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Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position, often religious, through the systematic use of information.
Those who defended their faith against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders are called "apologists".
The term Apologetics was originally referred to Early Christian authors but is now also applied to New Religious Movement or cult world.
Apologetics has a different meaning from the English word, "apology". It is a verbal defence against a verbal attack, a disproving of false accusations, or a justification of an action or line of conduct which the apologist believes is wrongly made the object of censure or criticism.
Apologists support, defend faiths, and lead others to them. They employ various intellectual tactics to do so, e.g.
- Appeals to academic positions - "if a PhD says so, it must be true"
Appeals to religious positions - claims to superior opinion on the basis of Godly or religious authority, or "it's OK because other religions do it"
Attacks on apostates - "you cannot believe the testimony of ex-members"
Personal attacks on their critics
Dismissal of hypnosis, brainwashing/mind control theories
Semantics to confuse uninformed others - word games
Behind the scenes maneuvering and direct collaboration with the cultists, and so on