Simple question: how do I get better at thinking on my feet when debating? It seems every time I get into a debate, someone will say something, and I won't have a counterargument, but fifteen seconds after the debate has ended, I'll find 1000 things wrong with the other person's argument and why it's bullshit.
How do I get better at spotting these things on the fly? I don't need to be the king of rhetoric, but being able to deconstruct flawed arguments on the spot would be nice.
What you're experiencing, OP, is called "l'espirit de l'escalier", or "staircase wit".
I know that practice helps with quick-wittedness, from personal experience, but if anyone has any other tips I would love to hear them.
Practice. Just listen to people talk and always consider yourself an opponent. Usually easier to start with TV or radio because they don't require additional participation other than listening and arguing. I don't recommend you do it too much or you might get stuck thinking critically like me. But I don't have problems with counter arguments unless I'm wrong.
It's also important to realize what kind of argument you're in. Is the other person well meaning and looking for truth in the situation or are they just interested in 'winning'. Of they're just after 'winning' then generally there's more rhetoric than actual valid arguments.
Going around 4chan and picking fights isn't too bad. /r9k/ tends to be an easy target /pol/ points to statistics they haven't fully understood usually or its selection bias. But arguing here on /adv/ is pretty good. Just don't care about what you're arguing for. It's pointless to care about that. Any argument is gonna be a constructive for everyone. Either because they get better at arguing or because they think more about what they're arguing about, and are more likely to be correct just because of that.
It's also worth considering just what you've found that's wrong. I suggest write it down and attempt to break down those arguments. Because when you can do that you're more resilient to counter arguments to your counter arguments. Usually you can find general mistakes but if you have the right attitude to all this you will just learn to intuitively see you and others mistakes.
I have a lot of staircase wit situations. But I don't have debate problems. Really it's probably just more about focus, wit can come quite easy if that's where your focus is.
You really want to just examine arguments in a vacuum and practise spotting flaws. Go lurk on pol.
I would read books though.
I read a lot and as I do I find myself better able to insert measured but tasteless jokes into conversation at great speed. That's really the essence of wit.
you anticipate what they'll say so that when they say it, you've already thought of how to refute it.
This becomes easier the more you actually know about what you're arguing. Perhaps don't argue something unless you've actually thought it through first?
Become a more knowledgeable person in a well rounded sense. The more you know the better in every situation.
Beware of irl bait though e.g. the guy working on his ph.d. in economics trying to ask what you think about tax policies or some shit.
/tg/ is boss battle argument time.
See, when you have a group of people whose hobbies require reading big thick books and lots of them, they tend to read lots of other big thick books as well. /tg/ is probably the most well-read board and has the widest knowledge base.
May be true but that doesn't mean it's productive for anon here. You need to win some points to learn stuff. Generally learned people tend to argue about subjective or unclear stuff. It's much better to start off with reasoning than that. Because anyone can follow a reasoned argument. It's an easy source of common problems in people's arguments (fallacies generally) and you really can't go wrong with reason.