John Stuart Mill (Essay on Religion) preferred to disbelieve in the omnipotence of God rather than forgo the belief in His goodness.
In the parable Lazarus returns not to earth, since Abraham foresees that the rich man's brethren would disbelieve even if one rose from the dead; in the corresponding allegory, Lazarus does actually return to life, and the Jews believe so little as to determine upon killing the very Life Himself.
The suspected theses included such points as the following: that Christ descended ad inferos not in His real presence but quoad effectum; that no image or cross should receive latreia even in the sense allowed by Thomas; that it is more reasonable to regard Origen as saved than as damned; that it is not in a man's free will to believe or disbelieve an article of faith as he pleases.
From a popular conception of the intellectual characteristics of the school comes the modern sense of "cynic," implying a sneering disposition to disbelieve in the goodness of human motives and a contemptuous feeling of superiority.
It is not however asserted that his mere willing to believe is a proof of the truth of what he wishes to believe, any more than a will to disbelieve justifies disbelief.
Himself regarded by most of his contemporaries as a sceptic, and by some as an atheist, he denounced all who dared to disbelieve in sorcery, and urged the burning of witches and wizards.