I have recently come to the conclusion that atheists, over the centuries, have slowly been corralled into a type of monoatheism, where we have become 'without one god'. However, if we go back to the original, classical view of atheism (from the Greek period), it actually meant that atheists were 'without the practise of fabricating supernatural stories'.
The Greeks fabricated a multitude of gods for everything, whether it be a geological, physiological or neurological phenomena. They had gods for love, earthquakes, plagues, hatred, disabilities, floods, volcanoes, jealousy etc. So when an earthquake or plague hit the Greeks, most of them attributed the phenomena to one of these godly creations. They would pray to that god and believe, regardless of the evidence, that they were safer for it. Some Greeks however, wondered why it really happened? They wondered what could be done to really make it safer?" These Greeks were atheists.
And atheists still think like this today. Most atheists I chat to don't believe in any of the gods, any of the fairies, any of the goblins, witches, unicorns, angels, demons, mediums, fortune tellers, Leprechauns, astrologists, clairvoyants, faith healers etc. However, we continue to be seen in the light of only one god. I think this is wrong.
Ironically, I have also realised that most religious people are atheistic in their lives. They don't believe in supernatural stories either... except for the stories that they have been indoctrinated into! Jews don't believe that Ganesh came back to life after he had been beheaded by his father (Shiva), by having an elephant's head placed upon his shoulders; but they do believe that Moses had a sorcerer's stand off with Egyptian priests, turning sticks into snakes! Muslims don't believe that Jesus came back to life and flew up to Heaven to be at his father's side; but they do believe that Mohammad flew up to Heaven on a white winged horse and chatted with Jesus!
If religious people can believe that most of these stories are untrue, why can't atheists believe that all of the stories are untrue?
I would like to be so bold as to redefine atheism. Atheism is the acceptance that it is better to try and understand the universe as it is rather than fabricate supernatural stories. In other words, it is better to face reality than to make stuff up!
This way, when religious people ask us, "Why don't you believe in god?", we can answer, "Which one?" We can then ask them, "Why don't you believe in unicorns or goblins etc?" Since I have started using this tactic, it has worked very well. Give it a try;)
I don't know why you think that we have been corralled I haven't experienced such a phenomenon. One aphorism which I like to trot out to theists now and then is “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Attributable to one Stephen F. Roberts. I came across a defence against this observation here:-
Parchment and Pen Blog
Why the "I justbelieve in one less God than you" argument does not work.
But C. Michael Patton, the author of the above blog just makes a case of special pleading for his own variety of god. In his view, his god is particular and unique among gods. Well I reckon that believers in other gods may have been just as sure of the uniqueness and truth of their god variants.
In Christianity for example; their theology says that if before you die, you do not accept Christ as the one true son of the one true god, (theirs), you'll go to hell. Go tell that to the Muslims. Try it on the Hindus.