As humans, we undoubtedly put trust in people because we know them or know of them. ‘Three Men Make A Tiger’ is basically saying that if we hear some sort of lie, or story, from multiple people we will began to believe it just because more than one person has said it.
The story of this fallacy comes from the Chinese King of Wei. The story goes, a man came to the King, frantically needing to talk to him. The man goes on to claim “there is a tiger in the market!”, the King shrugs this off because it was so absurd, he then sends the man off. Later, a second fellow comes running into speak to the King and says the same thing, “Sir! There is a tiger roaming the market!” Once again, the King is in disbelief and ignores the man’s cry for help because it is just too uncommon for him to believe. Eventually, a third man comes, he too says that there is a tiger in the Market. Suddenly, the King is baffled and in complete awe because of this tiger he now believes is tormenting the market place. After believing these men, he soon learns that there was in fact no tiger, but he believe it because multiple people came and said the same thing to him.
This seems to be a trend in our recent society, people will believe anything they hear because multiple people either said it, or it was spread by an organization for people to hear or see. The biggest example and person that has suffered from this more recently is our President. All I hear is, Trump was quoted saying this racist thing, and that homophobic thing; lies about what he said get spread like wildfire because so many people do not believe in what he is doing for our country. The first instance he has been wrongly quoted was when people said “Trump said all Mexicans are rapists and criminals”. This was a huge mix-up by the Hispanic population, because it was so falsely spread. At the time, candidate Trump never once uttered the phrase “all Mexicans are rapist and criminals”, but simply referred to the crime rate of illegal aliens coming from the U.S – Mexico border, which many of whom are of Mexican origin. I’m sure some of you are thinking “how can you sit at your computer and defend Trump?” Well, since I am majority Hispanic with roughly a quarter white, it is easy to do a little fact checking when something so absurd has been wrongly spread about me and ultimately my family’s origin. I am not saying I do, or do not support Trump, but I do support truth and far too often many sheep fall under these false truths and will believe anything if they’ve heard multiple people say it.
A less taboo example of this happening could simply be in your friends group. We all have made up some lie to tell one of our friends to trick them into thinking something is real. You have a few friends sitting around and one tells some lie and the other friends back them up suddenly creating this false truth. That is the same thing as Three Men Make a Tiger. That one friend heard it from different people and suddenly it becomes more credible even though in the end it seems to not true.
We are all guilty of doing this at least once so far in our lives and sometimes it may be unavoidable. But before you start to believe such absurdities it wouldn’t hurt to check some facts and make sure what you are defending or believing is indeed the truth.