Abstaining voluntarily from food and/or drink for reasons of religion, or social protest.
Among almost all peoples fasting is a method of making contact with the supernatural, of personal sacrifice and of divine propitiation of purifying one's self before important events; evoking mystical experiences or revelation; or of providing social pressure on an individual or group to recognize a social injustice, pay a debt, yield a point, or grant a request.
The amount of publicity depends on the purpose of the fast. Fasting as a means of social pressure requires that the group toward whom the fast is directed know about the fast and the progress of it. There needs to be belief that a negative social or moral effect will result should the person fasting die.
1. Fasting without an appropriate social and moral climate is a meaningless activity.
2. Fasting leads to deterioration of one's health and possibly to death.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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