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Quotes / Blue-and-Orange Morality

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    Anime and Manga 

Madoka: Why would Kyubey do something so cruel?
Homura: He doesn't think it's cruel. That being has no understanding of human values.

Heed me, child. Three storms will soon sweep over Uruk. Empathize not with the hateful one. Celebrate not with the joyous one. And extol not the pained one. Remember always. 'Tis a fool's task to speak of man's ways to a god.

    Comic Books 

I can't imagine what it would have been like in their command centre when the missiles turned back on themselves. This was, in fact, the hard swallow for the rest of the world: the understanding that a superhuman, by definition, does not think like us and certainly does not act like us.
Reddin, Supergod


    Fan Works 

For one of dragon's blood to not take up weapons, to not prepare night and day to slaughter any enemies that would come against them—it is unthinkable. It is—one who does such a thing, who believes the world will not be dangerous, will not strive to kill him… That is what we call insane.
Shidan, Embers

For a moment Asuka wanted to ask what he would do if she asked him to go further, but she let the question die unasked. Shinji had his own warped sense of principles, of morality. She knew that if she asked him to kill a random stranger on the street, he would smile and ask "How?" but that even if she were to stab him in the heart from the back, he would never lift a finger against her. As he said, the three people precious to him were his weakness, and he would never hurt them.

Captain Marvel XII: My liege, we must beg a boon from the gods. Just one of them will do.
William Batson: Begging a favor of them for a mortal, young one, no matter how powerful she is, will be a difficult thing indeed. They do not think of a mortal's death the same way that we do.

Oh, relax. I'm not evil; I wash my hands just like everybody else. We Luthors have been out of the evil game for decades. Sure, Aunt Nasty took a shot at it, but that was less her wanting to take over the world and more her having a midlife crisis. Then again, why shouldn't a person be allowed to build a Death Ray when they turn forty?

It started with the simple annoyance of Marinette not accepting his gift. In light of the entire situation, it should not have been relevant, should even be completely understood as a rational action, but the Cat Sidhe in Adrien couldn’t help but be irritated about it.
How dare she not accept what I have generously offered her!

    Film - Animated 


Companions, the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators, the creator seeks — those who inscribe new values on new tablets. Fellow creators, the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest.

On the front of the Octavo had been a representation of Bel-Shamharoth. He was not Evil, for even Evil has a certain vitality — Bel-Shamharoth was the flip side of the coin of which Good and Evil are but one side.

If you have struck any kind of bargain with Griphook, and most particularly if that bargain involves treasure, you must be exceptionally careful. Goblin notions of ownership, payment, and repayment are not the same as human ones.

The stuff they do comes so far out of left-field, it feels like they're NPCs in some badly-scripted RPG. And it doesn't help that their stats are broken as all hell.

His real error had been the naive belief that his definition of pleasure significantly overlapped with that of the Cenobites. As it was, they had brought incalculable suffering. They had overdosed him on sensuality until his mind teetered on madness, then they'd initiated him into experiences that his nerves still convulsed to recall. They had called it pleasure, and perhaps they meant it. Perhaps not. It was impossible to know with these minds; they were so hopelessly, flawlessly ambiguous.

It would be impossible for a mere Earth-bound imagination to understand the motives for their exploration, their attitudes to the life-forms they have found, or their long-term intentions.

"They’re so different from us they’re beyond simple labels like Good and Evil. Those are human beliefs, human concepts. They’re bigger than that, beyond that, monstrous beyond anything we can imagine because our concept of evil isn’t big enough to encompass the things they do. We call them Outsiders because they’re outside anything we can understand or accept: outside morality, or sanity, maybe even Life or Death."
John Taylor, Nightside : A hard Days Knight

In an angel’s philosophy, it was once said, two times two equals thirteen. This is not slander. Angels are not crazy, could not be further from madness. They have, insofar as any theologian understands, absolute purity of purpose. A stiletto-sharp fidelity to the task of keeping Heaven clean.
To messy-minded humans… so clear & precise a drive makes no sense at all. It is considerably less comprehensible than the ravings of those we call insane.
Angels, unremittingly & absolutely sane, cannot but seem to poor humanity relentlessly & madly murderous.

