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There are countless themes and issues covered in the kingdom of science fiction. Among the social concerns that has actually prevalence in scientific research fiction is the impact of faith on society. In Philip K. Dick’s novel, perform Androids Dream of electrical Sheep, bounty hunter rick Deckard hunts downs 5 Nexus 6 Androids the escaped from Mars. Transparent the book, we see the influence of a religion dubbed Mercerism. Numerous different relationships from Mercerism deserve to be drawn to religions and pseudo-religions that have been and still are adhered to to this day. This connections include Mercer self being made to look favor a Christ-like number with both his actions and his teaching. There are additionally similarities in practices in between Mercerism and also other religions both in the genuine world and also in science fiction.

Wilbur Mercer and Jesus Christ

The story that Wilbur Mercer the is finest described once John Isadore uses the Empathy Box. Mercer struggles up the hill the complying with entombment and then having the cycle repeat itself permits for connections to be drawn to the story that Christ and additionally to the myths the the old Greek religion. This link is discussed in the December 2013 execution of the journal of pop Culture, “Similarly, in conflating the passion of Christ v the eternal torment the Sisyphus, who is condemned forever to role uphill a absent that always rolls back down,” (Palumbo 1284). The Death and resurrection that Mercer and Jesus Christ are really similar. When Mercer dies, that is plunged right into a different civilization (Dick 23). Mercer’s death is similar to Jesus’s crucifixion he descends or is plunged right into hell (New worldwide Version, Mt. 27). An additional parallel between Mercer and also Christ is the location of Jesus’s death Golgotha. When Mercer is plunged right into that different world, he is in a “pit of corpses and dead bones,” (Dick 23), Golgotha has also been translated to the ar of skulls (Viskovic 167).

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The duty of Empathy in Mercerism and also Other Religions

Mercerism together a religious beliefs promotes empathy in between followers, through a process called fusion. By utilizing the Empathy Box, followers can reach out and also fuse with another follower so the they can feel one an additional struggles or success. Blend allows for human being feeling to be one together, a allude made in Seema Bashir’s article, “Fusion through Mercer … bring the existentially take it apart human being together. Their emotion of being one with Mercer is likewise the emotion of gift one with each other,” (Bashir 267). An instance of blend be may be to connect a good mood to counteract a person’s negative mood is as soon as Rick’s mam Iran want to fuse after stack brings homes the goat, ‘‘‘would be immoral no to fuse through Mercer in gratitude,’ Iran said. ‘I had actually hold the the handles of the box today and also it overcame mine depression a little,’’’ (Dick 159). Through the use of the Empathy Box, Mercerism allows for the link of civilization that would certainly not usually be connected in this society, an write-up written by Richard Viskovic defines this connection, “Isidore as a supposedly sub-human one-of-a-kind feels disconnected indigenous the rest of humanity and also takes solace in combination which helps him recover his connection,” (Viskovic. 165). In the novel this Mercerism has actually held accountable because that a palliation in crime also, “And the American and Soviet police had publicly proclaimed that Mercerism decreased crime by making citizens an ext concerned around the plight of their neighbors. Mankind needs much more empathy” (Dick 70). Prefer Mercerism Empathy is an essential tenant of numerous religions. Christians are taught come “Love her neighbor together yourself,” (New global Version, Mt. 22.39) and also the Islamic teaching in the Quran says, “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the law of an excellent (to others) and the providing to the kindred,” ("Verse (16:90) - English Translation" 2018).

The practice of Mercerism and also other Religions

To practice Mercerism one must use the Empathy box to fuse with Mercer and also their other man (Vint 112). Using the Empathy box enable the user to endure the ache of his life, this is seen as soon as John Isadore supplies the Empathy box, “And in ~ the very same time the no much longer witnessed the climb of the yonsi man. His own feet now scraped, sought purchase, amongst the familiar loosened stones; that felt the very same old painful, rarely often, rarely roughness beneath his feet and once again smelled the acrid haze of the skies - no 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 end up being closer to Mercer and also become more empathetic come their fellow man.

Using inflicted pains to become closer come a divine being is no a exercise only found in Mercerism. In the Christian practices, mortification the the flesh has been offered as repentance to prosper closer to God. In martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Thesis, the defends the use of mortification that the flesh, “Yet it method not inward repentance only; nay, there is no inward repentance i m sorry does not outwardly work-related divers mortifications of the flesh.” In the Augsburg Confession, Luther additionally defends mortification due to the fact that it permits us to end up being closer come Christ, “For they have constantly taught concerning the cross that it behooves christians to be afflicted with afflictions. This is the true, earnest, and also unfeigned mortification, to wit, come be exercised with divers afflictions, and to be crucified v Christ.” similar to how the Empathy Box has actually one feeling the pain of Mercer the self-mortification the the flesh permits one to feeling the pain of Christ death.


Phillip K. Dick’s provides Mercerism in carry out Androids Dream of electrical Sheep to display the result of religious beliefs on the culture found in the novel. Mercer is supplied as a Christ-like number as seen in the similarity in both of their deaths and also resurrections. Mercerism main belief is empathy, which is likewise a main tenant that multiple major religions. The Empathy Box organization as a automobile to come to be closer to Mercer no unlike how countless Christians exercised self-mortification to thrive closer come God and feel the pains of the crucifixion of Christ.

Work Cited

Bashir, Seema. “The Self and the Cyborg: An analysis of Philip K Dick’s carry out Androids Dream of electric 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. Perform Androids Dream of electric Sheep. Del Rey, one Imprint of arbitrarily House, 2017.

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

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

Luther, Martin. “Disputation of medical professional Martin Luther top top the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.” book of Concord,

Palumbo, Donald. “Faith and Bad confidence InDo Androids Dream of electrical Sheep?” The journal of famous Culture, vol. 46, no. 6, 28 Jan. 2014, pp. 1276–1288. Wiley online Library, doi:10.1111/jpcu.12088.

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

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

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


Figure 1 Sisyphus: