Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Three Men Make A Tiger

Three Men Make a Tiger

A Chinese proverb, Three Men Make a Tiger refers to an individuals tendency to believe something absurd as long as they heard it from enough people. An example would include an urban legend to be perceived as true if enough people talked about it. This argument is often known as “appeal to the people”, because if many people believe in something then it alleges to be true. This fallacy is often called argumentum and populum, which I believe means if something is popular then we automatically assume it to be true.

Three Men Make a Tiger is a very old Chinese story of a man named Pang Cong who approached a King and asked him if he would believe if someone said they saw a tiger in the city, the King said no. He then asked if the King would believe him if two people were to say they saw this tiger, he said he would begin to wonder. Pang Cong then asked the King “what if three people claimed to have seen this tiger?” The King said that he would believe it. Seeing a tiger in a busy place is absurd, but when multiple people make that claim the possibilities become real. The man told the King that he was leaving for a while and for the King to not believe things he hears about the man even if he hears them from multiple people, because they're not true. 

The term “Three Men Make a Tiger” was not what I thought it would be. This fallacy makes complete sense to me because I would never think twice about believing something if multiple people were to say that it was true. It makes me wonder what all I have believed that isn’t true at all. I think this fallacy is used every single day throughout all communities. I like the story line because the man tied it into rumors. Just because we may hear things about an individual even from multiple people doesn't mean it is true. It is best to gain accurate knowledge and make your own prediction based on your findings. I have attached an interesting link for you to learn more about this remarkable fallacy!

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