If [Cat] were human, you would have described him as vain. But you can't apply human values to a cat.
Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

I wish I could say something so simple and banal that Quetzacthulhu was evil, that he was filled with more malice than ever before known. But it was not so. For malice and cruelty, these were things known only to men, things we did to each other. To say Quetzacthulhu saw us as ants would not go far enough. No, his actions to us were those of a man picking blades of grass. His gaze was as immeasurably distant as the stars, his thoughts unfathomable, and no matter what we did, no matter how many thousands of our bravest Aztec warriors attacked, to him we were no threat at all.
Quetzacthulhu, by Set Sytes

    Live-Action TV 

It is different, yeah. It's a different morality, get used to it, or go home.
The Ninth Doctor, Doctor Who

Spock: In my view, a splendid example of reciprocity.
McCoy: It would take a computerised Vulcan mind such as yours to make that kind of a statement.
Spock: Doctor, you insist on applying human standards to non-human cultures. I remind you that humans are only a tiny minority in this galaxy.
McCoy: There are certain absolutes, Mister Spock, and one of them is the right of humanoids to a free and unchained environment, the right to have conditions which permit growth.
Spock: Another is their right to choose a system which seems to work for them.

Good and evil has nothing to do with God. I collect church collapses, did you see the recent one in Sicily? The façade fell on sixty-five grandmothers attending a special mass. Was that evil? Was that God? If he's up there, he just loves it. Typhoid and swans, it all comes from the same place.
Dr. Lecter, Hannibal

Finch: Even if I had succeeded in creating a benevolent Machine, as if any such thing could exist, never forget that even a so-called friendly artificial super-intelligence would be every bit as dangerous as an unfriendly one.
Shaw: Your Machine seems pretty warm and fuzzy to me.
Finch: Have you forgotten that it asked us to kill a congressman?
Shaw: But that was to stop Samaritan from going online.
Finch: So where does it end, Ms. Shaw? A congressman here, a president there. What if, one day, a friendly AI decides to end world hunger by killing enough people off of the planet that there would never again be a shortage of food? It would have fulfilled its goal, but it doesn't exactly sound like it has our best interests at heart.
Root: Your Machine would never do that.
Finch: You don't know that, Ms. Groves. To say that a machine is benevolent doesn't make it so. It just makes you blind to the reality.
Shaw: Which is?
Finch: That our moral system will never be mirrored by theirs because of the very simple reason that they are not human.
Person of Interest, "The Cold War"


Tex: Thanks for the light show, D.
Delta: I am here to assist.
Wyoming: Bollocks.
Delta: However, I am afraid I will not be able to assist you further. York's armor is beginning to shut down.
Tex: I understand.
Delta: Good luck to both of you.
Wyoming: Both of us? You must be failing if you wish your enemy luck.
Delta: Good and evil are human constructs, Reginald. I was merely attempting to be courteous.



Mephisto: The eyes of a human are dull after all. What's so good about that form? Look closely! This small and short form! Look how cool it is! This is a devil's aesthetics!
Si-Un: A devil's aesthetics... I don't get it.
Su-In: Are all devils like that?
Mephisto: See, look at Su-In. Her legs are long and ugly.

    Tabletop Games 

For millennia, the Fiends have explored and refined their understanding of the vampiric condition, bending their bodies and thoughts into new and alien patterns. Should it prove necessary, enlightening or simply enjoyable, Tzimisce do not hesitate to bend victims in a similar fashion. While younger Fiends might be described as merciless or sadistic, elders of the line simply fail to comprehend mercy or suffering - or perhaps they do comprehend, but no longer consider such emotions relevant.

Gremlins are horrific little monsters, especially considering their motives. They don't want to hurt anyone, but they don't care that they do - they just want everything to run smoothly. How the gremlins got the idea that integrating human organics with machines would help them run smoothly is a bit of a mystery.

