People who endorse it are not actually interested in your thinking for yourself. They are merely interested in having you swap, say, Christ, for, say, Walt Whitman.
They will mock you for accepting conventional pieties uncritically, but expect you to accept Thoreau and Whitman without question. To them, it is inexcusable to ask why it is better to go to the woods to sponge off your friends and write drivel instead of, for instance, doing things that allow you to earn enough money so that your friends may be sponges.
I was watching Dead Poets Society the other day, and this sort of thing is rampant. You're supposed to be sad when Robert Sean Leonard kills himself, because he is so tortured and imprisoned and not allowed to do every damn stupid thing he wants. Well, I wasn't. I thought he was a self-indulgent little whiner. I suppose it is very difficult for a young man to go to Harvard instead of becoming an actor, and that this is the only thing that can possibly matter. When he is seventeen, and an idiot.
It's bilge. I prefer Kipling to Whitman and any writer with the possible exception of the Brontës to Thoreau. I'm not interested in people who tell me exactly how to think freely.