Though I have seen many different arguments of where the name Apollon etymologically came from, most scholars agree with that of destroyer. I can see this. Perhaps not so much in the idea of Apollon destroyer of mankind type of thing, though I do think that this plays into it, or at least is a constructive part of it. But certainly not the whole. When we think of the myth of his fight with the Python we must recall that not only does he kill the python with his golden sword but he also uses the fire of the sun to destroy the remains. Then there is also the myth of Apollon and Dionysos of Rhodes as rat destroyers protectinv the orchard and vineyards, so we see destructiveness for a very constructive purpose in order to help mankind rather than an infliction of plague like we see in the Iliad. There is the utter and most absolute consuming of his light. When I think of him as destroyer I think of the hot light of the god moving through my heart and mind, penetrating and cleansing. Burning away any built up muck, any of the lingering remains from my own internal battles. Like a hot sword placed on any internal wounds.
He is the destroyer of darkness. I am not speaking of natural darkness such as night, but I am talking about the darkness that strips away our humanity, that destorts people, and makes us alien to our world and nature. He eliminates things such superstition with the force of enlightenment. One of my favorite statues portrays Apollon as Logic crushing a figure that looks like a nun representing the brainwashing of superstition and the effect she has on people. This is the sort of darkness I am talking about, that which serves no purpose other than to control us.
During ritual I welcome the purifiying force of the destroyer, into my home, and into my person. I do feel better after ritual too, more at peace and more often than not rather overheated.