Rot and decay are part of Nurgle’s nature, but so it seems are jocularity and enthusiasm. Such is the paradox of Nurgle.
Indeed, it may be his boundless energy, the passion with which he delights in his work, and his irrepressible joviality that erodes the minds of so many who contemplate his existence. It seems impossible to believe that a rotund, foetid purveyor of plague and ruin could simultaneously positively beam with mirth and have such concern for the billions of souls upon whom he has inflicted his wracking and hideous poxes. To bend the mind toward the task of reconciling such foulness with such frivolity is to invite madness. Those who are able to do so without slipping into lunacy are fortunate.
Black Crusade: The Tome Of Decay

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the whole situation is that there is no malice behind it. The spore creature isn’t intelligent enough to be evil, and the Visages don’t have any concept of good and evil, or of murder. They see replacing people as the most natural thing in the world; in fact, they seem to think people would be happier if they just “joined” the duplicates. When trying to replace those who are suspicious and, therefore, resistant, many Visages take the approach of trying to convince them to accept it, and not to fight. “I’m much happier now,” they say. Never mind the fact that the original is lying somewhere with a broken neck — the Visages don’t think about it that way.
—"Visages - Apocalypse," The End of the World: Alien Invasion

    Video Games 

Can you, mortal, presume to judge the actions and motives of a god?

That's why the Dwemer are the weirdest race in Tamriel and, frankly, also the scariest. They look(ed) like us, they sometimes act(ed) like us, but when you really put them under the magnifying glass you see nothing but vessels that house an intelligence and value system that is by all accounts Beyond Human Comprehension.

The Vex have no hope; no imagination, no drive, no fear. All they have is the pattern. Everything must fit. If it can be made to fit, good! If not... it gets cut away.
Praedyth, Destiny

The WAU is reaching out to every machine, every life form, to manipulate, to control. It’s trying to help, save its creators from all this, just like the protocol demands. But really, what is good enough? Where is the line drawn for what is human and what is not? Would walking corpses do? Would a group of machines thinking they’re human be acceptable? We can’t trust a machine to know, to understand what it means to be.
Johan Ross, SOMA


It is interesting that every country seems to have its own, most often irrational, opinion which type of behavior is a big no-no and which isn’t. In Germany prostitution is completely legal, but proving yourself to be an idiot by saying that the holocaust didn’t happen can land you in prison.
Sandra and Woo, summing up this trope in two sentences.

Eat it, kill it, make friends with it or take a bath in it. Those are the points on your moral compass.
Kevyn to Sgt. Schlock, Schlock Mercenary

    Western Animation 

I'm not mean, I'm a thousand years old, and I just lost track of my moral code.
Marceline, Adventure Time

Well, [Rick]'s not a villain, but... he shouldn't be your hero, Summer. He's more like a demon or a super fucked-up god.
Morty, Rick and Morty


    Real Life 

Interested persons may want to look into the work of psychologist Jonathan Haidt on "Moral Foundations theory," summarized in his book The Righteous Mind. So far, he's found six moral attitudes that influence people's judgments — often unconsciously — and they all arise pretty simply from selection pressures within groups and between groups. (There may be additional Moral Foundations. Research continues.) Many political and ideological conflicts arise not because one group is Good and another is Evil, but because people assign different weights to particular moral foundations — often to such an extent that they literally cannot comprehend what the other side is saying.
Any society that lasts very long will have a powerful and pervasive moral underpinning. It might not be one you understand, or would approve of if you did, but it's there.
Dean Shomshak, discussing Exalted

The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.

Perhaps some diseases perceived as diseases which destroy a well-functioning machine, in fact change the machine into a machine that does something else, and we have to figure out what it is that the machine now does. Instead of having a defective machine, we have a nicely-functioning machine that just has a different purpose. Part of it is a self-deceptive way of coping with the peculiarities of disease, but on the other hand I can imagine what it feels like to be a virus. The AIDS virus: look at it from its point of view — very vital, very excited, having a good time, it's made the front page and as really flexing its muscles and doing what it does. It's really a triumph if you're a virus. It's really good stuff that's happening, it's not bad at all.

introducing a new alignment — chaotic lawful. i have a strict moral code but nobody can figure out what the hell it is
—A Twitter user

He struck me as completely amoral, I'd never met anyone who was so totally amoral [...] I mean, I liked him personally, it's just that I couldn't make sense of him. It's as if he was from a different species, or something.
Noam Chomsky, on Michel Foucault.


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