The reason I think being authoritarian is the best approach in certain times is because it objectively is. Let me explain: I have a close family member who's a cancer survivor. She is a child. She received treatment and she is fine now (more or less). There are sizable numbers of people who would have not treated her and instead prayed to God. She would have died. That is a fact. What ever else you believe or don't believe that is a fact. This is not hypothetical. There have been cases where folks with strong religion had their children taken away from them because they choose to "Trust in the Lord". I know you've got a dozen things to say to my story above about how/why it was OK to be authoritarian in the cases above. But the fact is you're being authoritarian. There is such a thing as an authority. It's possible to be right and it's possible to be wrong. Then again you might just wash your hands. Sorting out right and wrong is _hard_. It requires real work and real compromises. It's much, much easier to just wash your hands and say "Oh fuck it, I don't want to impose my beliefs". It's especially seductive because it lets you ignore all the real world suffering by telling yourself you'd only make things worse. But that's a half assed cop out that doesn't save any lives.
So you're suggesting it's objectively better that no one ever die? Or should we only save them if it doesn't cost very much? What if it's a million dollars? A billion?