The “Three Men Make a Tiger” fallacy is extremely relevant in today’s world, which is flooded with fake news and gossip. The fallacy is based off of a Chinese idiom, which is a story about a man named Pang who went to the King and asked him if he would believe Pang if he told the King that there was a tiger currently out on the street. When the Kind replied “No”, Pang asked the King if he would believe Pang if three men told the him that there was a tiger currently out on the street, and the King replied “Yes”. This story is relevant to todays world as the creation of fake news is becoming increasingly popular. The more people that believe in the fake news and gossip, the more other people believe in it too.
Everyone can relate to some sort of fake news that they have heard, and some might even say that they believed in it just because several others did too. An example of this fallacy in today’s world is that Markets are efficient. Beating the market in terms of price is basically impossible unless you have inside information. What a lot of people don’t know, is that everyone has access to this inside information. For example, the company GNI lists itself as being almost three times as much as it is really worth. Everyone believes their statement, because the company, the workers, and the consumers all spread this information, making others believe that it is true just because multiple people are making this claim.
Another example is the assumption that gold can’t be manipulated. The new topic of conversation in the gold industry is that large traders are suppressing its price. Therefore, everyone thinks that manipulation is impossible, at least when companies are attempting to make a profit. Again, most people believe this notion because the company is telling consumers that they cannot get a better price anywhere else, and the consumers are believing this concept just because the companies are telling them that this is true.
A third example of this fallacy is something that I have actually witnessed personally. Living in Greek housing on campus, especially with women, gossiping and fake news is very prevalent. It can pertain to a number of different topics, like what is happening with other Greek chapters on campus, things about other women in the house, etc. Especially with women, most people believe the fake news because they are hearing it from multiple women in the house, which was ultimately caused by the initial gossip.
A final example of this fallacy is the Jimmy Kimmel Lie Witness videos that Jimmy Kimmel creates for his live television show. The point of the videos is to interview random people on the street about fake news, and hear their reaction. One video that stands out to me the most is the one about President Trump appointing Rob Kardashian to a position as a supreme court nominee. Everyone in the clip believes the fake news because it is coming from a popular source (Jimmy Kimmel), even though the source isn’t considered reliable. Basically, they just want to be on TV (but don’t we all).
In conclusion, there are obviously flaws in the reasoning behind the Three Men Make a Tiger fallacy. You never know if your sources are valid, and it is hard to form your own opinion on things when you don’t know if you have valid information. How do you know if your source is valid, and how do you form your own opinion even when the majority might promote a different idea than you?