Suppose Jane and Bob live alone on their planet, hundreds of lightyears from any other people. They are 20 years old, and they find themselves with a deadly disease that will suddenly and painlessly kill both of them in a year. They pray for divine aid, and an angel comes to them with the following offer: While they will die in a year, their mental and bodily functioning, as well as that of their environment, will be sped up by a factor of seventy, so that while they will die in a year, during that year they will have lived the equivalent of seventy ordinary years of life. Since their internal clock is sped up, it will feel to them as if they lived through seventy years. Moreover, they will forget that the angel had visited them, and so they will not know that each subjective minute is only a seventieth of a minute.
Question 1: Prudentially, should Jane and Bob take up this offer? (My intuition: Yes.) Note that it is not just a matter of it feeling like they get seventy years of life. They really do get seventy years' worth of learning, interacting, stewarding their environment, praying, growing emotionally, and so on.
Question 2: Are Jane and Bob as well off in this scenario as they would be in a scenario on which their disease is cured and they live for another seventy years? (I go back and forth. My initial inclination is to say "Yes" or "Almost".)
Suppose we answer Question 2 in the affirmative. Now modify the case. Jane and Bob pray for eternal life. An angel comes to them with an offer: Instead of eternal life, God will do the following for them. During the next six months, their and their environment's speed of functioning will be increased up by a factor of two, so they will feel like they are living the equivalent of a year. During the next three months, their and their environment's speed of functioning will be sped up another factor of two, so it'll feel like they are living the equivalent of another year during those three months. During the next 1.5 months, we get another speedup, so it will feel like those 1.5 months were a year of life. And so on. And then at the end of the year they will die. But it will have felt to them like they were living forever.
Question 3: Is this just as good as eternal life?
Question 4: Do answers to any of these questions depend on the nature of time?