Rick said, “I took a test, one question, and verified it; I’ve begun to empathize with androids, and look what that means. You said it this morning yourself. ‘Those poor andys.’ So you know what I’m talking about. That’s why I bought the goat. I never felt like that before.”

In Chapter 15, after killing several androids, Rick Deckard finally admits to his wife that he empathizes with the androids he is meant to kill. This goes against everything he has known before. Deckard’s entire job has depended on his treatment of the androids as machines and nothing more. In his world, all life is precious, but not artificial life. An android cannot have life in the traditional sense, else Deckard cannot do his job. This shows how Deckard is beginning to question his role as bounty hunter. Admitting his newfound empathy to his wife is a big step for Deckard. He also admits that buying the goat was impulsive and based on his newfound empathy. This passage shows how the power of empathy has changed Deckard irrevocably.

“The association,” Rachael said, “wanted to reach the bounty hunters here and in the Soviet Union. This seemed to work...for reasons which we do not fully understand. Our limitation again, I guess.”

After sleeping with him, Rachael Rosen reveals her true mission to Rick Deckard in Chapter 17. She explains that she has been deployed to seduce bounty hunters and sleep with them in the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The Rosen Association has decided this is the best way to neutralize the bounty hunters, since they want to keep their Nexus-6 models alive. Rachael does not claim to understand why this tactic is so successful, but Deckard knows why. His relationship with Rachael has triggered his human empathy. He can no longer treat the androids as simple machines. To him, now, they lead lives like any organic life form, and deserve to be cherished as such.

Beside him in the darkness the coal of her cigarette glowed like the rump of a complacent lightning bug: a steady, unwavering index of Rachael Rosen’s achievement. Her victory over him.

Rachael Rosen has fulfilled her mission after sleeping with Deckard. She has made him care about the machines. Before this point, Deckard could easily kill androids without feeling much of anything. He could reason his way into doing it because they were machines, and not life forms in themselves. But now, he cannot help but see it the other way. Rachael’s connection to him has changed him forever. Now he will see the machines as life forms in themselves.

Roy Baty, in the other room, let out a cry of anguish. 

“Okay, you loved her,” Rick said. “And I loved Rachael. And the special loved the other Rachael.”

In Chapter 19, after killing Irmgard Baty, Deckard admits freely to Roy Baty that he loved Rachael Rosen. He admits that love can exist between an android and a human. He admits also that love can exist between two androids. These admissions represent another turning point for Deckard. He sees the world in a different way now, after all he has been through. Mercer has told him that he must violate his own nature to fulfill this purpose. But here Deckard admits to possessing a nature other than that of a killer. He can love an android. He can feel empathy for an artificial life form. This shows that empathy can extend beyond the bounds of organic life.