Mercerism is the dominant religion portrayed in the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Its foundation lies the the journey of a man named Wilbur Mercer up a mountain, being tormented by onlookers, only to fall down and repeat the process once he reaches the top. Practitioners of Mercerism use a device called an Empathy Box to empathize not only with the journey of Mercer, but with all other users of an Empathy Box, so that the joy or suffering of one contributes to the joy or suffering of all.
In the book, a group of rogue androids lead by Buster Friendly attempt to destroy Mercerism, due to the fact that their inability to empathize (and therefore use an Empathy Box) is one of the few distinctions separating biological androids from humankind.