Here, I am taking issue with Ricky Gervais, who says (in an interview in the Staggers) that there shouldn't:
Let's get this out in the open as well - there shouldn't be a word for atheism: it shouldn't exist, it's ridiculous. If people didn't keep making up supernatural deities, I wouldn't have to deny they exist.
I can't imagine why he would think this. Religious belief is only one of the most persistent forms of belief in the history of the species. It stands to reason, then, that those of us who don't share it will want a word for what we are that distinguishes us from Christians, Muslims, (believing) Jews, theists and so on. Gervais professes not to have any problem with the fact that others than himself believe in God or in an afterlife. OK, so he's not after stamping out religion, and that being the case, the word 'atheism' has a useful meaning. It puzzles me why atheists are sometimes shy of the word. If it's because they consider the phenomenon with which atheist belief contrasts to be a negative one, you might expect anti-racists and feminists to have a problem with the terms 'anti-racism' and 'feminism', but by and large they seem not to, though it would be better if those terms weren't needed.