John Proctor decides to stay out of the whole witchcraft hysteria problem, he wants nothing to do with it, and believes that it will blow over.
John Proctor's attitude toward the witchcraft hysteria in Salem changes from the beginning of the play when he refuses to believe that it is a serious problem. He is actually very offended by Reverend Parris's behavior when he summons Reverend Hale from Beverely to come to Salem and diagnose Betty's illness. Reverend Parris believes that his daughter has been bewitched.
"Parris: a wide oopinion's running in the parish that the Devil may be among us, and I would satisfy them that they are wrong." (Miller)
"Then let you come out and call them wrong. Did you consult the wardens before you called this minister to look for devils?" (Miller)
In Act III, Proctor realizes that the devil is working in Salem, but not in person, he is acting through the witchcraft hysteria itself.
"A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face and yours. Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in your black hearts that this be fraud--God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together." (Miller)
By Act III, Proctor knows that the court proceedings are the very nature of evil, putting innocent people to death, yet he is helpless to stop it. He gets sucked into the process because of his relationship with Abigail.