Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Three Men Make a Tiger

The three men make a tiger theory is very interesting to me. It is very true that a rumor or idea that is repeatedly mentioned by multiple people starts to become more believable. Eventually, it is accepted as the truth. In the parable, Pang Cong hypothetically presents the same story to the King of Wei that a tiger was seen roaming the markets of the capital city. He inquires whether the amount of people that would hypothetically claim it to be true affect if the king would believe it. He concludes that if more people report seeing a tiger in the markets, the story is seen as more credible and the king is more likely to believe it.
            We see this play out it in many areas of our lives with celebrities, Donald Trump, and through everyday interactions. In my personal life, this has happened in college a few times. For example, one person in class interprets instructions incorrectly and tells another person from that class. That person may tell one or two more people and say they learned of it from another classmate. Those people may do the same and eventually a majority of the class is misled to believe the incorrect instructions and does the assignment according to those directions.
            Another example of this fallacy is frequently seen in the media with celebrities. In magazines, online forums and social media, the everyday occurrences in the lives of celebrities are often distorted to make an eye-catching story. This has made it extremely difficult for celebrities to date, go out in public or do things “normal people” would do without worrying about the press. Many celebrities even avoid looking at social media posts about them as they know many of the accusations are false and upsetting.
            In the instances of Donald Trump, he has made several questionable statements through the media, especially twitter. Many have called him out on his blatantly false assertions. However, I believe that many Americans are brain-washed by his lies because I believe that some Americans may think everything the president proclaims must be truth.  The fact that many of President Trump’s statements have been proven otherwise is of much concern to many Americans, including myself. It is now hard to believe and decipher what is actually credible in his statements and what he is asserting just to boast his pride.
            All three circumstances are different but all have many things in common as well. For instance, in each situation there is a person or people spreading the false claims and there is an audience that believes the information they are being fed. According to Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the definition of a fallacy is a kind of error in reasoning. The error people make in each circumstance is because the information they are presented with has been acknowledged as truth by several people or by someone of popularity/importance, it must be true. Because it seems ludicrous for a large group of people to all report something that is false, many people associate credibility with quantity of believers.

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