on Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:45 pm
Wilbur Mercer is a media personality and religious leader who commands millions of followers around the world. His religion, Mercerism, is based around the idea that empathy is mankind’s quintessential quality. For this reason, his followers are supposed to join together, feeling each other’s emotions and experiencing each other’s sensations. Mercer’s religion, as Rick Deckard realizes, is morally bankrupt because it has no true “rules” at all—everything is permissible, because Mercer accepts that it’s impossible to live a moral life anymore. Toward the end of the novel, it’s revealed that Wilbur Mercer isn’t a real person at all. Although he appears before his followers as an old, bearded man in a robe, Mercer is just a character, played by a small-time actor named Al Jarry, pretending to bring dead animals back to life. It’s left up to the characters to decide whether Mercer’s fictitiousness discredits Mercerism altogether—it’s possible to argue, as John Isidore does, that the emotional tone of Mercerism has some “truth” to it, even if Mercer himself is a lie.
on Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:08 am
This is a very interesting post (that includes some spoilers for your classmates!!!!). If Mercerism and Mercer himself are not factual, but contains some fundamental truth(s); what truth(s) are present?
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