The hero is born into universe populated by similarly looking to him people. But he suspects he could be immortal and possess some (maybe, passive) special powers.

The facts known to him:

  • He ages slower than other people (still ages).

  • But he can receive not healable damage, scars do not disappear.

  • His reasoning and mentality is way different from other people, like between a robot and a human. He seems to outsmart all other people he had met in science and logic, still he cannot find a woman or a close friend because all people are scared of his way of reasoning and logic.

  • The society has a prophecy of a messiah or god coming with characteristics similar to that of the hero. Before his birth the rulers tried to kill all babies with similar characteristics, but unsuccessfully. There is a lot of people believing the prophecy but the downside is that all such prophecies of the local religion turned out to be wrong historically.

  • The society exists for a very long time, millions of years unchanged but with his birth dramatic changes came to the society.

Currently the hero has a strategy to just live as other people and see whether he will outlive them. Is there a better but not risky way to test whether he is immortal or has special powers?

The type of immortality he wants to check is like "divine intervention": if someone wants to kill him, the killer gets a stroke or changes intention or has his gun jammed, all seemingly in line with physical laws but not entirely. He does not want to risk testing it though.

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    $\begingroup$ You are asking how a individual would act in a given circumstance. This isn't a question about building a world it is a question about the story you're trying to write in it. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jul 30 '17 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings the individual is very connected with the world's origin, and I see a lot of similar questions, for instance: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/29557/… worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/31869/… worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/33753/… Why a question on how one can hide immortality is permitted, but a question on how to test it isn't? $\endgroup$ – Anixx Jul 30 '17 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for pointing those out. They should probably be closed as well. Note that the most recent of those questions was asked over a year ago. In the question you aren't asking about building a world. You have created a scenario and asked for us to write how it plays out. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jul 30 '17 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ @sphennings - are criteria for questions becoming more stringent with time? $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 30 '17 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Will I can't say because I wasn't a member of the site when these questions were asked. I can say that as it is currently written this question is too story based for this site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jul 30 '17 at 23:54

If his immortality is based on luck, then testing it seems impossible. If he survived against all odds - does it mean he is immortal, or just that a survivorship bias? Sure, he can take a few times impossible odds... if he survives, then presumably he is immortal.

With such data the best idea for him would be to look for a job as a kind of scholar:

  • If he does not age, then he can really gather a lot of knowledge;

  • He may find some information related to his powers;

  • If he is not immortal, he would just have a nice career, if he is he would figure it out within a century or two.


Let him take some medicine/drugs that would stop his heart. If he's immortal it won't work. (Or it does, but he just continues doing his stuff nethertheless) If he isn't, a doctor can revive him shortly after that with a defibrillator.

Just like it is shown in this trailer of the upcoming movie "Flatliners":

  • $\begingroup$ He is immortal not in the sense his heart cannot stop. It is rather more complicated: his immortality is based on "luck" or "chance" or "divine intervention", so his heart CAN stop, provided he would be revived in future. The most probable way to save him is usually realized (such as in time rollback or game save mode). $\endgroup$ – Anixx Jul 30 '17 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Anixx - If so, then he isn't immortal. If I cut off his head, there is no "most probale way to save him", thus he's not immortal by your definition. $\endgroup$ – Stegax Khenacc Jul 30 '17 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ The thing is you would not be able to cut his head. At worst you would have a stroke at the moment or change your intention. $\endgroup$ – Anixx Jul 30 '17 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Anixx - This far surpasses luck and/or chance. It IS what you called "divine intervention". You should add this to your original post alongside a fitting example, so upcomming answers can beer that in mind. $\endgroup$ – Stegax Khenacc Jul 30 '17 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ I updated the question. $\endgroup$ – Anixx Jul 30 '17 at 22:59

The problem with this hero is that his own view of himself is perilously close to a very common delusional psychosis: delusions of grandeur. In his mind, the fact that he is actually a super being or hero of prophecy would offset his failings in life (or maybe account for them), and redeem himself in his own mind.

A non-delusional person would take a step back.

1: Does it objectively advance anyone's cause to prove that he is indeed a super being? No.

2: Would such proof attract unwanted attention from authorities who might seek to inflict non healable damage? Yes.

3: Does he want to serve the common good and do the sorts of things a hero might do? If no then fine - get on with selling office supplies or whatever he does. If yes, then start doing it: serve the common good in the way a hero might. You might eventually receive adulation from the people and maybe a girlfriend, but it will be for what you do rather than some inherited magical quality.

If this is for a story, the mental health angle will give it a scary edge. Anixx, if this person is actually you I do not mean any insult. Be careful with yourself, and find a mental health professional you can trust and talk to. It is a hard thing for a person to have thoughts like this, and they can overpower you. There are ways past this that can help.

  • $\begingroup$ You are suggesting he should give up on attempts to test, yes? $\endgroup$ – Anixx Jul 30 '17 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ He should not test whether he is born a hero. He should, if inclined, test whether he can act like a hero. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 30 '17 at 23:21

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