A little later in answering this, but as someone who has answered a lot of food safety questions on this site and who has spent a lot of time reading detailed scientific sources on food safety in the process of writing answers, I can conclusively say a few things:
Most people's intuition about food safety is wrong in many cases. They may be right in most cases, but there are a lot of myths out there (both about what is "safe" and what is "unsafe"). You can just look to the history of questions I've answered to see quite a few bits of misinformation that are out there. A couple classic examples: people are bizarrely overly concerned about mayonnaise when commercial mayo isn't dangerous at room temperature (but mayo-based dishes often are, because of other ingredients), while people blithely leave leftovers on the counter to cool thinking that cooked food is "sterile," when some of the most common causes of food poisoning come from mishandling of leftovers (which often still contain bacteria that can grow rapidly). I've certainly discovered quite a few new facts about food safety myself in the process of researching answers here.
Most people adopt an attitude of "I've always done it this way, and nothing bad happened." Except food safety guidelines are trying to mitigate problems in very general cases that may not be ideal circumstances. Sometimes people are just "lucky"... and sometimes they aren't as lucky as they think, which leads to...
Foodborne illnesses are incredibly common and tend to be underreported. For one thing, the "24-hour stomach flu" that people often complain about "going around," is much more frequently due to food poisoning or food-borne illness than to other causes (and certainly not influenza, which is a primarily respiratory ailment). People have a lot of "stomach bugs" and "bad nights" due to food poisoning, which often requires a day or two (or sometimes several days) to incubate after the food has been consumed. Foodborne illnesses may rarely be life-threatening, but they are incredibly common -- much more so than people think. Maybe you've always been defrosting chicken on the counter and "nothing bad happened," except for the time that the family came down with a "stomach bug" a few days after and you didn't make the connection.
However, with that last point stated, it's also true that a lot of people at some point in their lives has a truly horrific bout of illness that they attribute to food poisoning. I myself had one in the past year, and from various characteristics of what happened, I'm pretty sure it was food poisoning. I almost went to the hospital, but I gave it 24 hours, and it eventually passed. Yet I would give almost anything never to experience a night like that again. And I'm incredibly cautious with food myself. (The food I'm blaming was not prepared by me, but I later found out some details about its preparation.)
So, I'd say an experience like that would be enough to drive me to ask a question on this site, just to "make sure" about something. Some people read something and realize point (1) -- that the vast majority of people have terrible intuitions about food safety, so they want to check about something related to something they've heard.
And yes, some questions are likely due to paranoia due to various food safety scares on the news.
I'll just end by saying that I'm glad people ask such questions here. Food safety is NOT intuitive. In many cases, it defies "common sense" principles or at least standard kitchen "lore" that's passed down. I still remember the first surprising food safety myth I encountered: about people getting sick from leftover Chinese food. Most people assume it's the meat or the sauce, but it's much, much more likely you're getting sick from the rice (which tends to harbor bacteria that can take on spore form during cooking and then proliferates when left at room temperature to cool, producing toxins that are hard to get rid of even on reheating).
Who gets sick from rice? A lot of people, it turns out. Ever since, I've been fascinated by food safety, and I hope to educate people about it.
Historically, foodborne illness was one of the largest killers of children, old people, and anyone with compromised immune systems. We've made a lot of progress due to better sanitation and better food-handling practices, but when the question here acts like lack of refrigeration is just a minor concern -- it's not. Making food truly safe without refrigeration is very complicated, and lots of people in the past (and still in many cultures today) spend a lot of days feeling ill because of problems caused by food. Is it life-threatening? Not in most cases. In most cases, it's just some minor digestive discomfort that goes away in a few hours. But it could be avoided.
I agree with the last sentence of the question: compared to various risks people take on an everyday basis, minor foodborne illness is probably not something people should fret about. On the other hand, the vast majority of it is easily preventable with simple guidelines, which is why we have some standard answers that get used for a large number of food safety questions that appear on this site.
Still, I'd rather that those people ask questions here, instead of spending a night like I had a few months ago... if only the person who prepared my food had understood the need for refrigeration in part of the food prep...