This article provides a link between the utilitarian theory of rights and the “humanitarian war” doctrine. Next, it discusses the validity of the “humanitarian war” argument used by many proponents of military interventions allegedly intended to prevent potential atrocities in preexisting military conflicts. The “humanitarian” war itself, according to its proponents, should not cause worse atrocities than it prevented. The thesis of the article is that the concept is fundamentally flawed due to two important errors in assumptions. Anyone who wants to claim that some war was indeed humanitarian, implicitly assumes that (1) there is an objective unit of measurement for atrocities and (2) that there is someone who can predict the potential future atrocities prevented by a “humanitarian” war. Since it is obvious that both assumptions are nonsensical, so is the “humanitarian war” argument that follows from them.
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