As a nonconsequentialist, my belief is that an act is right or wrong based on the intention in which it is done, rather than the consequences of the act; therefore, in the “Lifeboat Dilemma” scenario my decision was to not push the 400 pound man off of the boat. I value every other living being and believe that every single being has the same right to life as any other. I also value each person as they are and believe that they add value and worth to the world in some way which is why they exist. By pushing the 400 pound man off of the boat, I would be treating that individual as a means to my end and this is against the Practical Imperative belief that “no human being should be thought of or used merely as a means for someone else’s end” (Thiroux, Krasemann 2009, p. 51).
Many, if not all, of the other nine people on the boat may feel that it would be the best option to push the largest person overboard because they consider the consequence of not doing so, which is the boat sinking and the death of us all. However, I would need to ask myself and the others if this act of sacrificing someone’s life on the boat in order to save others is one that is acceptable to practice with everyone on board? Would it be acceptable to always murder someone when it could save another person’s life? Pushing anyone off the boat is considered murder, which is not a moral act, according to the Categorical Imperative, since the meaning of life is to live (Thiroux, Krasemann 2009, p. 51). If everyone on the boat pushed someone else off so that their life would be saved, there would be no survivors, which contradicts that living is the meaning of life and therefore, would violate the Categorical Imperative.
My original decision to not push the 400 pound man off the boat has not changed. In fact my original reasoning for this is that of