One of the problems I have with the theist mindset (which is especially prevalent among the creationists) is that it looks for the easy answers out. "Why bother with thousands of journal articles when can have all my answers packaged in one book?" it asks.
With atheism, you don't get any prepackaged answers. Science has become the default explanation, but unlike theists, those answers had to be worked for, instead of just having them handed down from on high. This alone doesn't mean they're any better any more than building your home yourself is any better than buying one.
But from these conclusions, we can instill messages. Fellow SOMA member Chuck Lunney put it,
Rather than being created apart and unique from the rest of the living biosphere, accepting the fact that humans are part of and intimately connected to the universe makes me care intensely about every little thing that exists.But it's not necessarily the answers and the messages we instill from them that are what it's all about. It's also the process of getting there. The idea of not taking the easy answers and taking things for granted that comes from the atheist mindset is something that has greatly influenced me as a person.
As my mother will tell you, it's made me fiercely independent. I'm not one to ask for favors or hand me downs lightly. Struggling to overcome my own problems has made me explore the limits of who I am and what I am capable of.
This mindset has given me a consistent, logical approach to problem solving that extends just beyond examination of physical realities. The same methodology can also be used in the interpersonal relationships I share with friends. Spending the time to investigate emotions and the connections I share with others has lead to some very deep and amazing friendships that I cannot even fathom experiencing with a mindset that promotes blind acceptance and shallow thought.
Another advantage to this mindset is that it avoids hasty and irrational decisions. Every time I've heard about people being taken in by the silly Nigerian Email scam, it's always someone taking a "something for nothing" offer on blind faith. In several instances, victims have thought God was telling them to help this person (and help themselves). This is not to say that atheists are immune to such scams, but having a mindset that requires actually holding answers up to some sort of scrutiny greatly decreases the chances of getting taken in by frauds.
Another one of the things I'm quite happy about is that I have a general optimistic view of humanity. Unlike religion, which tells us that humans are all awful sinners and deserve eternal damnation unless they accept the particular deity of choice, atheism carries no such inherent emotional baggage. We're free to actually make informed decisions on one another. As I already noted, this doesn't mean we trust anyone willy nilly, but it does allow for optimistic skepticism.
Lastly, I'm glad for my time. Not just that I get to sleep in on Sunday mornings, but that I get to actually live my life without absurd notions about what I have to do or not do to to ensure eternal life. It's freeing to know that my time is my own and that, when I do give it, it's because I do so knowing I care about friends and humanity, and not because I'm trying to earn karma points for the afterlife. I have my life, and I'm not about to waste it in prayer, or kissing
I'm going to live it fully; Without reservations, self loathing, blindness, or any of the other nonsense that comes with the theistic mindset. This is what the atheist mindset gives us: Life.
And that's precious.