On Torture and Humanitarian Intervention
In the tortured debates about torture, one rarely hears something new. But last week I was having a wonderful discussion with some prominent international law thinkers and one of them said something quite thought-provoking that I had never heard before.
“If you think torture is wrong then you should also conclude that humanitarian intervention is wrong. Humanitarian intervention is just a variation of the ticking time bomb scenario. Both trade in the currency of human life and assert that a greater good can justify the taking of life.”
This person took an absolutist position against torture and argued that a consistent position should be taken with respect to humanitarian intervention.
Although it is an intriguing argument, I do not agree with the conclusion. But before I give you my reasons for disagreement, I would be curious what others think.