I just finished a great little book called Atheism: A Very Short Introduction by Julian Baggini. It summarizes nicely the main arguments about why atheism is a logical, ethical, and healthy worldview; and you can read it in a couple sittings.
The book closes with a great couple of paragraphs that express an idea that I have thought of often, but have not been able to put into words quite as well as Baggini does:
Many atheists throughout history have compared their belief with a form of growing up. Freud, for instance, saw religious belief as a kind of regression to childhood. With religion, we are like children who still believe that we are protected in the world by benevolent parents who will look after us. It is no coincidence that God is referred to as father in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
Atheism is the throwing off of childish illusions and acceptance that we have to make our own way in the world. We have no divine parents who always protect us and who are unquestionable good. The world is instead a big and scary place, but also one where there are opportunities to go out and create lives for ourselves.
The loss of childhood innocence is a double-edge sword. There is something to lament and something to fear, hence the dark tinge of an atheist belief system which is akin to this loss. But it is also the precondition for meaningful adult lives. Unless we lose our childhood innocence we cannot become proper adults. In the same way, unless we cast off the innocence of supernatural world views, we cannot live in a way that does justice to our natural as finite mortal creatures. Atheism is about moving on and taking the opportunities that life affords, and that carries with it risks of failure and the rejection of reassuring illusions.
It is this realism that means atheism cannot ever be presented as an undiluted, positive joy. Real life is about accepting ups and downs, the good and the bad, the possibility of failure as well as the ambition to succeed. Atheism speaks to the truth about our human nature because it recognizes all this and does not seek to shield us from the truth by myth and superstition.
So what will it be? Will you take "the blue pill"or "the red pill?"