4. “And this shows that sometimes people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth.
And it shows that something called Occam’s razor is true. And Occam’s razor is not a razor that men shave with but a Law, and it says…
No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.”

This quote appears toward the end of Chapter 139 in Christopher’s discussion of the Cottingley fairies hoax, just before Christopher finds his mother’s letters in Father’s closet. Christopher places great value in logic and reason, and he criticizes the various people who believed the Cottingley fairies hoax for what he sees as their irrational and illogical approach to the incident. He thinks they were not able to see through the hoax simply because they didn’t want to, meaning they preferred to believe the lie—that fairies exist—to the truth, which is that fairies aren’t real. Christopher sees the incident as validation for the concept called Occam’s razor, which basically sums up his approach to anything supernatural or without an obvious explanation, including ghosts and God. Christopher doesn’t believe in these things because they are, in his opinion, irrational and unnecessary to explain the world, a job he thinks best left to science.

When Christopher finds his mother’s letters in the next chapter, however, he makes exactly the same logical error he criticizes here, apparently ignoring the obvious explanation for the one he prefers to believe. Recognizing that the letters bear a postmark from eighteen months after the date of his mother’s supposed death, Christopher comes up with various reasons for this discrepancy, including the possibility that the letter was to another Christopher from that Christopher’s mother. He doesn’t think of the letters as evidence that his mother never died. The parallel between the quote and his reaction to the discovery of his mother’s letters implies that Christopher, like the people he criticizes, doesn’t want to know the truth. He may find it too painful to handle since it would mean that his father has been lying to him and that he now has to deal with the very complicated emotions involved in figuring out what to do about his mother.