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It's one of mankind's oldest enemies -- time. Mortals fear it, because time brings all men (and women) to their knees. We fear it, because we fear growing old. Many of us have watched our grandparents, maybe even our parents, grow feeble because of the cruel touch of time.

So what if there was a group of people that can offer freedom from the clutches of time? Where you stop aging from what mere mortals would consider 30 years of age. But, there's a catch. There's always a catch.

You see, the solution has different flavours. First, you could become a vampire. Not the undead variant, where you sleep in a coffin or in the soil of your father land. And certainly not the glittery in sunlight variant (Twilight bashing discouraged, but not prohibited). The kind of vampire where there is treatments to slow/prevent the damage done by the virus (which impairs your ability to create new red blood cells, forcing you to 'drink' blood to replenish your supply. One simply cannot live without red blood cells after all), and you still need to eat in order to have calories to burn. Granted, if the virus does just enough damage to force you to drink blood, then when you do you'll become hyper sensitive to UV radiation -- something about the virus not liking UV rays and silver. Oh, and let's not forget the ever persistent vampire hunters that seem more monstrous than the vampires they hunt.

If you don't like the vampiric route, no problem! All you have to do is appeal to one of the gods (there are 28 major gods and thousands of minor gods to choose from; choosing one that agrees with your motifs shouldn't prove a problem). Should you be able to prove to them you are a worthy champion to their cause, they will grant you a form of agelessness, removing time's power over you. However, gods are in the habit of waging war amongst themselves. So that means the followers of rival gods might try to kill you to prove themselves, or the god you avowed yourself to might become bored with you (especially if you offered a service and do not deliver).

But fear not! If the first two choices don't meet your expectations, there is always servitude to one who has already obtained agelessness! You see, there is a branch of magics that would allow them to bind you to their fate. Meaning, if they are ageless, you are ageless. But, it also means: if they die, you die. Oh, and do try not to ignore the 'servitude' part. There are three possible pacts that can be made: attendant, servant, and slave. Attendants have free will, and may do as they please -- but the master would need to trust you implicitly to allow for such a state of affairs. Servants have some free will, but only in matters the master allows it -- should the master order something, you are to comply whether you like it or not. And slaves have no free will -- you become a thrall of sorts, unable to do anything you haven't been told to.

The question then: does society still want the agelessness offered?

Groups that should be excluded from your deliberations:

  • Those that (do not) fear death. There will always be individuals that fear death so completely that they would sell their soul to the devil himself to avoid it, and those that do not fear it at all. For the sake of this question, these outliers should not be considered. This is about what the average person would choose (the statistical majority).
  • Groups that do it out of religious fervor. Again, there will always be those that are so zealous in their reiliosity that they would do anything their god(dess) commands. Do not consider them in this.
  • Those that are tricked into it, or forced into it. Yes, there will be those that are either tricked by the gods (yes, I'm looking at you, Loki!), or turned into vampires against their will. This is about the choice, not the powerlessness of a random factor in fate.
  • Those that have mental, emotional, or physical handicaps/trauma. Or those that have already attained an advanced age. Though I agree that one should take this into consideration, it isn't the focus of this question. To simplify the situation, consider only those that are healthy, and 30 years or younger.
  • Those that do not consider the consequences. For the sake of this question, only consider what the statistical majority would do with full knowledge of the situation, and an intimate understanding of what the choices entail -- i.e. that even if you accept one of the options, you will still die one day. Just not today.
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closed as primarily opinion-based by Hohmannfan, Josh King, JDługosz, TrEs-2b, Frostfyre Aug 15 '16 at 20:53

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This is fairly opinion based, but still an interesting question. I'm not sure how to remove the opinion part from the question. I would say that (ignoring outliers, as including outliers would reverse this) nobody would ever become a slave for the third option. Many people would be okay with being an Attendant with someone they trusted (at least at the time of making the pact?) such as a family member, and likewise the vampire would have to have similar (perfectly doable) trust. Beyond that it gets sketchy. $\endgroup$ – Nex Terren Aug 15 '16 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @NexTerren Including the outliers would skew the answer. If someone is already fearful of death, they might even accept a slave pact, and that isn't something I want. It's literally about what the majority would do. Granted it could be considered 'opinion based', but this is the core of the question. $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 15 '16 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Either I misspoke (if so, sorry!) or you misread my comment. I was just saying that my absolute statement was only correct with your requirement of removing the outliers; I wasn't arguing to include the outliers. $\endgroup$ – Nex Terren Aug 15 '16 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @NexTerren No, I agree. I'm just pointing out that I considered that before typing it. Thanks ^_^ $\endgroup$ – Fayth85 Aug 15 '16 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ I'd accept the vampire variant if i can do transfusions otherwise I'd be a thrall for life. Rather hell than death, but I don't want to become a monster. $\endgroup$ – Charon Aug 15 '16 at 17:43
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Of course

The vampire route doesn't sound half bad. If you offered that option to most people on their death bed they'd probably take it. My mother died recently. She had melanoma that went untreated too long. She was talking to the Hospice worker one day and the hospice worker asked

"What do you want?"

My mother knew she had a terminal prognosis and a projected lifespan measured in months if not weeks, but of course the question wasn't:

"What do you think will happen?"

The question was:

"What do you want?"

her answer, of course was:

"I want to live"

She was a religious person and pretty dedicated to her beliefs which included a rejection of most modern medicine, but if you came to her and said:

"You have the option to not die, but you now have to drink this stuff everyday and someone might someday come to try to kill you."

She'd almost certainly have accepted. (Unless her religion or belief system didn't allow it, in which case see below.)

The god route requires more fleshing out, but consider that billions of people on this planet currently serve gods who offer literally nothing tangible to them. I suspect you can assume that anyone who's currently religious for purely intangible rewards would still be religious in the face of direct access to gods. And most atheists' problem with god(s) is an ontological concern (do gods actually exist) rather than a question of principle (if gods did exist would it be right to do what they say?). Given that there are many options in your world, there are good odds for belief system overlap, so people could even gravitate towards gods who promote compatible belief systems and lifestyles (but honestly that's not required since religion, like sports team affiliation, appears to be largely an accident of birth). The god route offers fewer physical downsides, but less freedom (but then again who among us can truly claim freedom anyway). It'd probably depend on circumstance.

The servitude thing sounds like the worst of the lot, but hey, it takes all kinds and humans were fine with service and servitude for the vast majority of recorded history. I suspect that route would have some adherents too.

If these options were available it'd be a striking few who didn't take advantage of them and of course, time would not be on their side.

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I think many folks would go for the vampire option as depicted in True Blood, the TV series. Here the vampires were recently out of the closet, living amongst us and drinking an artificial blood.

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