Inasmuch as I don't hold a belief in a person deity, which is what theism implies, it is fair to call me an atheist and understand that my worldview is atheistic, or as I prefer to refer to it: non-theistic.
Yet I don't care to self-identify as an atheist, chiefly for two reasons.
First, and the biggest reason, is I feel that the label does too little to explain who I am and what makes me tick. I should be as contented to simply call myself a man and leave it at that.
Second, atheism has very bad connotations in the minds of most people, especially here in the Bible Belt, which is and has been my home my entire life (up to the present moment, and I expect for what time I have remaining).
To the many monotheists who follow one of the revealed religions (religions centered on the concept that a personal God has revealed his will to men), to be non-theistic in outlook is to be an enemy of and in rebellion against the Almighty.
Well, that certainly is wide of the mark!
The truth is, that those of us who find a sense of the sacred in the universe and the great mystery of life do endeavor to live in harmony with God, or nature. At the least we seek to understand the laws of nature and allow them to shape our outlook.
Therefore, to a pantheist, the mischaracterization of being haters or enemies of God is a very huge and quite inaccurate insult.
There is something of a religious impulse inherent in the human animal (a byproduct of our expanded brains), and for pantheists such as myself this impulse finds fulfillment in sense of wonder and rapture we experience when contemplating the Cosmos.
Scientists have well expressed this, as for example this passage from the writings of Albert Einstein:
What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
And the nineteenth-century scientist and polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goeth, who wrote:
He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, let him get religion.
One of today's best know atheists is biologist, lecturer, and author Richard Dawkins. In his book The Good Delusion he styled pantheism as "sexed up atheism."
But I truly feel my sense of awe and reverence for nature as the intricate system it is is best expressed the way the ancient Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius expressed it:
Everything is interwoven and the web is holy.
Now admittedly that is a matter of personal taste. I have few stones to throw at atheists such as Dawkins and those who prefer not to use any religious or spiritual jargon to describe their naturalistic worldview. We just have different perspectives. However, I see no good reason to cede religious terminology and expression to the supernaturalists.
For me and many of us, the atheist label just does not do enough to describe who we are, and, what is worse, it gives a negative and false picture of our understanding of things.
For me, the atheist label is a poor fit.