drugs immoral. Actually, isn't this philosophy basically the philosophy of the Libertarian Party?
12:57:14 AM Feb 6th 2012
What is the Trope Namer for this trope?
12:14:44 PM Feb 6th 2012
It's a (decent) snowclone to the common, pre-existing Black and White Morality-type terms.
06:09:30 PM May 13th 2013
edited by
EDIT: Never mind.
09:03:42 PM Jan 15th 2012
Removed the example about the Jedi from the Prequel Trilogy. They may fit under Values Dissonance or Protagonist-Centered Morality, or we might just say that they're written inconsistently but they do stand for some kind of discernible good. Its clear that George Lucas meant for them to be good guys being manipulated by bad guys into making some bad decisions. He just handled it poorly.

Inconsistently written morality is not the same as Blue And Orange.
12:45:56 PM Nov 29th 2011
There is way too much Natter in the Religion section, especially from apologists trying to pretend the scriptures don't say what they say. I've removed much of it, although it's so bad I'd have left it alone but for the "wives and progenie" statement (he never lost his wife, that's a common misconception for some reason).
07:21:37 AM Nov 30th 2011
Okay, I've made an overhaul, since it was just getting ridiculous.
05:58:49 AM Nov 9th 2011
Could/Should we add Loki in here somewhere? Under religion I guess? (And I'm talking about the Nordic Loki - not the one reimagined for Christian purposes. And, obviously, not the Marvel one since he was based off of the reimagined Christian one.)
06:24:32 AM Nov 9th 2011
The problem is that that doesn't really exist. The Norse gods aren't like the Greek gods, for whom we have loads of documents by worshippers; pretty much all we have are various Christian reimaginings, and it's hard to sort out tradition from fancy.
08:14:37 AM Aug 19th 2011
Wouldn't the Bilical examples be better off put in either Values Dissonance and/or Protagonist-Centered Morality?
06:33:45 PM Apr 5th 2011
The Affront in Iain M Banks' Culture series?
11:03:32 AM Jan 25th 2011
Are this many redirects necessary? No offense if they're genuine. but I'm reminded of ED's trolling suggestions regarding possible redirects to Blue Eyes. I haven't even come across people using most of them.
03:08:57 PM Dec 14th 2010
At least over on the Order of the Stick forums (the unofficial TV Tropes discussion board), I've seen people using "Blue and Orange Morality" to indicate a system in which there are two moral poles which have contents and rules different from the contemporary American/European black and white. By this definition, for example, a Proud Warrior Race Guy would be Blue and Orange, because he doesn't believe that killing is always wrong.

This gives the trope a definition which a human being is capable of interacting with, while also setting up a clear contrast with Values Dissonance — where both parties agree on what's right and wrong in general, but disagree on the particulars. Would it be possible to redefine the trope to mean this?
11:02:02 AM Jan 25th 2011
I don't see the point. The trope is fine the way it is.
12:30:34 PM Sep 19th 2010
Could Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Pyschopaths fall under this category or maybe be humans who are the closest to falling under this category?
03:46:18 PM Sep 19th 2010
08:56:22 PM May 4th 2010
Should the Real Life section even exist? I mean, this seems like one of those tropes that cannot exist in Real Life.
09:18:44 PM May 4th 2010
The Real Life section can exist insofar as it is listing entities that are non-human in essence — bonobos, corporations, or 4chan, to name a few. (I tend to follow the Steinbeck theory of corporations — corporation nature will lead a corporation to do things no individual humans working for it would dare do on their own. No human at the bank enjoys kicking people out of their homes by foreclosing the housing, but the bank can't let those home loans go unpaid forever.)

Anything suggesting that a human being or a country has Blue and Orange Morality, however, has gotta go.
09:30:24 PM May 4th 2010
Left the historical example; cut the others. Yes, I know the Jack Chick variety of Christian (he's not that unique in his beliefs) may look like they have Blue and Orange Morality — but since they believe they have Black and White Morality, listing them is risky...

Blue and Orange Morality is tricky. If it's really Blue and Orange Morality, then normal people won't be able to comprehend it; and if normal people can't comprehend it, then they'll have trouble writing it.

10:29:11 AM May 5th 2010
A little off topic, but this was my biggest stumbling block writing the original article. I had to keep reminding myself that I can't understand Blue And Orange morality so that I wouldn't flanderize it into Values Dissonance. Real B&O morality can only be recognized as a concept, not understood. I'm still kind of iffy on listing the Nietzchean superman as B&O, because of the potential for him having plain old Values Dissonance.

It could theoretically exist in real life if there were another sapient species which we never manage to understand. But there aren't... which may be a good thing.
01:30:53 PM Jun 7th 2010
I'm not sure that this whole trope really makes sense outside of fiction, and even there can't stand up to Fridge Logic. Any system of morality will have things to avoid - evil by another name - and things to strive towards - good by another name. That's the whole point of moral systems. An Eldritch Abomination that feeds on people simply doesn't consider that act to be evil; that's an example of Values Dissonance.

There's also the question of whether simply not caring about your actions being horrible makes you any less evil. In fact, it can be argued that the very definition of evil is not caring how your actions affect others. Simply because you claim to be following The Path of Orange shouldn't be a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card.

So no, I think that this can't exist in real life; all such cases are simply Values Dissonance.
10:51:39 AM Aug 17th 2011
edited by nvtroper88
I have a question about this statement of yours, Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: "Anything suggesting that a human being or a country has Blue And Orange Morality, however, has gotta go."

What if a person is completely human but is mentally insane so that he/she has some very unconventional beliefs? 'Normal' people would find this person's mindset to be alien-like.
10:50:00 AM Apr 3rd 2012
edited by ZombiezuRFER
As an Aspie, I can attest that to some people my mores are blue and orange. To describe them would be counterproductive though.
06:12:00 PM May 13th 2013
Blue and Orange Morality is when two morality systems are different, not only in general, but in the very method of determining what is right or wrong. For example, capitalism and communism. One values freedom above all else, while the other values equality above all else. This is Blue and Orange Morality.
12:48:38 AM Mar 4th 2010
edited by VVK
I don't dare to touch or even look too closely at the Ender's Game examples, but it seems to me they should mostly be removed in light of the considerations raised by the definition of the trope which I just made a note of in the main text. (Summary: misunderstanding the implications of your actions doesn't mean you're acting by alien moral rules.)
06:09:46 AM Apr 15th 2010
I came here to say the same thing. I suspect it's a question of the community just sighing and admitting that you'd have to camp out 24/7 to stop people posting it. The only semi-solution I can see is to make it even more explicit at the top - "This means the Buggers don't fit this trope, do not post" - but people would still do it.
08:50:48 PM Aug 14th 2010
This page needs a lot of cleanup. Half of the examples don't fit, although it's hard to wrap one's mind around examples of morality that go beyond human comprehension.
10:52:10 AM Oct 5th 2012
edited by LordQwert
There's a lot of examples of "Cultural/Biological differences inform morality differences" on the page. The Ender's Game ones just seemed the most obvious.

Example of a blue/orange morality that ARE understandable by us are ones in which some quantifiable concept is held as the good/evil axis, by definition a concept we consider arbitrary, insignificant, or without morality. Some common examples are aesthetics, sensation, the color red, or height. You can grasp how the morality might work, even if you can't put yourself in the mindset. With the Ender's Game example, you CAN put yourself in the mindset, so it's not blue/orange.
09:00:31 AM Oct 23rd 2012
I have to agree with Zabeus, alot of the examples on this trope fail to work.
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