An atheist is a person who believes in no gods or supernatural beings. To avoid that "believe" word which is often twisted by theists to prove that we "believe" in something: An atheist is someone who has thought things through, concluded that there is no god now or ever, and accepted that fact.
Theists believe in god(s). The letter "a", prefixed to a word, means "the opposite to". So a-theists are the opposite of theists.
A (without) + theism (belief in a god) = without belief in a
god. An atheist is one who lacks belief in the existence of
Although atheism is described in a variety of ways that often depend on the views of the describer, an atheist is a person from whose life a belief in the supernatural (God) is absent. There is no denial of, no failure to recognize and no denouncing of the supernatural contained within the term atheist. At its most basic level atheism is the absence of belief in the supernatural.
Belief is the acceptance of the truth or actuality of anything without certain proof. Belief is a mental conviction. To believe is to accept something as true or real. It is to accept the truth, existence, value, worth, etc, of something: to believe in freedom. It can denote strong emotional feelings such as "to believe" in a friend's innocence. One of the primary meanings of "to believe" is to have religious faith. Religious faith is belief in the supernatural (God).
The "belief" that atheism should be classified as a belief is a view taken by religionists who cannot accept the simple absence of belief. The absence of belief is a benign, non-active status. There is no "belief system" involved. There is no "system" of atheistic belief: no rituals, no practices, no rules, no set of doctrines or dogma. Although there are various philosophical opinions among people who can be described as atheists, a conviction that there are no gods is not the primary characteristic. In it's elemental form, atheism does not concern itself with gods.
Atheists are not an organized group. There is no atheist mandate, instruction manual, code of practice, or secret handshake. Also, to be an atheist does not mean you are either left or right, liberal/socialist or conservative. Atheism has no connection with faith, thus cannot be said as having a higher leap of faith than believing in deities.