im new to atheism and i had a few questions about general beliefs

how did we get here?

why are we here?

how do we know what's true and what is not?

Why is there good/evil?

how do we overcome evil?

how do we become happy?

what happens when we die?

thanks guys

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after the passing of my wife and brother, i know there is no god that could put me through that. i am early in my journey but i am sure i am an atheist. i dont know what the general atheist population believes and im trying to find out more about what to think

There we go. That is actually quite useful to know. gives me a framework to know where you are coming from. I'm sorry for your loss. If I may, and don't take it the wrong way, but many people who are where you seem to be coming from are not so much A-theist as they are ANTI-theist. A basically still theistic position where they are angry at god and rebelling. Many atheists do start out that way, but as you say, it is an early place in your journey.

Sorry to hear about your wife and brother.  My condolences to you. 

You state that you are early in your journey of atheism and want to find out "what to think."  I would stress that you explore what YOU think, not what others want you to believe. 

First and foremost, atheism is the belief that there is/are no god/gods.  If you've come to that conclusion, then you are an atheist.  If I were you I would explore the details of how you came to that decision.  Everyone approaches atheism from different experiences and journeys. 

The deaths of your wife and brother have obviously caused you to question your theistic beliefs.  There is a lot of pain and grief experienced when people we love no longer are with us.  That's true for both believers and non-believers.  You may want to ask yourself what, specifically, about those two events made you start to second-guess the existence of a god.  It surely can't be the painful experience of loss, alone.  Perhaps payers went unanswered?  Perhaps they were good people, yet suffered horribly? 

Your road to atheism is your own personal journey.  Luckily there are a plethora of books, videos, podcasts, and internet sites that are available to help you choose which road feels right for you.  If I may suggest the following resources that I personally like:

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

The God Delusion

The Thinking Atheist Podcast

The Thinking Atheist YouTube Channel

Letting Go of God

There's lots and lots more.  I know others here can make suggestions as well. 

I'll have to check out The Thinking Atheist Podcast and Youtube channel as I've never heard of them, but the others are all books I would also highly recommend. (especially Julia Sweeny's Letting Go of God) Some others that I found useful were:

How We Believe

The Science of Good and Evil

Unweaving the Rainbow

This may sound a bit "strange" coming from an atheist, but I also recommend that you read the Bible...with an open and critical mind. Most who read that collection of ancient fairytales spiced up with a smidgen of historical distortions do so with preconceptions and an inclination to presume god somehow had his hand in its production. But, I have found that most who read it honestly, fairly, rationally and critically will soon conclude, as have I, that it's an interesting work of historical fiction, and thanks to Queen James, it reads a lot like a Shakesperean diorama.

No, that's not a strange suggestion at all.  Many people have come to atheism by reading and re-reading the bible.  When you step back and look at the book as a whole, instead of focusing solely on the popular cherry-picked good parts, you finally begin to see all of the contradictions, immoral behavior, and out-dated religious mandates. 

thank you so much guys i really appreciate yall's help

I think it's Penn Jillette who says that if you want to be an atheist, just read the bible--or something along those lines.

By the way, that response was much more useful than mine. Thank you.

A LOT of good suggestions there, but I want to particularly point out The Thinking Atheist.  Seth Andrews (who IS The Thinking Atheist) is one of those regular guys who, to put it simply, FIGURED IT OUT.  He's not Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, but he knows what he's about and has the gift of easy, facile communication and personal engagement.

I recommend him highly.

The Flying Atheist, great comment. I have nothing to add, except I have a few favorite authors that I watch on video because my eyes get really tired reading. Here are a few: 

How the Bible was changed—Misquoting Jesus (Bart Ehrman at Stanford)

Darwin Week 2011 - Hector Avalos

The Erosion of Progress by Religions, Neil deGrasse Tyson 

joe burke, There are so many Atheists, Agnostics, FreeThinkers, Secular Humanists, Spiritual Humanists,  etc., with many different styles. You will find many references here that others found helpful. You are on a hero's journey finding answers for yourself about how did we get here? why are we here? how do we know what's true and what is not?Why is there good/evil? how do we overcome evil? how do we become happy? what happens when we die?

No one can answer these questions for you. You will find them by asking and finding answers that make sense to you.

I can tell you from personal experience that religion was not healthy for me and my children. We were put under intense pressure to obey and conform to a terrible battering situation. We found no answers in religion. Finding the possibilities of healthy, mature, intelligent thinking made it possible to overcome the propaganda of religion and learn effective and efficient communication, problem solving, conflict resolution and other life-skills that changed everything. I can honestly say I am happy, content, safe, secure and stable in a life of mature, adult functioning. It is time to give up childish things and grow up into maturity.  

Sorry for your loss...akin to what pushed me over the edge years ago (loss of child just weeks after the 9/11 attacks).


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