I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I use the word agnostic it’s not to be “friendly” or because the word atheist is “scary”. I use it because it’s what I am: a devout agnostic. To me, atheism carries too much of its own belief load, in that it suggests its own certainty. I am not certain, except that I am certain neither I nor anyone else can be certain. So, I am agnostic on the matter. Parenthetically, don’t even get me started on the so-called New Atheists, who mostly are just a bunch of smug, selfish, racist assholes—and all-too-often dirturbingly rabid Islamophobes to boot.