Can I use 24 gauge speaker cable?

I’ve been trying to google this but I only get vague answers.
I want to know if I can use 24 gauge cable as speaker cable. And if not: why not?
Usual answers are “no, you should use xx gauge”, but I’m looking for why is that? Will the speakers of the amp go off in flames if the resistance is too high? I don’t even get that because the resistance isn’t even that much of a difference between speaker cable sizes, compared to the speakers resistance.

I’m talking about ca 16ft / 5m distance between amp and speaker. By the way should that measure 16 ft or double (32ft because one cable is plus and the other minus)?
Totally agreed @tbakin63. Of course it looks kind of awesome to have these cables worth 1000’s of dollars but it’s nothing more than jewelry. If Mr Klipsch (and other highly regarded people in the industry too by the way!) says it’s not worth it to spend a lot the I believe them.

My current cables are quite nice looking Dynavox cables, 4 x 10AWG wires inside. But they’re also quite huge. That’s why I’d love to see some smaller cables in my house. So why not go with the smallest cables I could find at the Home Depot, i.e. 24 AWG? :-)

Next week I’ll have the chance to play around with a 3Watts/channel tube amp. I’ll be testing the telephone cables for sure! I just wanted to make sure I won’t melt anything or set stuff on fire :’)
@williewonka Excellent response and explanation. I've bought cheap wire before and have upgraded to something much better but have never really understood most of the aspects you describe. This clarifies some of the things I've suspected. I did spend quite a bit more moolah but some of the cables are way outside my budget. Some of them are way outside most peoples budget. Finding  audiophile class wiring at prices the average consumer can afford is difficult.  I would imagine too that the amount of money you spend would be commensurate with the system it's being applied to. No sense in spending a fortune on boutique speaker cables for a Walmart stereo in other words. 
@jsd52756 This is exactly my thinking. I'm a contractor and I know if you are going to run any kind of power equipment over any distance from the power source you want to have a heavier gauge extension cord. If you don't you'll not only not have enough power you will burn out your saw or whatever it is in a short period of time. A lighter cord will get much warmer as well. I can only imagine the possible damage to both speaker and amp over several years.
If you're using 24AWG ethernet cable there are 8 wires, using 4 wires each connection you have an effective AWG of 18. Should be OK with 3 watt amp. I made cables from ethernet wire but I used two and twisted all 8 for each connection then put them through a fabric sleeve for looks. 
When I saw this discussion come up on my email, I thought great, let's see how thoroughly confusing some of these responses are going to be.  Well, I haven't been disappointed.  Assuming your question is a serious, although many of these guys are correct in most ways, you best most useful is probably from caykol, above.  Just follow his advice and any others of a similar nature and you will do just fine.  As an example, a number of years ago, I moved into a new place and found that my old bedroom set up would not work in the new bedroom, so I went to my local HD store and bought 100 ft of 14 ga stranded cable, cut one the required 10 feet and the other had to be run out to about 20 ft.  At first I was worried that the difference in cable length would create an unbalance in the sound of my two speakers, but guess what,  I had a balance control, so after a couple of adjustments it worked just fine.  My main system, on the other hand, that only has one chair, is another matter.  Hope this helps