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There are plenty of themes and issues spanned in the kingdom of scientific research fiction. Among the social problems that has actually prevalence in scientific research fiction is the impact of religious beliefs on society. In Philip K. Dick’s novel, perform Androids Dream of electric Sheep, bounty hunter rick Deckard hunts downs 5 Nexus six Androids that escaped native Mars. Transparent the book, we see the influence of a religion referred to as Mercerism. Plenty of different relations from Mercerism have the right to be drawn to religions and also pseudo-religions that have been and still are adhered to to this day. This connections encompass Mercer self being made to look like a Christ-like number with both his actions and his teaching. Over there are also similarities in practices in between Mercerism and other religious beliefs both in the genuine world and in science fiction.

Wilbur Mercer and also Jesus Christ

The story that Wilbur Mercer the is finest described once John Isadore offers the Empathy Box. Mercer battles up the hill the complying with entombment and then having the bike repeat itself enables for connections to be attracted to the story the Christ and likewise to the myths the the old Greek religion. This connection is stated in the December 2013 edition of the newspaper of popular music Culture, “Similarly, in conflating the enthusiasm of Christ with the eternal torment the Sisyphus, who is condemned forever to roll uphill a absent that constantly rolls ago down,” (Palumbo 1284). The Death and resurrection of Mercer and Jesus Christ are really similar. Once Mercer dies, that is plunged into a different civilization (Dick 23). Mercer’s death is comparable to Jesus’s crucifixion that descends or is plunged into hell (New international Version, Mt. 27). One more parallel in between Mercer and Christ is the location of Jesus’s death Golgotha. As soon as Mercer is plunged into that different world, the is in a “pit the corpses and also dead bones,” (Dick 23), Golgotha has likewise been analyzed to the ar of skulls (Viskovic 167).

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The role of Empathy in Mercerism and also Other Religions

Mercerism together a religion promotes empathy in between followers, v a process called fusion. By using the Empathy Box, followers can reach out and also fuse with an additional follower so the they have the right to feel one another struggles or success. Blend allows for human being feeling to be one together, a point made in Seema Bashir’s article, “Fusion with Mercer … bring the existentially torn apart world together. Their emotion of gift one with Mercer is additionally the feeling of being one with each other,” (Bashir 267). An instance of fusion be may be to affix a great mood to against a person’s bad mood is when Rick’s wife Iran want to fuse after stack brings homes the goat, ‘‘‘would it is in immoral no to fuse v Mercer in gratitude,’ Iran said. ‘I had actually hold of the handle of package today and also it overcame my depression a little,’’’ (Dick 159). V the usage of the Empathy Box, Mercerism allows for the link of world that would certainly not typically be linked in this society, an article written by Richard Viskovic explains this connection, “Isidore together a supposedly sub-human one-of-a-kind feels disconnected from the remainder of humanity and also takes solace in combination which help him recuperate his connection,” (Viskovic. 165). In the novel this Mercerism has held accountable because that a reduction in crime also, “And the American and Soviet police had publicly declared that Mercerism reduced crime by make citizens more concerned around the plight of their neighbors. Mankind needs more empathy” (Dick 70). Prefer Mercerism Empathy is vital tenant of countless religions. Christians are taught to “Love her neighbor together yourself,” (New international Version, Mt. 22.39) and the Islamic teaching in the Quran says, “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the act of good (to others) and also the offering to the kindred,” ("Verse (16:90) - English Translation" 2018).

The exercise of Mercerism and also other Religions

To exercise Mercerism one must use the Empathy crate to fuse v Mercer and their fellow man (Vint 112). Using the Empathy box enable the user to endure the ache of his life, this is seen once John Isadore provides the Empathy box, “And in ~ the very same time that no longer witnessed the climb of the yonsei man. His own feet now scraped, search purchase, among the familiar loosened stones; that felt the very same old painful, rarely often rare roughness beneath his feet and once again smelled the acrid haze of the skies - not Earth"s sky however that of some ar alien, distant, and also yet, by way of the empathy box, instantly available.” (Dick 21). By emotion the pain of Mercer’s struggle, the followers have the right to fuse, or come to be closer to Mercer and become more empathetic to their other man.

Using inflicted pain to become closer come a deity is not a practice only uncovered in Mercerism. In the Christian practices, mortification the the flesh has actually been used as repentance to flourish closer come God. In martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Thesis, the defends the use of mortification the the flesh, “Yet it way not inward repentance only; nay, over there is no inward repentance which does no outwardly occupational divers mortifications of the flesh.” In the Augsburg Confession, Luther also defends mortification since it enables us to become closer to Christ, “For castle have always taught worrying the cross the it behooves believer to be affected by each other afflictions. This is the true, earnest, and also unfeigned mortification, come wit, to be exercised with divers afflictions, and also to be crucified through Christ.” comparable to how the Empathy Box has actually one feel the ache of Mercer the self-mortification that the flesh enables one to feel the pain of Christ death.


Phillip K. Dick’s provides Mercerism in carry out Androids Dream of electric Sheep to show the impact of faith on the culture found in the novel. Mercer is used as a Christ-like figure as checked out in the similarities in both of their deaths and resurrections. Mercerism central belief is empathy, i m sorry is also a primary tenant of multiple major religions. The Empathy Box company as a auto to become closer to Mercer not unlike how many Christians exercised self-mortification to flourish closer come God and feel the pain of the crucifixion the Christ.

Work Cited

Bashir, Seema. “The Self and the Cyborg: An analysis of Philip K Dick’s perform Androids Dream of electrical Sheep.” The Criterion: An worldwide Journal in English, vol. 8, no. V, 20 Nov. 2017, pp. 263–269., doi:10.18411/a-2017-023.

Dick, Philip K. Execute Androids Dream of electric Sheep. Del Rey, one Imprint of arbitrarily House, 2017.

Life Application research Bible. New International Version, Tyndale house Publishers, 1997.

Luther, Martin. “The Augsburg Confession.” Augsburg Confession - publication of Concord,

Luther, Martin. “Disputation of doctor Martin Luther top top the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.” publication of Concord,

Palumbo, Donald. “Faith and also Bad confidence InDo Androids Dream of electric Sheep?” The newspaper of well-known Culture, vol. 46, no. 6, 28 Jan. 2014, pp. 1276–1288. Wiley digital Library, doi:10.1111/jpcu.12088.

“Verse (16:90) - English Translation.” The Quranic Arabic corpus - Translation, Language Research group University the Leeds, 26 Mar. 2018,

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Viskovic, Richard. "The Rise and also Fall the Wilbur Mercer." Extrapolation., vol. 54, no. 2, 2013, pp. 163-182,128, ProQuest,

Vint, Sherryl. "Speciesism and species being in carry out Androids Dream of electric Sheep?" Mosaic : A newspaper for the Interdisciplinary research of Literature, vol. 40, no. 1, 2007, pp. 111-126, ProQuest,


Figure 1 Sisyphus: