What is the point of the discussion between Hale and the Proctors about whether or not they believe in witches?

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Hale comes to meet the Proctors since Elizabeth was mentioned in court.  After speaking with them,  Hale is about to leave when Elizabeth urges John to tell what he knows to prove that the children's illness was not from witchcraft.  Hale listens and is almost convinced, that is when he brings up John's comment about not believing in witchcraft.  The point is important for two reasons here.  First the bible specifies the existence of witches so if John Proctor does not believe in witches then he opens himself to accusations.  Also if John does not believe in witchcraft, then his theory of the...

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