What you say I quite agree with. This is not the only place or topic that we can get in to a bit of trouble by being self-referential. We all are to some extent.
That doesn't mean selfish, it means that our frame of reference is our own experience. Which may or may not be in harmony with others. Unfurtunately, there is also the very real tendency to consider people that don't agree as stupid.
After all, my positions in life are well-considered and should be easily seen by all, right? Heh. Wrong.
Each of us evolves in different ways. That's why we think different things are important. It is why a Southern farmer has a tendency to vote differently from a Northern industrialist.
Case in point; I agree that many turn to belief for "answers". All of us ask of ourselves some very existential questions along the path, usually early. Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?
While considering these questions, I took this route; how would my life be affected in the case that this WAS all there is and this IS all I am and will ever be?
In my case, not like it should be like this for everyone, it doesn't matter one bit. Because, again to me, that has not one thing to do with the meaning of life! Which, in my view, is all around you and need not be searched for.
I think believers get defensive for similar reasons. I don't think they are stupid for believing, but most will automatically assume that I do. Seems to me it is not me that has a problem here though. A little touchy aren't some of us about something we are so sure about?
The lady doth protest too much, methinks!