Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Three Men Make a Tiger Fallacy

Blog Post #2               Trevor Gausman

Three Men Make a Tiger

            Hypothetically speaking, say you come across a Facebook story on how California is no longer a state of the USA. Would you believe that story from first glance? I sure hope not. Now say that this story on Facebook starts receiving numerous shares and likes from other friends of yours. When the news starts spreading around, it becomes much easier to start believing such an erratic story. This is one example of the “three men make a tiger” fallacy. 

            The “three men make a tiger” fallacy refers to ones ability to accept implausible information based off of hearing it from various people. Pang Cong, a historical Chinese official, wanted to see if he could get people to believe anything simply because multiple people would share the false news. Pang tested this fallacy many years ago to see if the King of China would believe that a tiger was roaming the city. After speaking with the king, Pang was intrigued by the fascinating idea that he could get people to believe anything as long as people shared the fallacy.

            Although this fallacy was tested many years ago, it continues to remain predominant amidst the Internet and social media. Countless people share their thoughts and beliefs on the Internet, which leads to more fallacies spreading based off of word of mouth. This happens daily on Facebook, Twitter, and even your local news station. As long as a few people are saying it, it must be true, right? Wrong. In this day and age, people need to be careful when reading through social media and other online sources. One very common example of this fallacy being current in today’s society would be involving politics. Innumerable stories containing false statements towards politicians get shared through social media and cause many people to believe them. These fallacies only waste time for everyone and will not make any statement true based off of how many people share it.

            In order to disregard yourself from this fallacy, make sure to fact check any and every statement that leaves you questioning the allegation. Most importantly, always remember that no matter how many people say something is true, you can never be too careful.

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