Originally Posted by Kodoku
I've never seen anyone suggest that belief and knowledge are the same thing.
If you really want to run with that technicality then there's no reason ever to discuss the truth or untruth of beliefs. I believe I have 17 arms. There's no reason to even discuss whether that belief is true or not. I get lambasted when I try to use the atheist definition technicality though. Funny, that.
When it boils down to the nitty gritty, disbelief is not a neutral stance. It is not a state of the unknowing. Disbelief is a dismissal of something as false. False is the opposite of true. If I disbelieve in the existence a deity then I believe that the existence of a deity is false. If I take the stance that something is true or false then I can't take the stance that I can't know if its true or false.
In order for atheism and agnosticism to not be mutually exclusive you must:
A: Butcher the definition of atheism (as has been done and mostly accepted)
B: Butcher the definition of disbelief
If you want to make the end run around the whole situation and disconnect beliefs from knowledge, that's your prerogative. Yes, beliefs can be separate from knowledge but when people discuss beliefs they have a general understanding that those beliefs are based on some sort of knowledge and can therefore be considered as true or false.