We don’t need a word for people who don’t believe in gods just as we don’t need a word for people who don’t believe that the world is flat. We don’t label people as non-astrologers or non-racists. Theists often depict atheism as a belief system. Atheism is not a thing in of itself. A lack of belief is simply a lack of belief.
A war between two equivalent ideological systems is doomed to a bitter deadlock with each side only digging in deeper. Instead, we have to fight a war of ideas. We can’t topple an entire belief system, but we can change a person’s views one idea at a time. By focusing our efforts on a particular idea rather than an entire belief system, we can gain ground. For instance, trying to convince a fundamentalist Christian that the universe is older than 6,000 years old will generally be easier than trying to convince a fundamentalist Christian that all of Christianity is false. A better strategy would be to convince them that the universe is older than Christian texts indicate. Then we would transition into evidence for the natural processes which have made the universe the way it is today, such as celestial body formation, chemical reactions which could create organic compounds, and, of course, evolution.
By accepting the label of “Atheist”, we allow our ideas to be dismissed arbitrarily because our ideas are lumped in with those of all our fellow atheists. Atheism is not powerful. Conversation is powerful. Our strategy in this war of ideas has to be one that cultivates open, honest conversation. To make real progress, people on both sides have to stop viewing each other as ideological opponents and start seeing them only as other people. Labeling and identifying with particular groups only hinders progress by creating unnecessary division.
I am not an atheist. I am just a person who thinks as an individual. I believe what I believe for good reasons. And I’m wrong about some things. But I’m probably right about the nonexistence of gods, and if asked, I can show you why. Not because I’m an atheist, but because I am a rational human being who has looked at the evidence for himself. That’s it.