Ethics were born because, on the one hand the world and societies became pluralistic and one cannot impose a specific set of morals to all; on the other hand because moral codes are sometimes unable to face new situations. Thus, we tolerate for ethical reasons what we personally might condemn for moral reasons. Ethics put into practice moral principles of different origins and might be termed "morals of compromise". Ethical decisions are precarious and in a large measure arbitrary because they are the result of negotiations which can be challenged as new generations of speakers take part in the debate. For some, social ethics represents the smallest common denominator acceptable by all. For others, this compromise is meant to bring the different elements of society together on demanding issues.
For example, in the rapidly evolving field of biomedicine, civil ethics have replaced religious morals in most societies. On issues such as voluntary interruption of pregnancy, contraception, [in vitro] fertilization, blood transfusion and euthanasia, bioethics presents itself ass an alternative, although complementary, to the indifference or the incapability of morals to establish a dialogue with the sciences of life.